Most women, friends and family know something is wrong and that the relationship is unhealthy but have not identified it as abusive or recognized the potential safety risk. Regardless of whether there is physical assault or not, there may be a safety concern. The potential for lethal violence increases substantially when a woman is thinking of leaving.
A quick test:
- Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you, him/herself, pets or others?
- Has your partner threatened to commit suicide if you leave?
- Has your partner developed an increased dependency on alcohol or drugs?
- Are you thinking of leaving?
- Has your partner’s behaviour become more erratic or unpredictable?
- Have you left the relationship and your partner is angry about family court matters: custody, access, property decisions?
- Does your partner really believe you won’t come back?
- Does your partner feel you have betrayed him/her, like everyone else has?
- Does your partner hold you responsible for his/her anger?
- Has your partner been charged with assaulting you?
- Has your partner hurt family pets or children?
- Do you believe he/she is capable of killing you?
- Has your partner ever forced sex or asked you to participate in sexual activities you didn’t want to?
- Does your partner have access to weapons?
- Does your partner spy on you or show up unexpectedly at work, at home or when you are in the community?
- Does your partner leave you harassing phone messages or does he/she call you excessively when he/she is upset with you?
If you answered yes to any of these, your partner has the potential to harm you. If you answered yes to more than 6, you are definitely in a relationship that can lead to higher levels of violence.
Please contact your local social service agency for help.
Compiled by Interval House, Hamilton, Ontario