Abuse is not just physical, though many people think of abuse as purely physical. There are many types of abuse (see power and control wheel), including emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is very difficult to handle, and many people who are in an emotionally abusive relationship may not know that they are. Review the questions below that can help determine if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Contact The Shelter at any time, 800-931-7233. In an Emergency call 9-1-1.

Emotional abuse


Emotional Abuse Checklist:

  • Do you have to get permission to socialize with your friends?
  • Are you accused of cheating when you leave the house to do errands, etc?
  • Are you afraid to talk about certain topics unless they are in a good mood?
  • Do they have control over the money and monitor your spending?
  • Do they tell you no one else would ever want you?
  • Do they threaten to harm themselves if you leave?
  • Do they go through your purse or open your mail?
  • Do they make disparaging remarks about the way you look or dress?
  • Do they use things against you that you’ve confided to them in the past?
  • Do they sabotage your efforts to be involved in pleasant social or family events?
  • Do they compare you negatively to other people?
  • Are you nervous about being on the phone when they are around?
  • Is it okay to return home later than scheduled without being fearful?
  • Does it feel more like they are your parent than a partner?
  • Do they give you the “silent treatment” when you want to talk or work things out?
  • Do they try to turn children against you?
  • Do you feel manipulated by their kindness or gifts?
  • Do you feel obligated to be sexual with your partner?
  • Are your activities and interests looked upon as unimportant and trivial?
  • Do they sabotage your schedule and outside commitments?
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