The Mary Parrish Center For Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence
The Mary Parrish Center For Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Being Abused?

Indicators of Domestic Violence
(click here to read common characteristics of the batterer)

Battery In Same Sex Relationships
Immigration

How many of these statements fit your life? If more than 7 of them fit your life, you may be a victim of domestic violence. If more than 15 of the statements fit your life, you almost certainly are a victim of domestic violence. Remember, battering isn't just about bruises. Battering includes a range of behaviors, from controlling your life to murdering you.

My partner:

  • Uses Emotional Abuse
    • Puts me down
    • Makes me feel bad about myself
    • Call me names
    • Makes me think I'm crazy
    • Plays mind games
    • Humiliates me
    • Makes me feel guilty
    • Treats me like a servant
    • Makes all the big decisions
    • Acts like the "Master of the castle"
    • Is the one to define men's and women's roles

  • Uses Economic Abuse
    • Prevents me from getting or keeping a job
    • Makes me ask for money
    • Gives me an allowance
    • Takes my money
    • Doesn't let me know about or have access to family income

  • Uses Coercion and Threats
    • Makes or carries out threats to do something to hurt me
    • Threatens to leave me, to commit suicide, to report me to welfare
    • Makes me drop charges
    • Makes me do illegal things

  • Uses Physical Abuse
    • Hits me
    • Slaps me
    • Kicks me
    • Pushes me
    • Throws things at me
    • Physically restrains me
    • Pulls my hair
    • Cuts me
    • Otherwise hurts me

  • Uses Sexual Abuse
    • Makes me have sex when I don't want to
    • Makes me do things sexually that I don't like
    • Is sexual with me in public in ways that make me uncomfortable
    • Touches me sexually when I don't want this
    • Threatens to do something to hurt me or someone (something) else if I don't cooperate sexually

  • Uses Intimidation
    • Makes me afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
    • Smashes things
    • Abuses Pets
    • Displays Weapons

  • Uses Children
    • Makes me feel guilty about the children
    • Uses the children to relay messages
    • Uses visitation to harass me
    • Threatens to take the children away

  • Uses Isolation
    • Controls what I do, who I see and talk to, what I read, & where I go
    • Limits my outside involvement
    • Uses jealousy to justify actions

  • Minimizes, Denies, Blames
    • Makes light of the abuse and doesn't take my concerns about it seriously
    • Says the abuse didn't happen
    • Shifts responsibility for abusive behavior
    • Says I caused it

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Battering in Same Sex Relationships

Batterers in same sex relationships use the same power and control tactics as heterosexual batterers. They blame the victim, deny or minimize the abuse, and resist being accountable for their violence. Victims feel afraid, isolated and ashamed, take responsibility for the abuse, and face many barriers in leaving the relationship. Societal homophobia also causes lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered to face additional obstacles to safety and services including:

  • Fear of losing custody of your children, your job, or family support if your sexual orientation is revealed.

  • Becoming a target for anti-lesbian/gay violence.

  • Extremely limited resources, for you and the batterer.

  • Inappropriate, insensitive, and homophobic responses from service providers and the criminal justice system.

  • Further stigmatization because of the abuser's violence.

  • Ostracism from the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender communities for revealing the violence.

  • Emotional abuse by the batterer, including questioning your "real" orientation and reinforcing society's view of same sex relationships as perverse or bad.

  • Threats by the abuser to "out" you to your family, friends, and employers.

  • Denial of the existence of same sex battering by referring to the violence as "mutual" battering.

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Immigration

Many batterers use the immigration status of their partners as another way to control them. Abuse may come in the following forms:

  • Burning or stealing your papers or your children's papers.

  • Refusing to help you gain legal status.

  • Calling you names, like "illegal".

  • Threatening to have you deported.

  • Reporting you to Immigration.

Many victims of domestic violence are afraid to report or leave their abuser because they are "undocumented". Although the threat of deportation is real, your safety is most important.

  • You do not have to reveal your immigration status.

  • You do not need to be a citizen or have papers to get a restraining order.

  • If you go to a battered women's shelter, you have the right to keep your immigration status private. Some battered women's shelters may be able to provide information and referrals for immigration issues.

  • You are entitled to receive emergency medical care, regardless of your immigration status.

  • As a crime victim, you are not required to report your immigration status to the police.

  • Your immigration status does affect your eligibility for government assistance and benefits.

  • It is important to collect documentation of immigration status for you, your children, and the batterer.

If you are not a permanent resident and are married or formerly married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or are applying for residency through a spouse, contact an immigration attorney. Your immigration status could be jeopardized by a divorce or separation. An annulment, dissolution, or divorce could terminate your immigration status.

If you have already received a conditional residence permit and you are a victim of battery or extreme cruelty, you do not need the cooperation of your spouse to change the conditional status to "permanent resident".

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