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Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual and/or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern of control.
If your partner is abusing you, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. But no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions. Relationship abuse is always a decision that a perpetrator makes to harm their partner. Relationship abuse is not caused by alcohol or drugs, stress, anger management, or provocation. It is the perpetrator’s choice to be abusive.
Healthy relationships can change over time and in very subtle ways to become unhealthy.
There are many warning signs you should be aware of:
1) when someone keeps you away from friends and family,
2) when someone is jealous to a point where they try to control who you spend time with, what you do and even what you wear, and
3) when someone makes you feel responsible for their actions or makes you feel like it’s your job to keep them happy.
If you are seeing unhealthy signs in your relationship, it’s important to not ignore them and understand they can escalate to abuse.
If you think you are in a dangerous situation, trust your gut and get help. Call University Police at 395-2222 if on campus and if off campus call 911.
Concerns may include: unwanted physical or verbal responses from your significant other, concerns about the healthiness of your relationship, concerns about whether you are safe in this relationship.