skip to Main Content

It is important to note that abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual.

If you answer “yes” to 1 or more of these statements please contact OTC Victim Advocate, Rachel Swadley with Project HEAL, 417-447-7859, Title IX Coordinator & College Director of Equity and Compliance, Kevin Luebbering, 417-447-8188, or OTC Safety & Security, 417-447-6911 and utilize our OTC and community resources that we have included in the links below.

You may be experiencing physical abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics of abuse:

  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
  • Forbidding you from eating or sleeping
  • Hurting you with weapons
  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Harming your children
  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them
  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past)
  • Making unreasonable demands of you
  • Expecting you to put everything aside and meet their needs
  • Demanding you spend all of your time together
  • Being dissatisfied no matter how hard you try or how much you give
  • Criticizing you for not completing tasks according to their standards
  • Expecting you to share their opinions (you are not permitted to have a different opinion)
  • Demanding that you name exact dates and times when discussing things that upset you (when you cannot do this, they dismiss the event as if it never happened)

Emotionally abusive people invalidate you. Some examples include:

  • Undermining, dismissing, or distorting your perceptions or your reality
  • Refusing to accept your feelings by trying to define how you should feel
  • Requiring you to explain and explain and explain how you feel
  • Accusing you of being “too sensitive,” “too emotional,” or “crazy”
  • Refusing to acknowledge or accept your opinions or ideas as valid
  • Dismissing your requests, wants, and needs as ridiculous or unmerited
  • Accusing you of being selfish, needy or materialistic if you express your wants or needs (the expectation is that you should not have any wants or needs)

Emotionally abusive people create chaos. Some examples include:

  • Starting arguments for the sake of arguing
  • Making confusing and contradictory statements
  • Having drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts
  • Behaving so erratically and unpredictably that you feel like you are “walking on eggshells”

Emotionally abusive people use emotional blackmail. Some examples include:

  • Manipulating and controlling you by making you feel guilty
  • Humiliating you in public or in private
  • Using your fears, values, compassion or other hot buttons to control you or the situation
  • Exaggerating your flaws or pointing them out in order to deflect attention or to avoid taking responsibility for their poor choices or mistakes
  • Denying that an event took place or lying about it
  • Punishing you by withholding affection

Emotionally abusive people act superior and entitled. Some examples include:

  • Treating you like you are inferior
  • Blaming you for their mistakes and shortcomings
  • Doubting everything you say and attempting to prove you wrong
  • Making jokes at your expense
  • Telling you that your opinions, ideas, values, and thoughts are stupid, illogical or “do not make sense”
  • Talking down to you or being condescending
  • Using sarcasm when interacting with you
  • Acting like they are always right, knows what is best and is smarter

Emotionally abusive people attempt to isolate and control you. Some examples include:

  • Controlling who you see or spend time with including time with friends and family
  • Monitoring your phone calls, text messages, social media, and email
  • Accusing you of cheating and being jealous of outside relationships
  • Taking or hiding your car keys
  • Demanding to know where you are at all times or using GPS to track your every move
  • Treating you like a possession or property
  • Criticizing or making fun of your friends, family, and coworkers
  • Using jealousy and envy as a sign of love and to keep you from being with others
  • Coercing you into spending all of your time together
  • Controlling the finances

Sexually abusive methods of retaining power and control include an abusive partner:

  • Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Holding you down during sex
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you
  • Hurting you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex
  • Forcing you to watch pornography
  • Purposefully trying to pass on a sexually transmitted disease to you

Sexual coercion

Sexual coercion lies on the ‘continuum’ of sexually aggressive behavior.  It can vary from being egged on and persuaded, to being forced to have contact. It can be verbal and emotional, in the form of statements that make you feel pressure, guilt, or shame. You can also be made to feel forced through more subtle actions. For example, an abusive partner:

  • Making you feel like you owe them — ex. Because you’re in a relationship, because you’ve hahttps://web.otc.edu/d sex before, because they spent money on you or bought you a gift
  • Giving you drugs and alcohol to “loosen up” your inhibitions
  • Playing on the fact that you’re in a relationship, saying things such as: “Sex is the way to prove your love for me,” “If I don’t get sex from you I’ll get it somewhere else”
  • Reacting negatively with sadness, anger or resentment if you say no or don’t immediately agree to something
  • Continuing to pressure you after you say no
  • Making you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say no

Even if your partner isn’t forcing you to do sexual acts against your will, being made to feel obligated is coercion in itself. Dating someone, being in a relationship, or being married never means that you owe your partner intimacy of any kind.

If you suspect your partner, family member or friend may be emotionally abusing you,  you can also contact an OTC counselor , complete an OTCCares Report, and utilize our community resources on the Counseling website.

 

 

Back To Top