Know the warning signs of an abusive domestic relationship, and get help

Published on Friday, 3 November 2017 13:27 - Written by PATRICE DUNAGIN, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Being in a healthy relationship can lower your stress, improve your physical and emotional health and improve your performance at work. Children with parents in a healthy relationship often do better in school and are less likely to be involved with drugs or alcohol or experience early pregnancy.

Some keys to a healthy relationship are:

- Kindness: “When I am having a bad day, my husband is the first person I call. I know he will say just the right thing to make me feel better.”

- Communication: “I feel comfortable talking to my wife about things that bother or worry me. We work through it together.”

- Teamwork: “When money is tight, my partner and I find ways we both can cut back and save.”

- Friendship: “I feel like my partner is my best friend. We enjoy doing things with each other.”

Batterers believe their partners should comply with every demand, and will punish their partners for any disobedience. Batterers use abusive tactics to reinforce their rules and maintain absolute control over their victims.

Domestic violence includes: physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, threats, intimidation and any other behavior used by batterers to keep victims in the relationship.

The following list is of early warning signs that someone may be abusive:

- Pushes for quick involvement.

- Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.

- Says one thing and then behaves differently.

- Insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family and pushes you to spend time with them or their friends and family.

- Gives you rules or dos and don’ts.

- Uses any form of intimidation or threat when you do not do what they want.

You deserve to be in a healthy relationship. If you have concerns about your relationship or your safety, call the 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233 (SAFE).

For more information, contact Patrice Dunagin, Smith County FCH agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, at 903-590-2980.