This list identifies a series of behaviors typically demonstrated by batterers and abusive people. All of these forms of abuse- verbal, emotional, psychological, economic and physical – come from the batterer’s desire for power and control. The list can help you recognize if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship.
Verbal/Emotional Abuse Put downs, name calling, constantly criticizing, provoking public or private humiliation, or making the person feel crazy; making the victim feel bad about herself or himself.
Intimidation Making someone afraid by using looks, gestures, actions; smashing things, destroying her property; abusing pets, displaying weapons
Disrespect Interrupting; changing topics; not listening or responding; twisting the victim’s words; putting her/him down in front of other people; saying bad things about her friends or family.
Abusing Trust Lying, withholding information; cheating on the victim; being overly jealous, not following through on agreements; not taking a fair share of responsibility; refusing to help with childcare or housework.
Emotional Withholding Not expressing feelings; not giving support, attention, or compliments; not respecting feelings, rights or opinions.
Minimizing, Denying & Blaming Making light of abusive behavior and not taking the victim’s concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn’t happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying she/he caused it.
Economic Control Interfering with the victim’s work or not letting her/him work; refusing to give her money or taking her money; taking car keys or otherwise preventing the victim from using the car; not letting the victim know about or have access to family income.
Coercion and Threats Threatening suicide or other forms of self-harm such as abusing alcohol or drugs; deliberately saying or doing things that will have negative consequences (e.g., telling off the boss); threatening to report the victim to welfare or other social service agencies, make the victim do illegal things; making the victim drop charges.
Isolation Preventing or making it difficult for the victim to see friends or relatives; monitoring phone calls; telling her/him where she/he can and cannot go.
Controlling behavior Constantly asking whereabouts; calling at work all day; checking car mileage; listening to phone calls; making uninvited visits or calls; following the victim; checking up on her; embarrassing her in public; refusing to leave when asked; limiting outside involvement; using jealousy to justify actions; controlling who the victim talks to, what she/he reads, what she/he does and who she/he sees.
Using Dominance Treating the victim like a servant; making all the big decisions..
Children Making the victim, feel guilty about the children; using children to relay messages; threatening to harm the children; threatening to report the victim to child protective services.
The 12 member programs of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence provide services regardless of gender,age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status or religious or political affiliation.
Funding for this website was provided by The Corporate Fund. New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence PO Box 353, Concord, NH 03302-0353 (603) 224-8893