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IN THE NEWS: A Statement from the Vermont Network for People who are Violent with Their Partners or Spouses

Change is Possible.

Change is possible but it may not be easy. If you use violence in your relationship with your spouse or partner, you can make a choice to change.
Have you ever thought that you may be behaving in a way that could be physically or mentally harmful to your partner? These behaviors are often difficult to recognize if you’re the one doing them — but acknowledging that you may be hurting your partner is the first step in moving toward a healthier relationship.

Do you…
• Get angry or insecure about your partner’s relationships with others (friends, family, coworkers) and feel possessive?
• Frequently call and text to check up on your partner, or have them check in with you?
• Check up on your partner in different ways? (Ex. Reading their personal emails, checking their texts)
• Feel like your partner needs to ask your permission to go out, get a job, go to school or spend time with others?
• Get angry when your partner doesn’t act the way you want them to or do what you want them to?
• Blame your anger on drugs, alcohol, or your partner’s actions?
• Threaten to hurt your partner, or actually physically harm them?
• Express your anger verbally through raising your voice, name calling or using put-downs?
• Force or attempt to force your partner to be intimate with you?
• Blow up in anger at small incidents or “mistakes” your partner makes?

How does your partner react?

Do they…
• Seem nervous around you?
• Seem afraid of you?
• Cringe or move away from you when you’re angry?
• Seem scared or unable to contradict you or speak up about something?
• Restrict their own interaction with friends, coworkers or family in order to avoid displeasing you?
If any of these behaviors sound familiar to how you act or how your partner reacts, it could be a red flag that you may be hurting them. This can be a difficult and unnerving realization to come to. By acknowledging now that your behaviors might be questionable and taking responsibility for them, you’re a step ahead in beginning to correct them.

How to Get Help

The National Domestic Violence Hotline frequently speaks with people who identify as abusive, or who are concerned about behaviors that may be unhealthy. Hotline staff treat all callers with dignity and respect. Anyone who wants to take responsibility for their actions deserves support. Every call from someone who is becoming more aware of their unhealthy behavior is an opportunity to plant a seed for change.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Every day is an opportunity for change

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