Domestic Violence: The signs and how to get help


Abusive relationships can be best defined by the power imbalance. An abusive relationship will consist of one person who has or seeks all the power in the relationship(the abuser) and the person who has very little power in the relationship (the person being abused). 

According to the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, here are some warning signs that your partner or family member may be abusive:

  • Put downs, shaming you or embarrassing you
  • Making you feel like you can’t do anything right
  • Being jealous of friends or family
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends and family
  • Controlling all the money
  • Controlling who you spend time with
  • Keeping you from going to work or school
  • Pressuring you to have sex or sexual acts you are uncomfortable with
  • Telling you you are a bad parent, or threatening to take away your children
  • Threatening to harm your pets
  • Destroying your property
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
  • Using drugs or alcohol as an excuse for abusive behaviors
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Threatening suicide
  • Making you afraid to not do what he or she wants
  • Blaming you or others for his or her behavior
  • Promising to change, but not showing any signs of actually doing so

Domestic Violence Resources

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there are many places you can turn.

Where to Get Help:The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence has six local domestic violence agencies that provide services for victims including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services and assistance with the legal system.

Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center

Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County

Elizabeth Buffum Chase Center

Sojourner House

  • 24-Hour Helpline: 401.765.3232
  • 386 Smith Street
  • Providence, RI 02908
  • 401.861.6191 Phone*
  • 401.861.6157 Fax
  • Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Women’s Center of Rhode Island

Women’s Resource Center

  • 114 Touro Street
  • Newport, RI
  • 401-846-5263

Rhode Island Supreme Court Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit

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