It’s not always easy to tell if a relationship is unhealthy or abusive. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, class, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Abusive behavior can appear at any time in the relationship, whether you’re dating, married, or if you have children together.
How can you tell if your relationship is abusive?
Does your partner ever…
- Put you down, embarrass or make you feel bad about yourself?
- Control what you do, what you wear, who you see, talk to or where you go?
- Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Push, punch, slap, or strangle you?
- Prevent you from going to school or work?
- Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
- Steal your money, track how you spend money, or limit your access to shared money or bank accounts? Make you ask friends or family for money?
- Force you to perform sexual acts when you don’t want to?
- Demand that you always ask for their permission to do anything, or treat you like a servant?
- Tell you that you can’t participate in ceremony, pow wows or feasts, or practice bad medicine against you?
- Use their status in the community to threaten or control you?
- Leave you stranded far from home, or lock you out of your home?
- Destroy your belongings or property, or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate, threaten or hurt you with guns, knives or other weapons?
- Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you or your family members?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse, or tell you ‘it’s your own fault’ or that ‘you deserved it’?
- If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. No matter the situation, abuse is not your fault – it’s the person being hurtful or violent who chooses to behave in this way.
If any of this information raises a red flag for you or someone you know, call or text 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) 24/7 or click on the chat icon 💬 on this page to open a direct message with an advocate. All contacts are anonymous and confidential.