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Safe Voices | Are You Abusive?

Are you in an abusive relationship?

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of physical violence, sexual assault, and verbal or psychological abuse.

Who does abuse happen to?

Anyone can be a victim of abuse, no matter their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, education or income level. Everyone deserves to be safe in their relationship.

What does abuse look like?

People who abuse their partners are seeking control over them. The tactics used to maintain that control may take many forms, including the following:

Whether the victim is a man or a woman, the definition of domestic abuse is the same.

Being abused by an intimate partner can be scary and confusing. The feelings that result will be similar, whether you are a male or female. Men and women both experience feelings of shame, isolation, and are often afraid that no one will believe them if they report being abused.

If you are a man experiencing domestic abuse it is important to remember that being assaulted by someone you are in a relationship with is just as much a crime as being assaulted by a stranger. There is support available for men who are being abused.

Our advocates can help you:

Animal Abuse

Family Pets are commonly viewed as family members and companions. Unfortunately, similar to domestic abuse, abusers demonstrate power and control over the family by threatening, harming, or killing animals. They may harm pets to punish the victim for leaving or to retaliate for acts of self-determination or independence.

Unfortunately these actions can:

It has been reported that up to 40% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave. And 65% of women who report prior pet abuse continue to worry for their pets' welfare after entry into a shelter.

Here are some Tips for Victims With Pets (from the Humane Society of the United States):

Call our help line at 1-800-559-2927 and we will work with you for the safety of your pet. 


Stalking is a tactic that has been known to increase the lethality of a domestic violence situation. About 76% of women killed by an intimate partner are stalked prior to the murder. In fact, most people who are stalked know their stalker.

The general definition of stalking is any pattern of behavior that would leave a person feeling uncomfortable or afraid. All 50 states have some form of stalking statutes, but these vary from state to state. To find out the specifics in your area, call your local law enforcement.

Stalking can present in several different behaviors, ranging from unwanted electronic communications (such as e-mails and text messages) to leaving things in your door way. Behaviors may include:

Someone being stalked may experience one or all of these behaviors and possibly a whole set of different behaviors.

Keeping a record of stalking incidents is very important if you wish to take legal action against your stalker. The following are helpful tools that you can keep with you in your home or vehicle:

Red Flags

You are the best judge of what makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in your relationship.  The following are examples of some common behaviors used by abusive partners.  Does your partner do any of the following?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you can call our confidential, toll-free, 24-hour helpline at 1-800-559-2927 to speak to an advocate