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Are you examining your relationship and wondering if what you are going through is abuse? Below is a quick checklist of some of the abusive behaviours that you may be enduring.

Restricting Freedoms:

  • Tells you that you can not do something 
  • Jealous about who you see 
  • Monitors your time, makes you account for where you were 
  • Does not allow you to leave the house 
  • Makes it difficult for you to get a job 
  • Restricts your use of the car 
  • Tries to prevent you from contacting family 
  • Alienates you from family and friends 
  • Turns children against you 
  • Keeps you from getting medical care 
  • Withholds affection to punish you 
  • Tries to turn people against you 


  • Makes you account for all the money spent 
  • Keeps you short of money 
  • Makes you ask for basic necessities 
  • Undermines your attempts to improve your education 
  • Undermines your attempts to get or keep a job 
  • Controls the money 
  • Makes you ask for money 
  • Refuses to give you money 
  • Makes all major decisions about money without consulting you 
  • Spends money only on things he wants


  • Demands obedience like you were a servant 
  • Makes decisions without your input 
  • Treats you like you were inferior 
  • Tells you you can't cope without him 
  • Treats you like a child


  • Withholds sex to punish you 
  • Pressures you to have sex 
  • Forces you to have sex against your will 
  • Pressures you to have sex after being abused 
  • Pressures or forces you into unwanted sex acts 
  • Treats you like a sex object 
  • Inflicts pain on you during sex

Threats to: 

  • Turn people against you 
  • Leave the relationship 
  • See someone else 
  • Take children away from you 
  • Leave you short of money 
  • Come after you if you leave 
  • Have you committed to an institution 
  • Hurt or kill you and/or the children 
  • Hurt or kill himself/herself 
  • Blames you for his/her problem 
  • Drives your car in a frightening way 
  • Have someone else kill you, your family, your friends etc.


  • Changing his mood suddenly 
  • Giving silent treatment 
  • Demonstrating anger 
  • Shouting or yelling 
  • Pounding fist on table 
  • Hitting the wall 
  • Throwing or kicking something 
  • Stomping out of the room/house


  • Throws something at you
  • Pushes, grabs or shoves you
  • Pulls your hair
  • Twists your arm
  • Pins you to the wall, floor, bed
  • Chokes you
  • Kicks, hits or punches you
  • Hits, or tries to hit you with something
  • Threatens you with a knife, gun or other weapon
  • Tries to run you down with the car
  • Physically and/or sexually abuses the children
  • Kills pets
  • Deprives you of sleep


  • Says things to spite or insult you in front of others
  • Puts down your physical appearance
  • Makes out you are stupid
  • Criticizes your care of children/home
  • Calls you names and swears at you
  • Tells you you are crazy/irrational
  • Accuses you of having an affair
  • Ridicules family or friends
  • Does not show concern for children's needs or concerns
  • Gets angry when children cry or make demands
  • Goes through personal things ie: purse, drawers, pockets
  • Frightens children's friends so they stop coming over

After reviewing this quick checklist, how many of these points apply to you? Did you say "yes, that happens to me!" or "yes, my does that!"? These are all "relationship red-flags", you should take a closer look at your relationship if any of these apply to you. Review the information on this website if you need more clarification or information. If you have answered "yes" to any of the points above, it may be a good idea to speak with a counsellor about your situation. The Crisis Counsellors at Maggie's Resource Centre are here to help, are non-judgmental, and will NOT force you to leave your partner. They will simply discuss your situation with you, what you disclose is your choice, they will discuss your options with you, and safety plan with you to help you protect yourself (and your children). Living in an abusive relationship is exhausting, the feeling of walking on egg-shells, never doing anything right, and having your power taken from you by a person who will go to hurtful lengths to control you, can clutter your brain and make it hard for you to sort out "first steps" or even tackle everyday issues. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! There are people here to help.