I am afraid of my partner

Many people who feel afraid of their partner struggle to identify that they are in danger, or are in an abusive relationship.

Have a look at these warning signs, and if one or more of these are happening in your relationship, it is abuse and it’s not OK.


Has your partner ever...

  • Smashed or broken things around the house?
  • Monitored or limited your phone calls, conversations and email?
  • Kept you from seeing family and friends?
  • Taken away money from you or controlled the money?
  • Called you fat or ugly or lazy, or made you feel bad about the way you look?
  • Said that you were ‘asking for it’ after physically hitting or abusing you?
  • Tried to control who you see, and when and where you can go out or be away from home?
  • Threatened to hurt you, the children, pets, a friend or members of your family?
  • Used your children to threaten you - for example, told you that you would lose custody or you’ll never see the children again?
  • Made you do something very humiliating or degrading?
  • Insisted you dress more or less sexually than you want?
  • Called you a whore, slut or other put-downs?
  • Made you have sex after emotional or physical abuse or when you are sick?
  • Made you beg for sexual affection or attention?
  • Threatened to turn you into the IRD, Work and Income, Child Youth and Family, or the Police?
  • Pushed, shoved or pulled you?
  • Slapped, kicked or punched you?
  • Thrown objects at you?
  • Threatened to hurt himself/herself if you leave him?

If you identify with any of these, you are probably being abused. 

Remember, domestic abuse is not just about physical violence; it is any behaviour that tries to control you. 

Another tool that’s been around for many years to help people understand domestic abuse is the Power and Control Wheel. The behaviours on this wheel may help you see if there’s a pattern of abusive behaviours going on in your relationship. 



Please note: this wheel was developed by female victims who were abused by male partners, but – aside from ‘Using Male Privilege’ – the actions on the various parts of the wheel are common to the range of abusive relationships, whether the victims are female or male, or whether the abusers are female or male.

If you want to talk confidentially about what’s going on in your relationship, you can ring Shine’s free national Helpline between 9am and 11pm, 7 days a week, on 0508-744-633.

Or if you are feeling unsafe or experiencing violence, here are some options: 

Call Shine’s Free National Helpline for advice, 9am and 11pm, 7 days a week, on 0508-744-633