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What is an abusive relationship?

People in relationships can be abused in several ways. Emotional, physical, and verbal abuse are considered the most common forms of relationship abuse.

Warning Signs-- Is your relationship abusive?
Dating Bill of Rights

Emotionally abusive:
Any action or inaction used to control or hurt another person.
Examples include:

  • Controlling access to money
  • Intense jealousy
  • Criticizing a partner's looks
  • Unwanted sexual demands
  • Isolating another from family and friends
  • Making fun of partner
  • Keeping partner up all night
  • Manipulating with lies
  • Threatening separation
  • Having affairs
  • Constant questioning about activities
  • Using alcohol or drugs
  • Accusations of affairs
  • Keeping partner from working or from school
Physically abusive: Any use of size, strength, or presence to hurt or control someone else
Examples include:
  • Pushing
  • Shoving
  • Biting
  • Grabbing
  • Pinching
  • Kicking
  • Pulling
  • Kneeing
  • Burning
  • Stabbing
  • Slapping
  • Spitting
  • Choking
  • Shooting
  • Spanking
  • Restraining
  • Forcibly carrying
  • Backhanding
  • Pinning against a wall
  • Pushing out of car
  • Punching with a fist
  • Abuse of children
  • Trying to hit with car
  • Forced sex
  • Throwing things
  • Abuse of animals
  • Driving recklessly
  • Twisting arms
  • Tearing clothes
  • Standing or sitting on partner
  • Punching walls or doors
  • Pulling hair
  • Slamming drawers
  • Attacking with an object
  • Breaking things
  • Chasing
  • Unplugging phone
  • Stalking
  • Standing behind car to prevent driving away
  • Taking car keys, credit cards, money, or checkbook
  • Taking children
  • Trapping
  • Clenching fists as a threat
  • Standing in a doorway to prevent exit
  • Any other unwanted physical attack
Verbally abusive: Any use of words used to control or hurt another person
Examples include:
  • Accusations of cheating
  • Calling names
  • Leaving nasty messages
  • Making insinuations
  • Using the silent treatment
  • Sneering
  • Yelling
  • Insults
  • Being sarcastic
  • Growling
  • Making critical statements like "you're dumb," "you're stupid," "you're ugly," or "you can't do anything right"
  • Threats to kill, use violence, or harm
  • Threats to children
These behaviors signal that something is wrong in a relationship!

Warning signs- Is your relationship abusive?

Take this quiz to see if your relationship is as healthy as you deserve it to be.

Does my boyfriend or girlfriend:
  • Get extremely jealous or possessive?
  • Accuse me of flirting or cheating?
  • Constantly check up on me or make me check in?
  • Tell me how to dress or how much makeup to wear?
  • Try to control what I do and who I see?
  • Try to keep me from seeing or talking to my family and friends?
  • Have big mood swings-- being angry and yelling at me one minute, and the next minute being sweet and apologetic?
  • Make me feel nervous or like I'm "walking on eggshells"?
  • Put me down or criticize me and make me feel like I can't do anything right or that no one else would want me?
  • Threaten to hurt me?
  • Threaten to hurt my friends or family?
  • Threaten to commit suicide or hurt him or herself because of me?
  • Threaten to hurt my pets or destroy my things?
  • Yell, grab, push, shove, shake, punch, slap, hold me down, throw things, or hurt me in any way?
  • Break things or throw things when we argue?
  • Pressure me or force me into having sex or going further than I want?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.
The professionals at the Baylor University Counseling Center are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (254) 710-2647.

If you have been physically harmed by another individual, you should call the Baylor University Police Department (254) 710-2222.


Baylor University Counseling Center (BUCC)
The BUCC has counselors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak with a counselor or to make an appointment, call (254) 710-2467. You may also stop by the BUCC, located on the 2nd floor of the McLane Student Life Center (the SLC).

For an emergency when you need immediate assistance, call the Baylor Police Department (254) 710-2222.

Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center
100 Hillcrest Medical Boulevard
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 202-2000

Providence Hospital
6901 Medical Parkway
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 751-4000
(254) 751-4180 (Emergency room)

Waco Advocacy Center
2323 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 76701
Local crisis line: (254) 752-7233
Toll free: (888) 867-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(800) 656-HOPE
All calls are free and kept anonymous

State and national resources
National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
(866) 331-9474

National Domestic Abuse Hotline
(800) 799-SAFE, or (800) 799-7233

Free online resources
Counseling Center Village: virtual pamphlets on sexual assault:

Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness

Want to get involved at Baylor?
Active Minds is a new organization on campus. The Baylor chapter of this national organization seeks to reduce the stigma of getting help, increase awareness of mental health issues, and act as a liaison for outreach to the community. Various speakers, fundraisers, and outreach activities are offered throughout the year. One of these areas of outreach, relationship abuse, addresses reducing barriers to getting help and increasing awareness on campus.

If you are interested, please contact Baylor Counseling Center 254-710-2467.

Dating bill of rights

  • To ask for a date
  • To refuse a date
  • To suggest activities
  • To refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them
  • To have my own feelings and be able to express them
  • To say I think my date's information is wrong or his or her actions are unfair or inappropriate
  • To tell someone not to interrupt me
  • To have my limits and values respected
  • To tell my date when I need affection
  • To be heard
  • To refuse to lend money
  • To refuse affection
  • To refuse sex with anyone at anytime for any reason
  • To have friends and space aside from my partner
  • To determine my limits and values
  • To respect the limits of others
  • To communicate clearly and honestly
  • To respect the limits of others
  • To ask for help when I need it
  • To be considerate
  • To check my actions and decisions to determine if they are good for me
  • To set high goals

McLane Student Life Center
2nd Floor
Phone: 254.710.2467
Fax: 254.710.2460

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.