There are steps that you can take in a relationship to recognize that you are being abused or that a friend is being abused.
1. Verbal Abuse is abusive. There are times we choose to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to verbal abuse because we like to compare it to physical abuse and a lot of times it comes up short in our opinions. Remember if it makes you feel like a victim then you are. Being called hurtful names, being shouted at, being belittled, being told that you are nothing or will not amount to nothing or that you can not live without the abuser are all forms of verbal abuse. We all know that words hurt and that they can begin to affect us mentally.
2. Mental Abuse is abuse. Jealousy, possessiveness and control are all forms of mental abuse. You own your body and you have the right to make your own decision and should not feel guilty for choosing to live a happy life. If you feel as if your partner is not giving you enough space and is seeking to control all aspects of your life by telling you what to do then you should recognize that you are being mentally abused. There are times when your partner will threaten to harm themselves or others if you don’t do things there way, that is mental abuse. You are your own person and you deserve to be happy.
3. Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse is the most under-reported form of abuse and for many reasons. People often find it embarrassing or conflicted by the thought of no one believing them. You are your own person and your body belongs to you and you alone. You may choose to share your body with someone else but NO MEANS NO. Whether you are married or not if you say no then no one has the right to force your to do anything against your will.
4. Financial Abuse. Many people may not recognize this form of abuse but it is very common. Withholding finances or using it as a leverage to control a person is abusive. Food, money and homes can all be used in an attempt to control another person and you should recognize that it is abusive and not right.
5. Physical Abuse. Though very common and evident it is still very hard for some to accept that it is abuse. If you are physically hurt or threatened to be physically hurt then it is abuse. No one has the right to hurt you, they should walk away and you are never to blame yourself for the hurt that someone else afflicts on you. This type of abuse can lead to death and if it happens once the chance is that it can happen again.
6. Domestic Abuse does not Discriminate. Men and people in alternative lifestyle relationship often feel trap in domestic violence for fear of ridicule or further violence by others. Domestic violence does not discriminate and you should not feel ashamed to speak out. If you are gay or if you are a man who is being abused you are still a victim.
Marriage will not change someone who is abusive and being the best partner will not change someone who is abusive either. If it happens once it will happen again. Speak up and speak out. Find a friend, a family member, a spiritual leader, a co-worker, or even a toll free hotline. You have a right to speak and there are many who will listen. It is not always easy to find out what is happening behind closed doors so you need to open those doors and let help come in. If ever in doubt call the police.