It can be difficult to recognize when you are the victim of domestic violence at the hands of your spouse or partner. In the first place, behavior that is abusive may not fit your definition of violence. In the second place, the abuse may include a psychological component in which your partner tries to manipulate you into believing that you deserve the treatment you are receiving.
A major red flag that you are experiencing domestic violence is fear of your partner. This is not a component of a healthy relationship. According to WebMD, the following, more specific signs may be present in an abusive relationship.
This involves inflicting physical force on you, such as by kicking, punching, biting or attacking you with a weapon. However, your partner can also inflict physical abuse against you without becoming combative. For example, an abusive partner may lock you out of the house or keep you trapped inside it. He or she may disrupt your sleep or prevent you from getting enough to eat or seeing a doctor for a medical condition. Another form of physical abuse is abandoning you in an unfamiliar place.
People who commit abuse feel a need to exert control over others. Your partner may accomplish this by isolating you from friends or family members. He or she may insist that you ask permission before spending time with other people or expect you to account for your movements in minute detail throughout the day.
Another way of exerting power over you is by taking control of household finances. Your partner may prevent you from earning your own money or deny you access to credit cards or cash.
The many forms that domestic violence can take are beyond the scope of a single blog post. You do not deserve treatment like this, and you have the right to seek help.