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Am I Being Abused?

At New Directions, we engage with individuals daily who grapple with this very question. Asking it doesn't make you stupid. Labeling yourself a "victim" is challenging, and labeling someone an "abuser" is a weighty declaration. You've found your way to this page for a reason. Our purpose is to assist you in understanding your emotions, identifying potential signs of abuse, and embarking on the survivor's journey alongside you.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is not just physical; it includes controlling behaviors, manipulation, and emotional harm. Our resources provide insights into the different forms of abuse, helping you understand your experiences and take the first step towards a safer future.

Recognize the Signs

It's crucial to understand whether you're in an abusive relationship. Abuse can take various forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, or financial. If you are unsure about your situation, the stoplights below can help identify where your relationship is on the spectrum.


Red: Abusive Relationship

  • Hurtful Communication: Expressing oneself in a hurtful, threatening, or demeaning manner.

  • Physical Abuse: Causing harm through hitting, slapping, choking, pushing, or shoving.

  • Disrespectful Attitude: Disregarding the feelings, thoughts, or opinions of the other partner.

  • Blame-Shifting: Holding the other partner responsible for harmful actions.

  • Control and Isolation: Dictating clothing choices, social interactions, and restricting freedom.

  • Coercion and Threats: Pressuring or forcing the partner into unwanted actions through threats, harm, or blackmail.


Yellow: Harmful Relationship

  • Poor Communication: Avoiding discussions or engaging in frequent, unproductive conflicts.

  • Disrespectful Behavior: Lack of consideration for feelings or personal boundaries by one or both partners.

  • Lack of Trust:
    Doubting what the other says or invading their privacy.

  • Dishonesty: One or both partners telling lies.

  • Control Issues: One partner asserting dominance, prioritizing their desires, choices, and opinions.

  • Limited Social Circles: Restricting social interactions to only your partner's community.


Green: Healthy Relationship

  • Open Communication: You talk openly, listen, and respect each other's opinions.

  • Respectful: You value each other and respect emotional, sexual, and digital boundaries.

  • Trusting: You believe in your partner without needing constant proof.

  • Honest: You're honest while maintaining some privacy.

  • Equality: Decisions are made together, and both adhere to the same standards.

  • Personal Time: Enjoying time apart is normal, respecting each other's need for personal space.

Image by Brett Jordan

Did anything above sound familiar?

Your Safety Matters

Safety is a priority. Our step-by-step guide helps you create a personalized safety plan tailored to your situation. Whether you're planning to leave or seeking ways to enhance your safety within the relationship, we're here to support you.

Download Our Healthy Relationships Booklet!

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the warning signs of abuse in relationships. To download this resource free today, just click the link below!

Image by Tavga K.S

You have a voice.

Talking to someone can be the first step towards change. Our trained advocates are here to listen, provide support, and guide you through your options. Reach out through our confidential helpline or chat with an advocate via email.

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