Domestic Violence - Are You in an Abusive Relationship?
Domestic Violence

“Just as the military
fought discrimination
and drug and alcohol abuse
in its ranks, DoD is now
turning its attention to
domestic violence,
another social ill that
destroys families,
scars children and
ultimately affects
military readiness.
The Defense Task Force
on Domestic Violence
is working to improve
DoD's response to this
troubling issue within
the military community.”


Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

(Excerpted from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handbook on domestic violence.)

Recognizing domestic violence is not always easy, even for the victims. This is because domestic violence is much more than physical abuse. In fact, many women who are controlled by their partners and who live in danger and fear have never been physically assaulted. In the early stages, the pattern of abuse is hard to recognize. People in abusive relationships, however, consistently report that the abuse gets worse over time.

The following checklist of behaviors may help you decide if you or someone you know is being abused.

Does your partner ...

Use emotional and psychological control?

Dingbat Call you names, yell, put you down, make racial or other slurs, or constantly criticize or undermine you and your abilities as a wife, partner or mother?

Dingbat Behave in an overprotective way or become extremely jealous?

Dingbat Prevent you from going where you want to, when you want to, and with whomever you choose as a companion?

Dingbat Humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?

Use economic control?

Dingbat Deny you access to family assets such as bank accounts, credit cards or a car?

Dingbat Control all the finances, force you to account for what you spend or take your money?

Dingbat Prevent or try to prevent you from getting or keeping a job or from going to school?

Dingbat Limit your access to health, prescription or dental insurance?

Make threats?

Dingbat Threaten to report you to the authorities (the police or child protective services) for something you didn't do?

Dingbat Threaten to harm or kidnap the children?

Dingbat Display weapons as a way of making you afraid or directly threaten you with weapons?

Dingbat Use his anger or "loss of temper" as a threat to get you to do what he wants?

Commit acts of physical violence?

Dingbat Carry out threats to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends, or himself?

Dingbat Destroy personal property or throw things around?

Dingbat Grab, push, hit, punch, slap, kick, choke or bite you?

Dingbat Force you to have sex when you don't want to or to engage in sexual acts that you don't want to do?

These common control tactics used by abusers are certainly not the only ones. If your partner does things that restrict your personal freedom or that make you afraid, you may be in an abusive relationship.

For more OPM information on domestic violence, go to
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