Warning Signs

A batterer often uses fear and intimidation as a means to control. These tactics serve to isolate the victim and often are followed by incidents of physical abuse. Answering the following questions will help you determine whether or not you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. A “yes” answer to even half of these questions indicates that you are headed down a path that could, ultimately, be emotionally and physically dangerous.

  • Do you feel like a child in the relationship, having to ask permission and apologizing for your behavior? Do you feel powerless and “less than” your lover or mate?
  • Have you stopped seeing your friends and family? Does your husband or lover criticize your friends and family members? Did he complain so much when you saw them in the past that you finally stopped seeing them altogether so you wouldn’t have to argue with him about it? Are you ashamed to see your friends or family because of your mate’s abusive behavior and because you are embarrassed at how he treats you?
  • Do you believe that you are to blame for your husband’s or lover’s problems? Do you feel you are mostly responsible for the problems with the relationship?
  • Does your mate try to take advantage of you sexually or make unreasonable sexual demands on you?
  • Does your lover’s personality change when he drinks alcohol?
  • Does your mate use humor to put you down or degrade you?
  • Does he lack the ability to laugh at himself?
  • Does he find it hard to apologize or to admit when he is wrong? Does he make excuses for his behavior or always blame others for his actions?
  • Does he usually get his way in deciding when and where the two of you will go?
  • Does he control or disapprove of your spending but seem to have no problems spending on himself?This material was adapted from Beverly Engel’s book: The Emotionally Abused Woman.

Men Can Be Victims Too

House of Ruth Maryland recognizes that men can also be victims of intimate partner violence. This is true in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Abused men are encouraged to call our Hotline and speak with a counselor, participate in a lethality assessment and access alternative safe sheltering services if in need and eligible.

The Center for Urban Families: (410) 356-5691
Christopher’s Place Employment Academy: (443) 986-9000
Recovery in Community: (410) 362-1400
Baltimore City DSS Office of Male Initiatives: (443) 423-7264
Casey Family Services Fatherhood Services: (410) 342-7554