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Domestic Violence and
Child Abuse

How can I recognize domestic violence? (previous/next)

    Denial is common for abusers and victims. Victims may even believe that they are responsible for causing the abuse (never true!). It is also typical for abusers to minimize the abuse and convince the victim that the abuse is normal or "not that bad." The person who is doing these things or making you feel this way may be someone who lives with you or has lived with you, or someone with whom you have a child, even if you never lived with that person.

    Typically, abuse occurs in cycles, beginning with a phase of increasing tension when minor attacks may occur and the victim tries to be keep the situation from getting worse. The situation, however, does get worse leading to a major escalation and attack. This escalation is not due to the victimís behavior or anything within the victimís control. The attack is typically followed by an apology, expressions of sorrow, love and possibly good intentions about getting help. The abuser may promise that it will "never happen again." If you answer "Yes" to even a few of the following questions, you are likely in an ongoing or potential domestic violence situation.

  1. Are you under stress resulting from fear in a current or past relationship?

  2. Do you feel that your safety is threatened?

  3. Are you afraid of someone with whom you have a current or past relationship?

  4. Have you been pushed, slapped, hit, kicked, punched or choked?

  5. Have you been threatened with physical violence?

  6. Have you been threatened with a weapon?

  7. Have your children been threatened?

  8. Have you been forced to have sex?

  9. Have your family resources (i.e., money, car) been kept from you for the purpose of controlling you?

  10. Have you been prevented from getting a job, or have you been fired because of the actions of someone in your home?

  11. Are there strict rules about where you go, whom you see or the amount of time that you can spend away from home?

  12. Do you feel isolated from your family, friends and other support?

  13. Has someone purposely damaged things that belong to you?

  14. Have you been insulted, made to feel stupid or crazy or humiliated?

  15. Does someone else in your home make all the decisions?

  16. Have you ever considered suicide because you feel it is the only option for escape?

  17. Have you felt that you are not safe and donít know what to do or where to go?

  18. Do you feel guilty or responsible for making someone else angry or upset?

  19. Do you regularly experience any of the above behavior followed by a sincere apology and assurance that it will not happen again?

  20. Have you ever done any of the things mentioned above to someone else or made that person feel unsafe or afraid?

What is domestic violence? | Who uses violence in relationships?
 How can I recognize domestic violence?
How can I stop domestic violence? | Domestic violence resources
What is child abuse? | What is neglect? | Who is required to report child abuse or neglect?
How can I recognize child abuse or neglect? | Child abuse and neglect resources
Effects of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect on children

Glenna O. Auxier


Robert J. Perchalski, Ph.D.
Curriculum Coordinator

Contact us by email at for.parents@juno.com
Copyright 2003, 2007 Positive Divorce Resolution, Inc.
Last edited June 1, 2013 by Robert J. Perchalski, Ph.D.