Signs and what to do

Some signs of an abusive relationship

  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Do you feel that your partner tries to control every aspects of your life by being authoritative?
  • Does your partner often have mood swings and outbursts of anger?
  • Is your partner excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Does your partner harm you physically or emotionally or sexually or in any other way?
  • Does your partner threaten or coerce you?
  • Does your partner constantly criticise you?
  • Does your partner constantly check on you?
  • Does your partner threaten to commit suicide or to harm you or your children and relatives if you leave him?
  • Do you often worry about how your partner will react?
  • Do you feel that your partner manipulates you?
  • Do you feel emotionally numb or helpless or that your life is in danger?
  • Do you feel excessive guilt and shame each time there is a dispute?
  • Do you feel bad about yourself, fearful, guilty, lowly or defensive?

What to do?

When you have identified the signs that you are in an abusive relationship and once you have said 'stop! no more' and that you have made up your mind to end this relationship, here are some guides of what to do:

  • Get help from a close friend whom you trust or from specialists or S.O.S Femmes.
  • If you are in danger, call the police or S.O.S Femmes which has a 24/7 hotline service
  • If you have decided to leave the home, plan where you shall go for your own protection and that of your children. It should be a safe place where you can receive assistance. If possible, take with you things that are of prime importance for you and your children and also, if possible, some money and important documents such as your national identity card, birth and educational certificates, credit cards and other bank documents
  • It is important that you protect yourself from your abuser
  • Go to the police and make a formal statement that you are leaving the matrimonial home because of violence. Inform them whether you are taking your children or not. You can also inform them that you will seek legal remedy for your problems and children
  • If you do not know where to go, ask the police for information on shelters for battered women
  • File for a protection order and any other legal order so as to make sure that you are protected from any future abuse. Take the threats seriously. Any breach of the court order should be immediately reported to the police.
  • If you have injuries and feel that you need medical help, ask the police for a Police Form 58 and attend hospital for treatment
  • Once you have left the abusive relation and sought assistance and support the healing process can start and you can reconstruct your life in a safe and secure place. Take time to rest, to mend the wounds and to think about what actions you want take

Most important, do not keep the silence, break the silence. Seek advice and help. Once you have made up your mind to leave the abusive relationship do not hold back as you deserve respect, happiness and a decent, safe and secure life.