How Do You Know You're Being Abused?

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

TRIGGER WARNING for mental and sexual abuse.

Spread awareness of what abuse can look like, it might save someone’s life. It’s a long read, but if it can help someone then it’s worth a read AND a share!

It’s all well and good saying things like “if you’re being abused and need help, ask me if I’m still selling my makeup/Xbox and tell me your address so I can tell the police”, but, if you’re anything like I was, you didn’t fully realise you were being abused for a huge amount of time. So alongside the cry for help messages I see a lot of, I’d like to actually list some things which mean you’re in an abusive relationship, so maybe you can read them and it will hit home for you that you need to get out, because it is NOT okay.

It’s not okay to be on edge around your partner all the time, worrying about when they’re next going to have an outburst of anger and trying not to be the cause of it, or at the receiving end of it.

It’s not okay for your partner to wait until you’re on a car ride (you’re the passenger) to start an argument or bring something negative up, knowing that you can’t get out of the situation. It’s also not okay for them to drive dangerously to scare you or push you into agreeing with them so they slow down.

It’s not okay for your partner to threaten to kill themselves if you say you want to leave them, or as a way to get you to do something you don’t want to do.

It’s not okay to have no friends left because your partner gradually cut you off from the world. It’s also not okay for them to read your messages and react angrily for talking to a friend, making it so you’re afraid to speak to them again, or you stop speaking to them just to save any more arguments.

It’s not okay to feel pressured into having sex with your partner just because it’s ‘what people in relationships do’. It’s also not okay to feel like you’re being raped even though they’re your partner. It’s not okay to not have any say in what happens during sex or when sex is initiated.

It’s not okay to cry after sex because your partner got mad at you during and then pushed you away abruptly and made you feel ashamed.

It’s not okay for your partner to forbid you from working because that would mean other people would be able to look at you and talk to you. Even if they don’t forbid it, they may convince you that it’s a bad idea until you agree to stay at home.

It’s not okay for you to have no income of your own or access to any of your own money because your partner has made it that way.

It’s not okay to be stopped from learning to drive so that you can’t have your independence.

It’s not okay to be convinced to move far away from your family and any friends you might have left.

It’s not okay to be told when you can spend time with your family. It’s also not okay to be gradually convinced that your family is toxic, just because your partner thinks so.

It’s not okay to have to ask permission to do anything, and be taken places by your partner so that they can keep tabs on you.

It’s not okay to forget who you are, what you like, hobbies you enjoy, what your personality is, what your thoughts and feelings and opinions are - all to be replaced by things that your partner thinks, likes or approves of. It’s not okay to always have to say ‘we think this’ or ‘we want this’.

It’s not okay for your partner to control what you wear, either directly or by calling you names like ‘slut’ so that your feel conscious and change your clothes.

It’s not okay to make excuses up for your partners behaviour - they’re having a bad time at work; they’re just really tired; it was my fault really because A, B or C...nothing is a good excuse to treat you badly.

These are some of my experiences - and some of the more subtle ones, or ones that happen over time and you don’t even notice. It’s not a definitive list of course, but it’s a good start. Sexual and mental abuse are not okay. They can be as bad or worse than physical abuse (note, I didn’t list any physical abuse here as I haven’t experienced that myself but it is of course NOT okay).

I now live my day to day life struggling with post traumatic stress disorder which I fear may always be with me in some form. Though I don’t flinch as much any more or automatically walk on egg shells, so it is improving.

Please share to spread awareness!

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