Counseling and Resource Center

When Someone You Know... in an Abusive Relationship

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that a person uses to gain power and control over an intimate partner. It can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Domestic violence is something that can happen to anyone.  

Has Your Partner…?

Physical Abuse

Has your partner:

  • Pushed or shoved you?
  • Held you to keep you from leaving?
  • Slapped or bit you?
  • Kicked or choked you?
  • Hit or punched you?
  • Thrown objects at you?

Sexual Abuse

Has your partner:

  • Been jealously angry, assuming you would have sex with any available man?
  • Insisted you dress in a more sexual/less sexual way than you wanted?
  • Criticized you sexually?
  • Insisted on unwanted or uncomfortable touching?
  • Withheld sex and/or affection?
  • Called you sexual names like "whore" or "frigid"?
  • Demanding monogamy from you, while insisting on freedom for self?
  • Forced sex with him or others or forced you to watch others?
  • Forced sex after beating?

Emotional Abuse

Has your partner:

  • Ignored your feelings?
  • Ridiculed or insulted your most valued beliefs? (i.e. religion, heritage, or class)
  • Withheld approval, appreciation or affection as punishment?
  • Continually criticized you, called you names, shouted?
  • Insulted or drove away your friends or family?
  • Humiliated you in private or public?

If you answered YES to ANY or ALL of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.  Please contact the Counseling and Resource Center or Snohomish County Domestic Violence Services at 425.25-ABUSE (425.252.2873) for support and resources.

How to Help Someone You Care About

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, take some time to talk with the person. Remember, you could possibly help to save that person’s life or the life of her or his child. Here are guidelines for discussing the subject:

Show her/him that you are not placing blame; that you know that s/he is not causing the abuse

Listen, knowing that talking about the situation can be difficult

Participate however you can, from just listening to offering short-term housing if your friend chooses to leave the situation

Ask the person what the experience has been like. He/she knows their situation the best and may need to talk about it with a trusted friend.

Be patient. Many feelings; shame, relief, fear, can surface when your friend discusses the situation

Understand that leaving the situation can be scary and can actually put your friend at an increased risk of violence

Educate your friend about options available to them and urge them to call the 24-hour hotline where they will receive victim advocacy 


EMERGENCY?  Call 911.

Snohomish County Domestic Violence Services: 425.25-ABUSE (425.252.2873)

Washington State Hotline: 1.800.562.6025 (will transfer to any domestic violence program in state)

National Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (1.800.799.7233) (will transfer to any domestic violence program in country)