An abuser uses behaviours to gain power and control over the victim and to try and take away their sense of self-worth.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine when the relationship goes from healthy to unhealthy.  Sometimes unhealthy behaviours escalate over a period of time.  Sometimes there are 'red flags' on the first date that are commonly missed or the abuse may start months or years into the relationship.

If you notice you aren't spending as much time with your friends or family, you are lying or secretive about your relationship, you are sad, scared or feeling helpless, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

Remember this is not your fault and HELP is available.

Examples of Abuse

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial.  The following are only a few examples of abusive behavior:

  • Humiliating or degrading you while alone or in front of others,    
  • Yelling at you, insulting you or calling you names,   
  • Isolating you by stopping you leaving home, using the telephone, or having visitors,   
  • Not letting you have any money,   
  • Controlling and limiting what you do, where you go, who you see, and what you wear,    
  • Breaking your things and damaging property,   
  • Threatening you, your children, your pets, or someone you know,    
  • Forcing you into sexual activity you don't want,   
  • Shoving, slapping, choking, punching or kicking you,   
  • Hurting you with an object of any kind.   
  • Excessive texts or phone calls expecting you to respond immediately   
  • Accusations of cheating or flirting when you are not   
  • Allows you to go out with friends then gets angry with you or makes you feel guilty   
  • Repeated pressure to do things you do not want to do   
  • Hot temper, physical threats   
  • Makes you feel guilty by saying, "If you really loved me, you would..."   
  • Shifts blame to you when things don't go their way   
  • Possessiveness and extreme jealousy   
  • Controls what you wear, how you do your hair or what you eat   
  • Insults you publicly or in private   
  • physically hurting pets

An unhealthy or abusive relationship is not only physical violence or abuse.

Abuse includes behaviours such as:  

  • intimidation 
  • threats 
  • jealousy  
  • possessiveness 
  • disrespect 
  • control