The Ruth Boyea Women's Center


Characteristics of an Abusive Relationship?

Your partner physically, emotionally, or sexual abuses you. See first section.

Your partner insists on having control over your life, your thoughts, and your behavior.

Your partner intimidates you and frightens you with threats of physical violence.

Your partner insults, criticizes, or offends you, and devalues your opinion.

Your partner withdraws love, money, approval, or sex to punish you when you displease him/her.

You feel isolated or abused.

What Causes People to be Violent?

No one is naturally violent. Violence is a learned behavior and a systemic problem with no simple cause. Aggression is a result of the way many men learn to express their masculinity in relationships with women, children and other men. Acts of men's violence are mostly attempts to assert control over their partners. Paradoxically, most violent acts are a sign of weakness, insecurity, and lack of self-esteem. Alcohol can be a trigger for dating violence but is never the sole cause, nor does it excuse violent behavior.