Abusive Behaviors

Abusive Behaviors

Many men have never physically struck a woman. What they have done, however, is struck fear in a woman by using a wide range of controlling and abusive behaviors over a sustained period of time. You may find it useful to check the behaviors you or a friend may have used.

Physical violence

  • Slapping, punching, grabbing, kicking, choking, pushing, restraining, or pulling hair
  • Rape (e.g., use of force or threats to get sex)
  • Use of weapons, throwing things, keeping weapons around which scare her
  • Abuse of furniture, things in the home, pets, or destroying her things
  • Intimidation (e.g., standing in the doorway during arguments, angry or threatening gestures, use of size to
  • Uninvited touching
  • Threats (e.g., verbal or nonverbal, direct or indirect)
  • Harassment (e.g., uninvited visits or calls, following her around, checking up on her, embarrassing her in public, or not leaving when asked)
  • Isolation (e.g., preventing or making it hard for her to see/talk to friends, relatives, or others)

Psychological and economic abuse

  • Yelling, swearing, being lewd, raising your voice, or using angry expressions or gestures
  • Criticism (e.g., name-calling, swearing, mocking, put-downs, ridicule, accusations, blaming, use of trivializing words or gestures)
  • Pressure tactics (e.g., rushing her to make decisions, using guilt/accusations, sulking, threatening to withhold financial support, manipulating children, or abusing feelings)
  • Economic coercion (e.g., withholding money, the car, or other resources; sabotaging her attempts to work)
  • Lying, withholding information, or infidelity (having sex with others)
  • Using pornography (e.g., magazines, movies, strip clubs, or home videos)
  • Emotional withholding (e.g., never giving support, validation, attention, compliments, respect for her feelings, rights, and opinions)
  • Not taking care of yourself (e.g., abusing drugs or alcohol)

** This listing was adapted from Emerge.