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Are you an abusive partner?

There are many people who are being abused in their relationships but who are not aware what abuse is. In the same way, some people are abusive and think they are not being abusive.

Too many intimate partners are unhappy because their self-esteem and pride have been broken by the systematic violence in their relationships. Intimate partner violence, also referred to as intimate partner abuse, can be physical (hitting, shoving, etc.) or non-physical (verbal put downs, intimidation, etc.) Either kind of violence is as damaging to the emotional and physical well-being of the individual.

The following is an intimate partner violence quiz to help you discern whether you are a victim or perpetrator of violence in intimate relationships. This quiz is not intended to replace professional assessment or treatment. It is designed to help you think and to begin making changes in your life; a few questions to help you think about your life.

Are you being abused? Ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you frightened by your partner’s temper?

• Are you afraid to disagree?

• Are you constantly apologizing for your partner’s behavior, especially when he/she may have treated you badly?

• Have you ever been hit, kicked, shoved or had things thrown at you?

• Have you ever been forced into having sex when you didn’t want to?

• Does your partner push and shove you around violently?

• Are you afraid to break up because your partner has threatened to hurt you, himself or herself?

• Does your partner hurt you while having sex?

• Do you refrain from seeing friends or family because of your partner’s jealousy?

• Does your partner put you down with shaming words?

• Does your partner demand you to do things for him or her?

• Does your partner prevent you from having friends?

• Does your partner demand that you stay at home?

• Does your partner scream and shout at you?

• Does your partner treat you like a dunce?

• Does your partner get angry if you disagree with him or her?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may be a victim of intimate partner violence. For further assessment and treatment, contact a professional today.

• Do you scream and shout at your partner?

• Do you say mean things to your partner?

• Do little arguments usually escalate into fights with accusations, criticisms, name calling or bringing up the past?

• Do you constantly check up on your partner and accuse him or her of being with other people?

• Have you forced your partner to have sex with you or intimidated him or her, so he or she is afraid to say no?

• Have you threatened to hurt your partner?

• Have you threatened to hurt yourself if your partner breaks up with you or leaves?

• Do you make fun of your partner’s ability to do things?

• Do you get very upset if your partner’s work is not done when you think it should be?

• Do you insult you partner in the presence of others?

• Do you tell your partner he or she is dumb or stupid?

• Do you become violent when you drink or use drugs?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may be a violent intimate partner. For further assessment and treatment, contact a professional today.

Our country would be safer if people were safe in their own homes. Most of the violence exhibited outside the home started within the home. Too many partners are physically or emotionally trapped in their own houses by controlling, jealous, rigid partners who find overt or covert ways to intimidate or manipulate them. No angry, belligerent, vitriolic teenager or adult accidentally developed into a violent individual. Children who witnessed violence usually become violent themselves or victims of violence. If we truly want a safer country, we must first make our homes safe. Our homes should be a refuge where children and adults are treated in a spirit of love, compassion and understanding.

If while reading the questions above, you admitted to yourself that you are a violent person, then it is imperative that you seek professional help. If you know someone who is violent, do not hesitate to call a professional to direct you in what to do. Contact the psychological service nearest you.

• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or telephone 242-327-1980.

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