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November 10, 2015

If Your Partner Treats You Badly

Do you live with someone who hurts you?

Maybe your spouse or partner hits you. Maybe this person likes to twist your arm, pinch you, or pull your hair. Maybe he or she threatens violence as a way of controlling your behavior, preventing you from speaking your opinions or asking for what you want, or preventing you from leaving. Has this person shown you a knife or a gun in order to control you? Has he or she threatened to cripple or kill you?

Does your significant other tell you how stupid and useless you are? Does this person tell you that you are ugly and unlovable? Does he or she like to insult or mock you in front of family and friends?

Are you in a relationship with someone who abuses you financially? Maybe you aren't allowed to get a job, or maybe your partner takes all your money. Maybe you have been placed on an allowance and forced to account for every penny. Has your partner run up huge debts or damaged your credit? Has this person gotten angry and destroyed your property?

Does your partner force you to have sex even though you say no? Does this person seem to enjoy doing sexual things that hurt you or make you feel bad? Is he or she highly jealous, constantly accusing you of cheating even though you are innocent? Or has this person made you have sex with other people even though you didn't want to?

Does your partner try to control every minute of your time? Does he or she prevent you from seeing family members? Maybe this person won't let you have phone conversations with friends and relatives. Maybe your partner goes to your workplace to check up on you. Maybe you aren't allowed to drive a car or take the bus alone.

Maybe you are being told when you can eat or when you can sleep. Your partner might demand that you lose weight and prevent you from eating, or require that you eat only certain foods. Perhaps you have a partner who forces you to eat when you don't want to, or who forces you to drink alcohol or take drugs. Maybe this person tells you exactly how to dress, what kind of makeup you can or can't wear, and how to style your hair.

Have you blamed yourself, thinking that if you could just do everything right, you would be treated better? Do you have feelings of worthlessness or an inner voice telling you that you don't deserve happiness? Or do you feel trapped, wanting to get away, but unable to find a way out?

You don't deserve this.

The person who is abusing you isn't doing it because of you. No matter who you are or what you do, no matter what claims the abuser makes, it isn't about you. It is about them. Abusers want to control others. They believe their own feelings and desires are more important than anyone or anything else. Abusers want to create a situation where they have all the power. No matter what they may say, it isn't your fault.

It is time to get out. You don't have to do it alone.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help. You can call them any time at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Please, do not tell your abuser that you plan to get help or leave. Saying that you want out can sometimes trigger more violence. Just get help and get out.

You deserve a better life.

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