Women who abuse their partners
'I ended up kicking him when he was in bed because of something he said'
'My situation is that I yell at my husband a lot ... I yell a lot!'
'I'm furious when she flirts with another woman and I lash out at her'
Do you recognise yourself in any of these?
Is your behaviour towards your partner costing you your relationship?
The Respect Phoneline is available for women who use violence and abuse towards their partners and are looking for help to stop. Respect Phoneline is a confidential and anonymous helpline for anyone concerned about their violence and / or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner. A team of skilled professionals can offer advice, information and support to help you stop being violent and abusive to your partner. They will listen to you and help you.
What is abuse?
Abuse is something that is said or done that hurts another person physically, emotionally, sexually or mentally. Domestic violence is a number of abusive behaviours, both physical and non-physical, that may occur frequently or infrequently. In most cases there is pattern of abuse.
Call the Respect Phoneline and they'll help you understand your own pattern of violence and abuse.
Why does abuse happen?
Abuse doesn't just happen. Rather than being about loss of control, as a lot of people think, most of the time it's about you trying to be in control.
Call the Respect Phoneline and they'll help you understand how your violence and abuse is about you trying to be in control.
Effects of your abuse
It's important to face up to how your behaviour affects your partner and your children. The more you can understand what your behaviour is like for others, the harder it will be to behave badly towards them in future.
How would you feel if someone treated you the way you've treated your partner?
What can you do? What help is available?
Asking for help for violence and abuse
It can be tough facing up to difficult problems. We can help you make the changes you need, so that you are safe around your partner and children. Changing abusive behaviours is a long and difficult process. This website can go as far as making you aware of some aspects of the problem.
Talk about it - a problem shared is a problem halved. Call the Respect Phoneline and their advisors will listen to you and help you. Your call is anonymous and confidential.
Understand and try to change.
Women in heterosexual relationships:
It may be useful to consider the following:
Women use violence and abuse for varying reasons: some women are in relationships with men who are systematically abusing them. What we mean by this, is that he is using a pattern of abusive behaviours and violence that serves to control her behaviour, decisions, and feelings. In essence, he holds all the power in the relationship and she may end up adapting her behaviour according to her partner’s wishes to keep things calm.
• Some women in these situations use violence in self-defence to try to protect themselves, their children or to escape from their abusive partner.
• Some women in these situations begin to use violence to try to resist their abusive partner’s controlling/bullying behaviour. What we mean by the term resistance is that she is forcefully protesting against his dominance
• Some women may also use violence to retaliate to their partner’s violence, for example a woman hitting her partner back when he has hit her.
• Some women feel angry about things that other people have done to them in the past, and they may be taking that out on their current partner.
• Some women use violence to try to gain control over their partner and/or the situation. She may be trying to stop him from doing something he wants to do or make him do something he doesn’t want to do.
It is important that you take time to understand why you are using violence/abuse. Looking at your relationship over time can help you identify patterns to these behaviours. For more information, see the Related Documents section on this page.
Women in same-sex relationships:
Read the booklet Same sex relationships, designed for women who are seeking help, in the Related Documents section on this page.