Recognizing abuse is important for preventing escalation. Abuse can happy in any relationship including couples, families, coworkers, friends, and anyone you interact with. Relationships are all about give and take, but sometimes, the lines get blurred. Maybe you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, or perhaps their words sting a little too deeply. 

If you’re wondering, “Am I being abused”, you’re not alone.

Abuse can be a complex issue, and it’s not always clear-cut. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background, or relationship status. The important thing is to be aware of the signs and know where to get help if you need it.

This blog post will explore some key questions people often ask about recognizing abuse and empower you to take steps towards a healthy relationship.


What Are The Types of Abuse?

Abuse can be a confusing and multifaceted issue. It’s often depicted as dramatic outbursts or physical violence, but the reality is far more nuanced. Abuse can be subtle, insidious, and take on many forms, all with the same goal: control. Here’s a deeper dive into the different ways abuse can manifest:

Physical Abuse: This is the most recognizable form of abuse, involving the intentional infliction of physical harm. It can range from slapping, hitting, or shoving to more severe acts like choking or using weapons. Physical abuse leaves visible marks and scars, but the emotional trauma can be even more lasting.

Emotional Abuse: Often called “invisible abuse,” emotional abuse is about manipulating and controlling your partner’s emotions. 

This can involve:

  • Put-downs and insults: Constant criticism that chips away at your self-esteem.
  • Name-calling and humiliation: Using hurtful language to belittle and demean you.
  • Threats and intimidation: Creating a climate of fear by threatening violence, abandonment, or emotional manipulation.
  • Isolation: Restricting your contact with friends and family to control your support system.
  • Gaslighting: Denying or twisting events to make you question your own sanity.

Verbal Abuse: While sometimes seen as a lesser form of abuse, verbal abuse can be incredibly damaging. It involves using hurtful language to belittle, insult, and control your partner. This can include yelling, screaming, name-calling, swearing, and constant criticism.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact or behavior. It can range from unwanted touching to forced intercourse and includes pressuring someone into sexual acts they’re not comfortable with. Sexual abuse can be perpetrated by a partner, stranger, or even someone you know and trust.

Financial Abuse: This involves controlling your partner’s access to money and finances. It can involve:

  • Restricting access to money: Limiting your partner’s ability to earn or spend money independently.
  • Forcing you to account for every penny: Creating a climate of guilt and shame around spending.
  • Running up debt in your name: Using finances as a tool of control and manipulation.
  • Preventing you from leaving by making you financially dependent.

It’s important to remember that abuse is often a combination of these tactics. An abuser might use emotional manipulation alongside financial control to exert complete dominance over their partner.

    Am I Being Abused, or Is It Just a Rough Patch?


    Look. Healthy relationships have disagreements; that’s normal. But there’s a crucial difference between a fight and abuse. 

    Here’s how to tell them apart:

    • Frequency and Intensity: Is the hurtful behavior a constant pattern, or is it a one-time thing? Does the abuse escalate over time?
    • Control: Does your partner try to control everything you do, who you see, or how you spend your money?
    • Fear: Are you afraid of your partner or what they might do if you disagree with them?
    • Humiliation: Does your partner make you feel worthless or like you don’t deserve respect?

    If any of these questions resonate with you, it’s important to seek help.

      I Think I’m Being Abused. What Now?


      It takes incredible courage to even wonder if you’re being abused. 

      You’re not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to help. If you suspect you’re in an unhealthy relationship, here are some steps you can take towards healing and safety:

      1. Acknowledge Your Strength: Realizing you’re in an abusive situation is a powerful first step. It shows your inner strength and desire for a better life. Be kind to yourself – you’ve been through a lot, and it’s okay to feel hurt or confused.
      2. Develop a Safety Plan: Your safety is our top priority. Think about ways to feel more secure, whether it’s having a friend you can call at any time or having a hidden bag packed with essentials in case you need to leave quickly.
      3. Reach Out to a Trusted Source: Talking about what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful. Open up to a close friend, family member, or therapist – someone you trust who can offer support and guidance. You can reach out to UMatter Counseling through our Contact page if you are a resident of Ohio who like to speak with an expert on abuse who can help guide you to safety and ongoing healing.
      4. Document the Abuse (if possible): If it feels safe to do so, keep a journal where you record incidents of abuse, including dates, details, and any witnesses. You can also take pictures of injuries (if any) for documentation purposes. This can be helpful if you decide to pursue legal action in the future, but your safety comes first.
      5. Connect with Resources: There are amazing organizations dedicated to supporting victims of abuse. Here are some resources that offer 24/7 support and guidance:
      • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
      • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
      • RAINN ( You can also get help online through their website.

      Remember, you are worthy of love and respect. 

      Abuse is never your fault, and you deserve to feel safe and happy. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help – there are people who want to support you on your journey towards healing.

      How Can I Help Someone Being Abused?

      If you suspect a friend or loved one is being abused, here’s how you can be a supportive presence:

      • Be a Listening Ear: Let them know you believe them and that you’re there for them without judgment.
      • Provide Resources: Share the contact information for hotlines or shelters.
      • Help Them Develop a Safety Plan: Work with them to brainstorm ways to stay safe, both emotionally and physically.
      • Encourage Professional Help: A therapist can provide guidance and support on their journey towards healing.

      Remember, you can’t force someone to leave an abusive relationship. But by offering your support and resources, you can empower them to take steps towards a healthier future.

      You Deserve a Relationship That Uplifts You

      Abuse can steal your joy, chip away at your confidence, and leave you feeling isolated and alone. But here’s the truth: you were never meant to live like that. You deserve a relationship that empowers you, celebrates you, and makes you feel like the best version of yourself.

      Imagine a relationship where:

      • Mutual respect is the foundation: Your partner values your opinions, boundaries, and dreams. You feel safe expressing yourself openly and honestly.
      • Trust is unwavering: You can confide in your partner without fear of judgment or betrayal. There’s a sense of security and knowing that you have each other’s backs.
      • Communication is open and honest: You can talk about anything, even difficult topics, with kindness and understanding. You feel heard and valued.
      • Healthy boundaries are respected: You both have personal space and time for yourselves and your interests. There’s no pressure to be someone you’re not.
      • Support and encouragement flow freely: Your partner celebrates your successes and is your biggest cheerleader. They believe in you and your dreams.
      • Laughter and joy are abundant: Life together is filled with shared experiences and moments of pure happiness. You can be yourselves and have fun together.

      This is the kind of relationship you deserve. 

      UMatter Counseling

      Online Mental Health Therapists in Ohio