Get Educated

DAP First Call

612.874.7063 | 10AM-4PM Monday-Friday

If you are in an emergency call 911.


If You Are Being Hurt

If you are in a violent relationship, one of the most important steps you can take is to make a safety plan for both home and the workplace.  Click here to learn more about making your own personal safety planning.

Is Your Behavior Becoming Abusive?

You may be abusing your partner if she/he tells you that she/he is being hurt by your actions or words.  You may not think you are abusive, nor intend for your words or actions to hurt someone.  But is it not about intentions.  What matters is how your actions affect your partner.  Click here to learn about help available to you.


Definitions of Abuse

A pattern of behaviors in a relationship that are used to gain and/or maintain control and power over another.


Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is any forceful or violence physical behavior.

Examples include:

  • slapping
  • pinching
  • choking
  • spanking
  • burning
  • pushing
  • scratching
  • restraining
  • punching
  • shoving
  • grabbing
  • spitting
  • kicking
  • biting
  • throwing bodily

Other behaviors in this category include throwing objects at the partner.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual act or behavior.

Examples include your partner forcing sexual activity when:

  • you indicate “no” and your limits are not respected
  • you are sleeping
  • you are drunk or high and are unable to say “no”
  • you are afraid to say “no”

Or when your partner:

  • insists that you dress in a more sexual way than you wish to dress
  • makes demeaning remarks about how you dress
  • makes demeaning remarks about your body and/or body parts
  • minimizes your feelings about sex
  • berates you about your sexual history
  • blames you if you were sexually abused in the past or as a child
  • criticizes you sexually
  • insists on touching you sexually when you do not want to be touched, either when the two of you are alone or in the presence of others
  • calls you a whore or a slut
  • has affairs with other partners after agreeing not to have sex with anyone but you
  • physically attacks sexual parts of your body (grabbing your breasts, pinching your buttocks, any touch that is unwanted)
  • forces you to perform any specific sexual act that you do not wish to do (for example oral sex, or acting out pornography)


Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse includes hurting another person’s feelings by making cruel, unfair comments or name-calling.

Examples include:

  • cursing, swearing and/or screaming at you
  • repeated harassment, interrogation or degradation
  • attacks on self-esteem and/or insults to your person, such as name-calling, put-downs, and ridicule
  • attacks on and/or insults about people you care for, your family and friends
  • blaming you for everything that goes wrong
  • forcing you to do degrading things (i.e. making you kneel, making you beg for money)
  • criticizing your thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs and actions
  • treating you like a servant or underling in matters of household chores and decisions
  • being extremely jealous, constantly accusing you of flirting or cheating
  • spitting at or near you
  • telling you that you are “sick” and need therapy
  • using physical disabilities against you or putting you down for your disability


Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is any threat to do bodily harm to a partner, a child, a family member, friends, pets, or one’s self (suicide).  Psychological abuse involves not only hurt and anger, but also fear and degradation.  The purpose of psychological abuse is to render you emotionally insecure about your own self-worth and to render you helpless and/or not able to escape further physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse.

Examples include your partner:

  • threatening to punch, hit, slap or kick
  • threatening to use a weapon
  • threatening to harm him/her-self if you leave
  • threatening to punish children to “get back” at you
  • threatening to harm pets
  • throwing objects in your direction
  • vague threats such as: “You’re going to get it,” or “I’m really going to let you have it”
  • harming a pet to “get back” at you
  • smashing and breaking things
  • throwing objects around the room
  • punching walls, slamming doors
  • hiding, stealing or destroying your possessions
  • sabotaging your car
  • controlling and/or limiting your behavior (i.e. keeping you from using the phone or seeing friends; not letting you leave the room or house; following you; monitoring and/or limiting your phone conversations, checking the mileage on your car; or keeping you from reading material, ideas, activities and places that he does not like)
  • interrupting you while you are eating, forcing you to stay awake or get up from sleep
  • using the difference in physical size to intimidate you
  • using money to control you (i.e. taking money from you, giving you an allowance, forcing you to ask for and account for money you get)