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Choose Your Partner Carefully
Abuse
As a parent, it's your responsibility to be a role model for your child. If you, yourself, are a victim of abuse, there is a good chance that your child is at risk for abuse, as well. Learn to recognize abuse and take action to protect your child. Always choose your child over your partner.

How Does An Abusive Adult Behave?
Choosing the wrong partner can be -- literally -- deadly.

No matter how much you think you love your partner and that your partner loves you, no relationship is worth risking your child's life. Recognize if your partner is an abuser before it affects your child.

Characteristics of abusers include:

  • Immaturity, or need for immediate gratification
  • A lack of parenting skills, including lack of knowledge about child development
  • Poor interpersonal skills, unable to interact with others
  • Few relationships with family or friends
  • Has difficulty working with others
  • Poor self concept -- they consider themselves unlovable or worthless
  • Easily frustrated by unmet expectations for kids
  • Uses children to meet emotional or physical needs
  • Controlling; uses excessive discipline
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Denies any accusations
  • Places the blame on the victim

What is Physical Abuse?
Physical abuse is any intentional, unwanted physical contact with the victim. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Biting
  • Burning
  • Choking
  • Kicking
  • Pulling hair
  • Punching
  • Pushing
  • Scratching
  • Slapping
  • Shoving
  • Throwing items at the victim
  • Using a weapon

What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any intentional, unwanted sexual behavior perpetrated on a victim. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Rape
  • Unwanted kissing or touching
  • Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity
  • Forcing the victim to go further than they want, even if they have had sex before
  • Forcing the victim to touch the perpetrator's sexual organs

What are Emotional or Verbal Abuse?
Verbal or emotional abuse include anything that the perpetrator says or does to the victim that causes the victim to be afraid, have lowered self-esteem, or that manipulates or controls the victim's feelings or behavior. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentionally embarrassing the victim in front of other people
  • Name-calling or put-downs
  • Yelling and screaming
  • Preventing the victim from seeing or talking with friends and family
  • Telling the victim what to do
  • Using online communities or cell phones to control, intimidate or humiliate the victim
  • Making the victim feel responsible for the violence
  • Stalking
  • Threatening to commit suicide in order to manipulate the victim
  • Threats of violence, harm or to expose the victim's private information
  • Threats of taking the victim's child(ren)

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