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Am I being abused?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you are being abused or if your relationship is simply breaking down. But, if you are frightened of your partner or have had to start changing your behaviour to avoid making them angry it’s possible that you are experiencing abuse.

Ask yourself the questions below. They represent some of the most common warning signs of domestic violence and abuse. Remember that everyone’s experience of violence is different; if you don’t see anything in this list that relates to you but you still have some doubts about your situation please give us a call on 0808 801 0500.

  • Does he often criticise you, shout at you or humiliate you?
  • Is he often jealous or possessive?
  • Does he hurt you or threaten to hurt you or other people, even himself, if you say you want to leave the relationship?
  • Do you change your behaviour out of fear and to avoid making him angry?
  • Does he often tell you you’re useless and couldn’t cope without him?
  • Does he control your money, what you wear or where you go?
  • Does he stop you from seeing your family or your friends?
  • Does he force you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Does he blame you for his abusive behaviour and say it’s your fault?

These examples focus on heterosexual relationships but at JWA we do support women who are abused in lesbian relationships.

There are many different ways of being abusive. Here are a few examples:

  • Damaging a woman’s possessions
  • Smashing up the furniture
  • Threatening to harm or kill the pets
  • Threatening to take or keep the children if she leaves
  • Locking her out of the house during an argument
  • Terrorising her by doing things like driving at high speed because he knows it frightens her

The aim of the behaviour, whether conscious or unconscious – is to take control of the woman’s life. Domestic violence is an abuse of power – it’s all about power and control.