Indicators of Abuse

Indicators of Abuse

There is no “typical” abuser: abusers are not easy to spot. They appear friendly and loving to their partner and family in public, while they may only abuse behind closed doors. The abuser hides the abuse by inflicting injuries that cannot be seen and do not require medical treatment.

Abuse is an intentional act used to control one’s partner, it is not an accident. Abusers learn this behavior so that they can get what they want. Abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional and psychological.

Abusers have low self-esteem, do not take responsibility for their behavior, and may even blame the victim for causing the violence.

An Abuser uses “Power and Control”
Indicators are: using emotional abuse, using privilege, using coercion and threats, using intimidation, using the children, using isolation, and minimizing, denying and blaming.

Relationship Quiz: AM I BEING ABUSED?
Enter the number of points next to each question, rating the severity of each item:

Never: 0 points Rarely: 1 point Sometimes: 2 points Frequently: 3 points

My Partner:

_____Teases me in a hurtful way in private or in public
_____Calls me names like “stupid” or “slut”
_____Acts jealous of my friends, family, or co-workers
_____Gets angry about the clothes I wear or how I style my hair
_____Checks up on me by calling, driving by, or getting someone else to
_____Insists on knowing who I talk to on the phone
_____Blames me for their problems or bad mood
_____Gets angry easily, leaving me walking on eggshells
_____Throws or destroys things when angry
_____Hits walls, drives dangerously or does other things to scare me
_____Drinks excessively or uses drugs
_____Insists that I drink or use drugs whenever he/she does
_____Accuses me of being interested in someone else
_____Reads my mail, goes through my personal space/items (purse, cell phone, etc.)
_____Keeps me from getting a job or finds ways to cause problems at my job
_____Sold my car, made me give up my license, or won’t repair my car
_____Keeps money from me, keeps me in debt, or has “money secrets”
_____Threatened to hurt me
_____Threatened to hurt my children
_____Threatened to hurt my pets
_____Threatened to hurt my friends or family
_____Hurt a friend or family member
_____Threatened to commit suicide if I leave
_____Struck me with hands or feet, or slapped punched or kicked me
_____Struck me with an object or threatened me with a weapon
_____Has given me visible injuries – bruises, welts, cuts
_____Has injured me so that I had to administer first aid to myself
_____Has injured me seriously enough to seek treatment from a doctor
_____Forces me to have sex when I don’t want to or in ways I don’t want to
_____Has been in trouble with the police
_____Acts one way in front of others and another way when we are alone
_____Is secretive or lies about past relationships
_____I feel isolated and alone and have no one I can really talk to
_____I have lost friends because of my partner’s actions
_____I no longer see some of my family because of my partner
_____I have thought about calling the police because of an incident of violence
_____I have actually called the police on one or more occasions
_____I am afraid to call the police because of threats from my partner


0-17: Generally Non-Abusive (likely to be the strain in a relationship, but do NOT brush off a violent incident or threat of violence)

15-58: Moderately Abusive (violence happened occasionally. The violence may just be beginning in a new relationship. There is good reason to expect it to escalate into more serious and more frequent forms.)

59-95: Seriously Abusive (Scores in this range indicate a seriously abusive relationship that could move into the dangerously severe range. Serious injury is quite possible. Now is the time to consider reaching out for help or even leaving.

96 and Up: Dangerously Abusive (You need to seriously consider leaving, at least temporarily, to think about your next move. The violence WILL NOT disappear. Chances that your life and/or the lives of your children will be in danger will increase.)

Contact the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate (318-992-2067) for more information.