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Domestic Violence Affects Us All

Domestic Violence (DV), occurs when one person in a relationship systematically attempts to gain power and control over the other. Abuse can involve emotional and psychological control, financial abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, abuse to children, and stalking in order to subtly intimidate or seriously injure their partner.

An abuser arouses fear and forces their partner to behave in ways they do not want and the abuse typically worsens over time. Domestic violence occurs between current or former partners of all gender identities and sexual orientations, in all socioeconomic classes, racial and ethnic groups, age groups, religious affiliations, and occupational or educational backgrounds.


Am I In An Abusive Relationship?

I’m Worried A Friend Or Family Member Is Being Abused

Do I Have Abusive Behaviors?

Local Resources

Am I In An Abusive Relationship?

Signs of abusive behavior aren’t always present at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, many abusive partners may seem great when relationships are new. Warning signs of abuse don’t develop overnight and they worsen over time. Additionally, recognizing abusive behaviors in a relationship can be challenging. To make it easier, answer the following questions honestly:

My Partner….

  • Is not very supportive of things that I do and discourages me from trying new things.
  • Does not like to listen when I have something on my mind.
  • Does not talk to me when they’re unhappy with something in the relationship.
  • Is not willing to compromise.
  • Does not understand that we have separate interests and can spend time apart.
  • Is mean or rude to my friends.
  • Criticizes or distracts me when I’m doing things that don’t involve them.
  • Gets extremely jealous or possessive.
  • Accuses me of flirting or cheating when I’m not.
  • Constantly checks up on me or makes me check in.
  • Breaks or throws things when we fight.
  • Threatens to destroy my things.
  • Tries to control what I do, who I see, what I wear, how I look, or who I talk to.
  • Makes me feel nervous or like I’m “walking on eggshells.”
  • Blames me for problems, puts me down, calls me names, or criticizes me.
  • Makes me feel like no one else would want me.
  • Threatens to hurt themselves, me, my friends, pets, or family.
  • Grabs, pushes, shoves, chokes, punches, or slaps me, holds me down, throws things, or hurts me in some way.
  • Yells, screams, or humiliates me in front of other people.
  • Pressures or forces me into having sex or going farther than I want to.

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, your relationship may not be safe. If you need help deciding, you can call the Helpmate confidential 24-hour hotline: (828) 254-0516. *Questions adapted from

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I’m Worried A Friend Or Family Member Is Being Abused

Leaving an abusive relationship is a highly personal, individual decision, but all survivors benefit from having trusted people during this time. Since those experiencing abuse are often isolated by their abusers, it’s important to know how you can support survivors on the path to finding safety.

Here are some ways to show up for your friend or family member who may be experiencing abuse: 

Start A Conversation

Show Emotional and/or Material Support

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Do I Have Abusive Behaviors?

Abusive behaviors can be uniquely challenging to see if you are the one doing them. No one likes to admit they are causing harm, but admitting that you have is a great first step to changing your behavior. To determine whether you have abusive tendencies, answer the following questions:

Do You:

  • Get angry, insecure, or possessive about your partner’s relationships with others, including friends, family, or coworkers.
  • Frequently call or text your partner to check up on them (or make them or expect them to check in with you), or monitor their movements or behaviors.
  • Feel like your partner needs your permission to go out, get a job, go to school, or spend time with others.
  • Get upset when your partner won’t act the way you want them to or do the things you want.
  • Blame your anger or actions on drugs, alcohol, or your partner’s own actions.
  • Express your anger by threatening to harm (or actually harming) your partner.
  • Express your anger by raising your voice, name-calling, or insults.
  • Prevent your partner from spending money, control your partner’s spending, require that they have an allowance, and/or monitor their spending.
  • Force (or try to force) your partner to be intimate with you or get angry or upset if they do not want to.
  • Get angry over small incidents or “mistakes” you blame your partner for.

If you recognize these behaviors in yourself it could be a sign that you’re hurting them. This can be a difficult realization to come to but it’s vital that you do so if you want to change and have a healthier relationship. For support in changing your behavior, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. All contacts made to The Hotline are always free, confidential, and free of judgment. If you’re looking for someone to help you make changes and be a better partner, talk to a DV hotline advocate. Advocates are available 24/7. 

Phone: 1-800-799-7233 or call Helpmate at (828) 254-0516


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Getting Help

The Buncombe County Family Justice Center

  • The Family Justice Center (FJC) is a safe place where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse can come for help. At the Buncombe County FJC, survivors can access many different services in one location and begin their journey toward hope, healing, and safety. You don’t have to walk this path alone.


  • Helpmate works with our community to eliminate abuse and fear by providing safety, shelter, and support for victims/survivors of domestic violence. Services include an emergency shelter for you and your children if you have them, a 24/7 hotline for support or emergency intervention, and advocacy in the courtroom if the legal system gets involved in your case.  


  • OurVoice seeks to end sexual violence through education, counseling, and advocacy. OurVoice staff are experts at supporting survivors of sexual violence through an array of services including but not limited to court advocacy, medical treatment and referrals, counseling, and case management. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, call the OurVoice hotline at (828) 255-7576 for support and to seek services.


  • In case of an emergency and/or if you need immediate medical attention, call 911, and dispatchers will send the appropriate responders directly to you. Also, you can ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained officer. Although it isn’t guaranteed that one will be available, CIT law enforcement officers have additional training to respond to mental health and domestic violence situations.

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Updated Dec 07, 2022 12:46 PM
Published Oct 26, 2022 10:10 AM