Defining Abuse

How are things at home?

Does someone you love:

  • Criticize you for little things?
  • Keep track of your whereabouts?
  • Control the household money?
  • Say hurtful things?
  • Blame you?
  • Prevent you from seeing family and friends?
  • Make it hard for you to attend work, school or to get health care?
  • Threaten you or the children?
  • Cause you to feel fearful or stressed?
  • Pressure you sexually?
  • Push, slap, hit, kick, strangle, bite, restrain, etc?

If you answered, "Yes" to any of the above, things are probably not going well at home. You aren't alone. Safe Path may be able to help.


What is domestic, emotional, physical and sexual abuse?

  • Domestic abuse: A pattern of coercive tactics that are used to gain and maintain power and control in an ongoing, familiar relationship. Generally, several forms of abuse, such as psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and/or economic, are used in combination. Abusers believe they are entitled to control how their victims think, feel and behave. This control extends to the entire household, and the behavior and parenting tactics of the abuser may harm children in the home. Physical and sexual violence may be a component of the abuse but some victims are controlled through intimidation, threats, emotional and psychological abuse and isolation - no physical abuse is necessary. In an abusive relationship, one party fears the other and attempts to comply with the other's wishes to avoid harm.
  • Emotional abuse: Use of coercion, threats, insults, and other measures which control the victim and result in loss of self-esteem and in the victim believing she/he deserves the abuse.
  • Physical Abuse: Use of physical force, which can include pushing, slapping, hitting, strangling, biting, kicking, isolating, use of weapons, etc.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any unwanted, coerced or inappropriate sexual contact.

If you are experiencing any form of abuse, Safe Path professionals can help. Call 608-392-7804 or 800-362-5454 ext.7804. Safe Path services are free and confidential.

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