Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.

If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call or chat online with an advocate to talk about what’s going on.

If you answer yes to any of the questions below and would like to speak to an advocate, please call our office at (831) 722-4532 in Watsonville, (831) 425-4030 in Santa Cruz, or call our 24 hour crisis line 1-888-900-4232.

Does the person you are with…

  • Get extremely jealous or possessive?
  • Accuse you of flirting or cheating?
  • Constantly check up on you or make you check in?
  • Try to control what you do and who you see?
  • Try to keep you from seeing or talking to your family and friends?
  • Have big mood swings-being angry and yelling at you one minute, and the next minute act sweet and apologetic?
  • Make you feel nervous or like you are “walking on eggshells”?
  • Put you down or criticize you and make you feel like you can’t do anything right or that no one else would want you?
  • Threatens to hurt you?
  • Threatens to hurt your friends or family?
  • Threatens to commit suicide or hurt him or herself because of you?
  • Watch what you say/or do for fear of angering your partner?
  • Make you feel isolated from friends and/or family?
  • Make you feel numb or helpless?
  • Feel you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Believe you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • Yell, grab, push, shove, shake, punch, slap, hold you down, throw things or hurt you in any way?
  • Break things or throw things when you argue?
  • Pressure or force you into having sex or going farther than you want to?

Domestic Violence Resources

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
The California state-wide coalition of domestic violence survivor service agencies.

National Network to End Domestic Violence
The national coalition website, with links to other state organizations.

Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
The City of Santa Cruz Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women

National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE