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Types of Domestic Abuse

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Topic Overview

Domestic violence-also called intimate partner violence-can take many forms. It can affect your mind and emotions, or it can be physical or dangerous to your life. If you're not sure if you're being abused, ask yourself the following questions:

Does your partner:

  • Hit, shove, slap, kick, punch, or choke you?
  • Threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Call you names or tell you that you are crazy?
  • Criticize things you do or say, or criticize how you look?
  • Hurt your pets or destroy things that are special to you?
  • Blame you for the abuse he or she commits?
  • Limit where you can go, what you can do, and who you can talk to?
  • Unexpectedly check up on you at your workplace, home, school, or elsewhere?
  • Force you to have sex, perform sexual acts you're not comfortable with, or sexually assault you?
  • Threaten to have you deported?
  • Apologize and tell you it will never happen again (even though it already has)?
  • Control all your money and finances?
  • Keep you away from family and friends?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. There are people who can help you. You are not alone. Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, a doctor, or a help center. Talking with someone can help you make the changes you need to stay safe.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you find resources in your area. This nationwide database has detailed information on domestic violence shelters, other emergency shelters, legal support and assistance programs, and social service programs.

Contact information

  • Call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
  • Call 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  • Visit the website:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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