Power & Control

Physical violence is usually just one part of an abusive relationship.  Listed below are a few examples of things an abuser may do to keep control of their partner and hold all the power in the relationship.

Coercion & Threats & Intimidation

  • Making you feel guilty.
  • Manipulating you and your children.
  • Threatening to hurt you.
  • Displaying weapons
  • Destroying things, especially things that are yours.
  • Using looks, gestures, actions to frighten you.
  • Abusing your pets

Financial Abuse

  • Not being responsible about money, keeping you in debt.
  • Spending money on him/herself and neglecting the family’s needs.
  • Keeping you from having money and/or having your own bank account.
  • Giving you an allowance, but never enough for all your expenses.
  • Controlling how all money is spent.
  • Not letting you have a job; or causing you to lose your job.

Using Children

  • Threatening to take the children if you leave.
  • Threatening to report you to Child Protective Services.
  • Encouraging the children to disrespect you.
  • Resenting time and attention you give to your children.
  • Abusing your children.
  • Threatening to harm your children.

Minimizing, Denying & Blaming

  • Denying abusive behavior. Saying that it never happened or changing the story.
  • Minimizing the abuse. Saying you are too sensitive, that it wasn’t a big deal. Accusing you of overreacting.
  • Minimizing how it made you feel.


  • Cutting you off from your friends and family by using guilt, intimidation or threats.
  • Not allowing you to have a car or access to transportation.
  • Not allowing you to have a phone or always checking your calls and messages.
  • Not allowing you to have friends; deciding who you speak to or visit.
  • Threatening or actually harming your family and friends when they try to help you.

Emotional & Verbal Abuse

  • Playing mind games.
  • Always jealous for no reason. Spying on you. Using technology to track you.
  • Threatening to reveal your private information to others.
  • Using put downs and name calling to make you feel bad or embarrass you.
  • Criticizing your looks, weight, intelligence, etc. making you feel worthless.
  • Not letting you get enough sleep.
  • Telling you what to think and how to feel.

Sexual Abuse

  • Insisting on sex even when you don’t want to.
  • Hurting you sexually.
  • Making you do things you do not like or that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Having affairs.
  • Withholding sex and affection.
  • Forcing you to have sex. Rape.

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