Worried you are hurting someone you love?

It takes courage to admit that you are abusing your partner. But if you really want to change, you can. If you feel that you are hurting someone, whether physically or emotionally, you can choose to stop. It can be difficult to change the way we relate to others and to accept that we do not have the right to control those around us.

  • do you criticise your partner all the time?
  • do you blame them for everything?
  • do you use their love for their children against them?
  • do you resent them being close to friends or family members?
  • do you think you have the right to control their behaviour?
  • do you ever force them to do something they don’t want to?
  • are they ever afraid of you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then your behaviour is abusive.

Who should I contact for help?

There is help available for this – contact the national Respect helpline which gives confidential advice to men and women who want to change their abusive behaviour, as well as advice to professionals working with this group.

Contact Respect on 0808 802 4040 or www.respect.uk.net. You could also talk to your GP for local advice and support.

What happens if I don’t change?

Behaving abusively may get you what you want in the short term but, in the longer term, your family life is likely to be very unhappy. Family relationships need to be built upon respect and trust to be happy and, if you are abusive, you risk losing your partner and children. 

Ultimately, domestic abuse is against the law and so abusive behaviour, which includes coercive control, can result in a criminal conviction.