Intimate partner abuse is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person. It can happen to people who are married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating. Abuse of women happens regardless of their culture, religion, age, income or education.

Many people who are being abused do not see themselves as victims. Also, abusers do not see themselves as being abusive. People often think of intimate partner abuse as physical violence, such as hitting. However, abuse takes other forms, such as psychological, social, economic, or sexual abuse.

If your partner repeatedly uses one or more of the following to control you, you are being abused:

  • Pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking, or biting
  • Threatening you, you’re children, other family members or pets
  • Threatening suicide to get you to do something
  • Using or threatening to use a weapon against you
  • Keeping or taking your paycheck
  • Puts you down or makes you feel bad
  • Forcing you to have sex or to do sexual acts you do not want or like
  • Keeping you from seeing your friends, family or from going to work