Information for Women
Women, is this your partner?
Does he ever hit you? Beat you or hurt you? Throw things or break furniture?
Does he frequently think you are seeing someone else? Does he make accusations? Does he follow you or check up on you in other ways?
Has he isolated you? Made it hard for you to see relatives or friends? Are you scared of him or reluctant to bring up certain topics?
Does he threaten to have you deported?
If any of this sounds like your partner, and he wants to change, Common Purpose may be able to help, but there is no
guarantee a man will change, no matter how good a program is.
Men are responsible for their abusive behavior. Even when a man says he was "provoked," no one forces him to hit or terrify anybody. Relationships should be free from fear, and men can choose to change. However, not all men do change. The best indicator of change is whether you still feel scared, as if you have to tiptoe around.
Should you stay with him? Even if he stops being abusive, you are not obliged to stay. Men often try to bargain. He might say, "If I'm not hitting you, you should stay." A man does not need to be rewarded in order to stop being violent. Stopping violence is a matter of fairness, respect, and the law.
Common Purpose does not take a position about whether relationships should continue. We are most concerned about your safety, in and out of the relationship, and about your partner learning to be non-abusive with you and your children.
Many women say "He doesn't hit me, but he criticizes me a lot and makes me feel bad. He puts me down and makes fun of me. Does he have a problem?"
Many men are not physically assaultive, but are psychologically and emotionally abusive. There are many examples of such behaviors: frequent yelling, criticism, name calling and ridiculing; withholding warmth, praise and recognition; other examples include manipulating, lying and guilt-tripping someone. Men may also be controlling by giving orders, demanding services, or making one-sided decisions.
These behaviors can destroy a woman's self-esteem and cause depression or anger. If this is your experienceand remember, it can take years for all of this to build upyour partner has a problem.
Call Common Purpose at 617-522-6500 for information about abuse prevention & batterer intervention groups. Referrals and resources for you and your children are also available.
Links to women's services & support
Why Don't Women Leave?
How Do I Know If My Partner Has Changed?
How To Get Help
No one deserves to be hurt. Abuse happens in every culture, in every religion, in every social and economic group - and when it happens you need help. Remember, you cannot make your partner change, you can only find help and support for yourself and your family.
In Massachusetts you can call 1-877-785-2020 for help, 24 hours per day.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE(7233) can give you a local number for help in your area.