Not Just Physical


DVA (Domestic Violence Awareness) Month is finally here. As Alpha Chi Omega’s, we focus our attention on our philanthropy to support victims of domestic violence and to promote healthy relationships throughout the world.

There is often a misconception about Domestic Violence signs. It’s not always something physical. It’s not always bruises and scars that you can see. Sometimes the deep cuts are within someone. There are so many different kinds of abusive behaviors within a relationship, so here is a list of signs to understand the true extent of an abusive relationship.

Signs of Physical Abuse

  1. Hitting, punching, kicking, shoving, choking or slapping them

  2. Using weapons to inflict harm or threatening

  3. Controlling what they eat or when they sleep

  4. Forcing them to do work against their will

  5. Forcing them to use drugs or alcohol

  6. Stopping them from seeking medical treatment or calling the police

Signs of Emotional Abuse

  1. Attacking their sense of self-worth

  2. Insulting them, calling them names, criticizing them, humiliating them

  3. Acting jealous or possessive, accusing them of being with other partners

  4. Withholding affection or acknowledgment to punish them

  5. Cheating on them intentionally

  6. Lying to them

Signs of Psychological Abuse

  1. Threatening to hurt them, their loved ones, their pets, their children, or their possessions

  2. Controlling the time they spend with others or monitoring where they go

  3. Controlling what they wear, often with the accusation that they attract too much attention

  4. Damaging or stealing their belongings

  5. Blaming them for the abuse, saying that they deserve what happens or that they instigated the problem

  6. Gaslighting, i.e. saying things to make them question their perception of reality, such as “That never happened, you never remember correctly,” or “Don’t get angry over such little things, you’re too sensitive.”

Signs of Sexual Abuse & Coercion

  1. Forcing or manipulating them to perform sexual acts

  2. Demanding sex when their not willing or able

  3. Harming them during sex by choking, holding or striking them

  4. Forcing them to watch pornography

  5. Insulting them in sexual ways

Signs of Reproductive Coercion

  1. Refusing to use a condom or other method of birth control

  2. Refusing to let them use birth control medication or devices

  3. Sabotaging birth control efforts such as poking holes in condoms, swapping out birth control pills, not pulling out, forcibly removing an IUD, etc.

  4. Forcing them to become pregnant

  5. Forcing them to have an abortion, or preventing you from getting one, regardless of your wishes

Signs of Financial Abuse

  1. Preventing them from having access to bank accounts with their money

  2. Only permitting them to spend from an allowance

  3. Monitoring how they spend money and deciding what can or cannot buy

  4. Stealing their money or using their savings without their permission

  5. Refusing to contribute to shared expenses such as rent, food, childcare, etc.

Signs of Digital Abuse

  1. Sending them insulting or threatening messages over text, email or social media

  2. Using social media sites like Facebook to track what they are doing and where they are

  3. Demanding they send sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves, or sending them their own

  4. Looking through their phone and checks their call history, texts, pictures, etc.

  5. Ordering them to not turn off their phone or punishing them when you don’t answer

If you feel like you might be in a domestic violence situation or know of someone who is, never be afraid to reach out to a sister. An Alpha Chi will always be on your side.

All information is taken from: “42 Domestic Violence Warning Signs.” Your Dream Blog, 5 July 2018,

#dva #dvam #alphachiomega

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