Acts of Violence & Warning Lists
This list identifies a series of behaviors typically used by batterers and abusive people. All of these forms of abuse-psychological, economic, and physical-come from the batterer's desire for power and control. The list can help you recognize if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship.
- Emotional and Economic Attacks Destructive Criticism/Verbal Abuse: Name-calling; mocking; accusing; blaming; yelling; swearing; making humiliating remarks or gestures.
- Pressure Tactics: Rushing you to make decisions through "guilt-tripping" and other forms of intimidation; sulking; threatening to withhold money; manipulating the children; telling you what to do; threatening to report you to welfare or other social service agencies.
- Abusing Authority: Always claiming to be right (insisting statements are "the truth"); telling you what to do; making big decisions.
- Disrespect: Interrupting; changing topics; not listening or responding; twisting your words; putting you down in front of other people; saying bad things about your friends and family.
- Abusing Trust: Lying; withholding information; cheating on you; being overly jealous.
- Not following through on agreements; not taking a fair share of responsibility; refusing to help with child care or housework.
- Emotional Withholding: Not expressing feelings; not giving support, attention, or compliments; not respecting feelings, rights, or opinions.
- Minimizing, denying, and blaming: making light of behavior and not taking your concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn't happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying you caused it.
- Economic Control: Interfering with your work or not letting you work; refusing to give you money; taking your car keys or otherwise preventing you from using the car.
- Self-destructive Behavior: Abusing drugs or alcohol; threatening suicide or other forms of self-harm; deliberately saying or doing things that will have negative consequences (e.g., telling off the boss).
- Isolation: Preventing you from seeing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives; monitoring phone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go.
- Harassment: Making uninvited visits or calls; following you; checking up on you; embarrassing you in public; fusing to leave when asked.
Acts of Violence
- Intimidation: Making angry or threatening gestures; use of physical size to intimidate; standing in the doorway during arguments; out shouting you; driving recklessly.
- Destruction: Destroying your possessions; punching walls; throwing and/or breaking things.
- Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to hurt you or others.
- Sexual Violence: Degrading treatment based on your sex or sexual orientation; using force, threats, or coercion to obtain sex or perform sexual acts.
- Physical Violence: Being violent to you, your children, household pets or others by slapping, punching, grabbing, kicking, choking, punching, biting, burning, stabbing or shooting.
- Weapons: Use of weapons; keeping weapons around which frighten you; threatening or attempting to kill you or those you love.