Am I Being Abused?

Program Overview

Relationships can take on many different forms, but all parties deserve to feel respected, loved, heard, and safe. In a healthy relationship, everyone should feel safe and comfortable communicating their boundaries and needs without fear.    

Domestic violence is more than physical abuse – it’s about control. Think about how you are treated in your relationship and how you treat your partner.     

Does your partner:  

  • Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?  
  • Put down your accomplishments or goals?  
  • Call you names?  
  • Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?  
  • Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?  
  • Hit walls or throw things in order to scare you?  
  • Tell you that you are nothing without them?  
  • Treat you roughly – grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?  
  • Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?  
  • Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?  
  • Blame you for how they feel or act?  
  • Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?  
  • Make you feel like there is “no way out” of the relationship?  
  • Prevent you from doing things you want, like spending time with your friends or family?  
  • Act jealous of other people in your life?  
  • Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson?”  
  • Accuse you of cheating?  
  • Threaten suicide or self-harm when you leave?  
  • Deny your feelings?   

Do you:  

  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?  
  • Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?  
  • Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?  
  • Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?  
  • Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?  
  • Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?  
  • Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?   

If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Trust yourself. Even if you answered no, but feel like something is off, support is available. To speak to someone about your relationship, contact Philadelphia’s confidential 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014.  You can also make a FREE counseling appointment by calling 215-426-8610 ext. 1282. 

Abuse in Specific Communities

Domestic Violence can happen in any community. Some communities, however, face additional barriers when leaving or reporting the abuse. For some, the risk of reporting the violence is more magnified and can leave more long-lasting impacts, including legal consequences.

For example, immigrants and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) survivors and victims are more likely to be arrested and scrutinized by the police or other institutions when reporting domestic violence.    

While immigrants and LGBTQ+ survivors and victims may experience more “traditional” tactics of abuse (such as isolation, name calling, hitting, etc.), it is also important to be aware of the less-visible red flags more commonly experienced by survivors in these communities. Continue readin to find out about other red flags to consider for immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities.  

Immigrant Communities:  

Does your partner:  

  • Threaten to report you to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if you tell someone about the abuse?  
  • Make threats to withdraw their sponsorship, or not sponsor you at all, for your petition for legal status when you don’t comply with their demands?  
  • Take or destroy legal documents such as passports, permanent resident cards, or IDs and restrict your ability to move or leave?  
  • Make you pay the majority, or all, of your income as “payment” for bringing you here?  
  • Prevent you from learning English or communicating with anyone, even if they are from a shared cultural background?  
  • Threaten to tell your employer that you are undocumented if you do not do what they want?  

If you want to talk more with someone about this, you can contact Philadelphia’s confidential 24-7 Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014.  You can also make a FREE counseling appointment call 215-426-8610 ext. 1282. 

LGBTQ+ Community:

Does your partner: 

  • Threaten to “out” you to your family, friends, work, or community especially if you have not publicly come out?  
  • Refuse to respect your pronouns or chosen name?  
  • Tell you that no one will believe you if you report them or that you will be an outcast in your community?  
  • Control your hormones or your medications?  
  • Try to use your sexuality or orientation to shame you or exert power?  
  • Accuse you of not being a “real man” or “real woman?”  
  • Say that you are not “gay enough” or you are “too gay?”  
  • Tell you that no one else will love you?  
  • Threaten to kick you out or leave you on the street?  
  • Does your partner offer you drugs or alcohol, or control your substance use, in ways that make you feel like they’re controlling you?  

If you want to talk more with someone about this, you can contact Philadelphia’s confidential  24-7 Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014.  You can also make a FREE counseling  appointment call 215-426-8610 ext. 1282. 

Quick Escape