Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, and occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels. Domestic violence can be described as a pattern of abusive behavior to gain or maintain power and control over another person through fear and imitation.

Emotional abuse is also a form of domestic abuse where threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking is exhibited in the relationship.

Other types of abuse may include:
  • Sexual
  • Economic
  • Spiritual
  • Psychological

Domestic violence often occurs in cycles, with periods of normalcy followed by increased tension and abuse. This cycle of violence repeats, sometimes over a period of months, or within the same day.

Anyone can be a leader against domestic violence. Learn the warning signs of abuse so you can recognize them when you see them.


General Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse
People who are being abused may:
  • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
  • Go along with everything their partner says and does
  • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness
  • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
  • Rarely go out in public without their partner
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car
Does your partner:
  • Act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • Control where you go or what to do?
  • Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Constantly check on you?
  • Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
What Should I do If I Am Being Abused?
  • Create a safety plan. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave.
  • Contact or walk-in to the Center for Student Development to meet with a counselor and receive resource information.
  • Utilize available resources. For advice and support, the following hotlines are available:
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
    • Houston Area Women’s Center Hotline 713-528-2121
    • Bay Area Turning Point Hotline 281-286-2525
    • The Bridge Over Troubled Water Hotline 713-473-2801
    • If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or your local emergency service.

What Should I Do If Someone I Know is Being Abused?

  • If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or contact local emergency services.
  • Speak out. Let the individual know it is NOT their fault and they are NOT alone. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect.
  • Break the silence.
  • Encourage them to seek help by contacting a support hotline, local advocacy center or meet with a counselor for confidential support services.
  • Learn about the issues. You may contact a support hotline and find out other ways to help and support the mission to end violence.