If you live in an abusive home or relationship, or have been abused by someone you love or trust, it can be difficult to recognize the signs and to break the cycle of abuse. But you can find hope and healing starting right here, right now.

Signs of Abuse

Abuse happens when one person mistreats another, often regularly and repeatedly, through the use of cruelty (which can take the form of manipulation, cruel words, sexual assault, or physical violence).

You may be in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend, girlfriend, family member, or someone from your community if:

  • You are told rude, unkind, hateful, untrue, or insulting things about yourself.
  • They explode in anger often and/or without cause.
  • You are forced or pressured to have sex, perform sexual acts, or touch them sexually without your consent.
  • You are forced or pressured to use drugs and alcohol.
  • You have been abandoned in unfamiliar places.
  • You have been deprived of food, water, clean clothes, a place to stay, or other necessities.
  • You are prevented from going to work or school, or from doing things that you enjoy.
  • You feel like everything you do or say (including who you can or cannot be friends with) is under their control.
  • You are blamed for the cruelty you experience.

All of these things indicate the presence of abuse in a person’s life.

Types of Abuse

The abuse you experience might be:

  • Physical: your abuser harms your bodily.
  • Emotional: your emotions are manipulated so that you live in a state of shame, self-loathing, or fear
  • Psychological: the abuse you experience has caused the onset of a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Repeated abuse may lead you to thoughts or plans for self-harm or suicide, or you may engage in addictive behavior before, during, or after incidents of abuse.
  • Sexual: If the violence and manipulation you experience is characterized by pressure to perform sexual acts or touching without your consent, or if you have been the victim of human trafficking or rape, the relationship is sexually abusive.
  • Verbal: Insults, hateful words, lies— anything someone says to tear you down or attempt to diminish your worth is considered verbal abuse.
  • Neglect or Abandonment: Your abuser deprives you of basic needs or leaves you alone in unsafe places or situations.

Types of abuse may overlap, but if you’re experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it’s time to get help.

Breaking the Cycle

Psychologists and therapists use a tool called the cycle of abuse to explain why it can be so difficult to get out of an abusive relationship.

If you have experienced abuse over time, you’ve seen this pattern play out. Things are tense before the incident of abuse. Then you’re hurt. Afterward, your abuser apologizes and makes excuses for their behavior, often begging you to forgive them or take them back (if you’ve broken off a romantic relationship as a result). This keeps them from being truly accountable for their behavior and receive any consequences for their actions. This is what allows the abuse to continue.

But now you know the truth – and that truth can help you free yourself once and for all.

No matter what your abuser says, the abuse you experience is not normal and is not okay. No matter how small they try to make it seem, abuse is a serious problem that must be addressed immediately. Abuse is never, ever your fault or your responsibility. Your abuser is the only one to blame for their their cruel behavior. They must be held accountable and allowed to experience the consequences of their actions.

If you are afraid to stand up to your abuser, reach out today. We are here to help you make a plan and take the steps to do so safely. TheHopeLine has helped many people break free from toxic and abusive relationships. We are here for you as soon as you reach out.

Through blogs, eBooks, stories, podcasts and more, find answers to these kinds of questions and much more:

  • What are signs of abuse?
  • I've been assaulted, what do I do next? How can I heal after abuse?
  • How can I get out of an abusive relationship?

Most Recent Blogs on Abuse

How to Help a Friend or Loved One Escape Abuse

dawson-blog-featured-image

There are few things more painful and frustrating for me than seeing someone I care about be hurt. If you have a friend in an abusive relationship or know a loved one is being abused, then you know exactly what I mean. You want to help, but you don’t know..Read more

How to Support a Partner Who’s Been a Victim of Abuse

dawson-blog-featured-image

Dating and marriage relationships can be challenging especially when you or your partner have had a difficult past that includes abuse. I understand how you feel. I care about people I love and I don’t want them to hurt. But I also have to acknowledge that there are some things..Read more

Abuse Reality Check Is It Just Anger, or Is It Abuse?

dawson-blog-featured-image

Fighting with your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, or family member can be devastating. The wrong words said or actions taken in anger can often make you feel as though a relationship is damaged beyond repair. If you have been through other trauma before fighting with your loved one, you may..Read more

Beacon Light Shares About Sexual Abuse

dawson-blog-featured-image

He Blamed God During his interview with Rapzilla about his remake of the song, Jesus Loves Me, Beacon Light shares that this song was his story.  He was sexually abused by a family member, from 3rd grade to middle school.  So in middle school, he went through a time of..Read more

View More >

Podcasts about Abuse :

eBooks on Abuse :

Stories on Abuse :

Suicidal Thoughts to Accepting God’s Love

dawson-blog-featured-image

I finally came to a point in my life where I just couldn’t handle my problems on my own any more, even with the Lord.  There’s been a lot to deal with, including child abuse, severe bullying, and domestic violence. I Couldn’t Handle the Pain or Shame Despite several attempts..Read more

Finding Hope After Abuse from Her Father

dawson-blog-featured-image

Life of Abuse I was raised in a very dysfunctional family. My parents fought all the time and my dad was very abusive in all ways. My mom took this abuse all through the marriage for 32 years. I had no choice but to live with this. I only had..Read more

PTSD and Anxiety: My Mom’s Boyfriend Was Abusive

dawson-blog-featured-image

My story is that for years I lived in fear because of my mom’s old boyfriend. He was a jerk. But that’s putting it mildly, he was horrible. He was abusive to the point he tried to kill my mom! My grandma and I tried to tell her to break..Read more

Sexual Abuse: Scared to Tell My Story

dawson-blog-featured-image

When I found your site I was skeptical at first, I never told anyone about my dilemma. I was scared to tell my story, but knew I needed help. My Story of Sexual Abuse Before I was even five years old my half-brother, who is ten years older than me,..Read more

View More >

Resources for Abuse :

Spiritual Perspective :

Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

ebook-resources

Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

View More >

Additional Resources

View More >