Background to My Interest in Teaching Children with Autism

Letters to Young People – On Being Imperfect – On Spousal Abuse, continued
Any Force during an Argument
BIG warning sign! What starts off in early courtship as a bit of a push or a shove, can turn into fullblown beatings not long down the road. An abuser may physically restrain you from leaving the room, lash out at you with his/her hand or another object, pin you against a wall or shout ‘right in your face’. Basically any form of force used during an argument can be a sign that serious physical violence is a strong possibility.
Verbal Abuse
This is a fairly important warning sign and really quite easy to spot once you can tell all the little ways in which you are being verbally abused. In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, either in public or in private, this can include degrading remarks or running down any accomplishments. Often the abuser will tell you that you are ‘stupid’, could not manage without him/her. He/she may keep you up all night to ‘sort this out once and for all’ or even wake you at night to continue to verbally abuse you. The abuser may even say kindly things to your face, but speak badly about you to friends and family(Check out Verbal Abuse for more information)
Threatening Violence
This would obviously include any threat of physical force Threats are designed to manipulate and control you, to keep you in your place and prevent you making your own decisions. Most people do not threaten their mates, but an abuser will excuse this behaviour by saying “everybody talks like that.”, maintaining he/she is only saying this because the relationship or you are so important to him/her, tell you you’re “over-sensitive” for being upset by such threats, or obviously want to hurt him/her. Threats can also be less overt, such as “If you leave me, I will kill myself”, or “You are so wonderful, I will never let you go/couldn’t live without you”.
Breaking or Striking Objects
The abusive personality may break your treasured object, beat his/her fists on the table or chair or throw something at or past you. Breaking your things is often used as a punishment for some imagined misdeed on your part.

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