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Domestic Violence & Abusive Relationships

Are you wondering if you might be in an abusive relationship? Do you hesitate at the intensity of the label “Domestic Violence” or “Intimate Partner Violence,” but you’re still wondering if what is going on in your relationship is normal?


The information below may help you clarify what a healthy relationship looks like and what is considered “abuse.”  Though Domestic Violence is largely thought of as physical violence from one partner to another, in actuality, there is a variety of ways in which abuse can manifest in a romantic partnership:

Verbal Abuse

  • Name calling

  • Insults & Put-downs 

  • Threats

  • Yelling

Physical Abuse

  • Hitting & Slapping

  • Pulling hair

  • Strangulation,

  • Isolation

  • Physically blocking doorways 

  • Physical threats and intimidation such as punching walls or throwing objects

Psychological Abuse

  • Crazy-making behavior

  • Lying & Manipulation

  • Denial of abuse

  • Stalking & Cyberstalking

  • Intimidation

  • Gaslighting

  • Suicidal threats

Does your partner call you harsh or obscene names?

Does your partner threaten you as a way of controlling you?

Does your partner call you stupid, worthless, ugly, lazy, a bad partner, or say you are bad in bed?

Does your partner try to keep you from seeing family or friends?

Does your partner keep you from going to sleep or wake you up throughout the night?

Does your partner forbid you from working? Demand that you work?

Does your partner ever slap, punch, kick, bite, choke, pull your hair, or burn you?


Has your partner ever threatened to kill themselves if you leave?

Does your partner tell you that you are unlovable and no one else would want you?

Does your partner insist they know where you are at all times?

Does your partner accuse you of cheating?

Has your partner ever forced you to engage in sexual acts that make you uncomfortable?

Does your partner force you or coerce you into having sex when you don't want to?

Sexual Abuse

  • Unwanted sexual contact

  • Sexual assault

Financial Abuse

  • Extreme control of financial resources

  • Reckless spending on the part of the abuser

  • Damaging a victims’ credit or employment opportunities.

Does your partner withhold money and keep you accountable for every penny you spend?

Does your partner tell you that no one would ever hire you?

Does your partner use your faith against you to convince you to stay in the marriage? 

Has your partner ever criticized your actions by questioning how they would be viewed by God?

Spiritual Abuse

  • Humiliating a victim’s personal spiritual beliefs

  • Using a person’s belief system to justify the abuse and convince them to stay in the relationship.

Emotional Abuse

  • Integrated within each of these types of abuse

  • Can cause psychological trauma, depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Does your partner have dramatic mood swings?

Do you feel fearful or hypervigilant when your partner is around?

Do you have a hard time sleeping or suffer from nightmares?

How Therapy Can Help...

Using trauma-informed care, I can help you


  • Identify unhealthy dynamics within the relationship

  • Find clarity about where you stand in the relationship. 

  • Find healing through better communication, boundaries, and resources.

  • Learn to identify red flags in order to avoid and protect yourself from similar dynamics in the future

  • Support you in processing through traumatic events, grieving the lost relationship, find understanding of the dynamics, and closure. 

  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety, vigilance, depression, nightmares, flashbacks, body reactivity

  • Increase understanding, self-esteem, and empowerment.

Is my relationship abusive?
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