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  • BATTERING:  “Battering” refers to physical assault, ranging from pushing to life-threatening behaviors.  Abuse includes physical, sexual or emotional attacks.  We work from the premise that abuse occurs on a continuum.
  • ABUSE:          Abuse is a behavior, which, regardless of one’s intentions, dominates or controls someone, or inhibits someone from making a free choice.  Examples of abusive behavior include:  verbal put-downs, name-calling, ignoring, withholding, stonewalling, lying, manipulating, raising one’s voice, commanding, and threats of punishment for your own purposes.
  • VIOLENCE:   Violence is any action or behavior, which causes fear.  It is violent to use fear as a tool to control another person’s behavior.  Examples include:  threatening to hit or hurt, sudden movements, yelling, breaking things, and menacing or intimidating looks, gestures, or actions.
  • PHYSICAL VIOLENCE:        Physical Violence is any controlling behavior using physical contact.  This is what most people call abuse.  Examples include:  pushing, restraining, grabbing, hitting, slapping, wrestling, unwanted sexual contact, hurting pets, and the use of weapons.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:       It is a pattern of assault and coercive behaviors that adults or adolescents use against their current or former intimate partners.


  •  Does he take “NO” for an answer?
  • Does he seem to have resentment or anger towards women? e.g., calls women names like “bitches”, woman’s libber”, etc. to put them down.
  • Does he feel women are supposed to serve men’s needs?  e.g., sex, waiting on them hand and foot.
  • Does he think that women are sex objects? e.g., makes comments about babes, chicks, nice ass, etc. or about what you should and shouldn’t wear.
  • Does he act bossy and make decisions without asking you what you want to do, where you want to go?  If he asks you, does he then act on your opinions and value your ideas?
  • Does he treat you as property? e.g., “As long as you’re my girlfriend/wife you won’t do this or that.”
  • Does he want to know what you’re doing all the time, who you’re with or with whom you were talking to?
  • Is he jealous of your friends, male and female?  Does he tell you it’s because he loves you so much that he’s jealous?


Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your Internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, call the Opal’s House hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Internet and Computer Safety

  • There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet.
  • If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.
  • Use a safer computer. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC) [www.ctcnet.org (national directory)], at a trusted friend’s house, or at an Internet Cafe.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably, are.  Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor.
  • Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the e-mails you send, and other activities.  It is not possible to delete or clear all computer “footprints”.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or “safer” Internet surfing.  Example: If you are planning to flee to California, don’t look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc. for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to.  Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.
  • E-mail is not a safe or confidential way to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life – please call Opal’s House or the National Domestic Violence Hotline instead.
  • Traditional “corded” phones are more private than cellular phones or cordless phones.

Opal’s House |  P.O. Box 2316  |  East St. Louis, IL 62202  |  (877) 672-5482

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