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Signs you are in an Abusive Relationship


Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2020. 3:20 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter:Dating and courtship can be one of the happiest moments in your life. As you get to know each other likes and dislikes. The feelings you get when you are meeting and getting to know someone for the first time is indeed one filled with butterflies and daydreams. You can’t get enough of each other’s company and constantly want to be together. You go through the days just thinking about that person and wishing for the moment to come when you get to see them again. This is usually called the honeymoon phase of a relationship. Everything is peaches and cream. You have the feeling like you met your perfect match in life. You fall so deep in love that you can’t picture being with anyone else.

Domestic Violence often don’t begin until you have been in the relationship for a while. Someone who has abusive tendencies are often prince charming in the beginning because that is how they reel you in and get you to trust them. Domestic Violence often start subtle with your partner telling you what to wear or who to hang out with or what time you need to be in the house. Often times these subtle signs are ignored or because you are so in love you mistake control for love and kindness. It is important to be conscious of a partner trying to isolate you from your family and love ones. One of the first signs of an abusive partner is that they try to take you away from the people who love you. This is often because they are aware that you have support in your life so it’s not easy for you to become dependent solely on them. Once they move you away then you are only dependent on them and have to deal with the abuse. Always be cautious of someone trying to get you far away from your family or friends.

Studies finds that one in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Additionally, women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults. Furthermore, women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men. Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence. Each and every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner. On average women try to leave their abusive relationship several times. The last attempt to leave is usually when they get killed.

It is important to make an escape plan. Find a friend you can trust and leave your important documents, change of clothes, items you may need. Please note that you will lose somethings in the process of leaving because you can’t take everything. Here is where you weigh the cost of your life or material things. I don’t advice anyone leaving an abusive partner to let them know you are leaving because you do not know what their intentions may be especially if they are significantly violent. Abusers don’t like to know they have lost a battle therefore they may do whatever they can to hurt you or even kill you. Domestic Violence is a public health crisis that needs to be address as the implications for community health is significant. Women who are in domestic violence relationships are often depress and feel hopeless.

Education on Domestic Violence is definitely a way we can begin to heal the community. There needs to be a cultural shift in the way it is treated. Women need to start speaking up for themselves and we need to support them. Oftentimes women remain silent because of shame and guilt. Additionally, people tend to victim blame by saying she must have done something to deserve it. Please note that it is never okay to have anyone beat on you. That type of behavior should always be unacceptable. Additionally, we need to let our young men and women know that they need to treat each other with respect and dignity. Until this cultural shift is done there will always be a cycle of abuse in Belize. We need to hold all those who are actively engaging in abuse towards their partners accountable no matter who they are or how much money they have. Wrong is wrong and domestic violence is wrong. It is never okay despite who are socio-economically. Please know that you are not to blame, you are not alone and with resources and support you can get out and live a life free of abuse.  

Here is a quiz you can take to see if you are in an unhealthy relationship. Please note that it is important to get out and away from an abusive partner. Reach out to family and friends.

Janet Don’t Cry Foundation

Am I in an unhealthy relationship?

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

Does the person I am with: (If the answer is yes, check the box.)

  • 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 himself 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 or force me into having sex or going farther than I want to?

If you were abused, who would you feel safe in telling? _______________________

If you checked any of the boxes (yes) to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. You deserve better. Break the Cycle can help you evaluate your relationship and learn about what options you have.


Resources Mary Open Doors

Tel. 804-4562

Cel. 629-6315

(Emergency Only)

#1 Church Street, 
San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

Central America

Brief Bio

Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter is the Published Author of the textbook Medical Social Work Practice: A Christian Approach, Professor of Social Work at California Baptist University and a Researcher in the Social and Behavioral Sciences field. An advocate for social justice and change, she has dedicated her career to help bring awareness to disparities in healthcare experiences and various issues affecting women and children. A former Medical Social Worker for over 10 years she was tasked to provide services to children suffering from trauma related to child abuse and women experiencing significant life crisis such as Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Complications, Incarceration, Homelessness, and Mental Illness.  Dr. Flores-Carter holds a BA in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills, an MSW from California State University, Long Beach as well as a Doctor of Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Flores-Carter serves as the current President of Postpartum Support International-California Chapter and is the Co-Chair of the Inland Empire Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. She’s also the founder of the Janet Don’t Cry Foundation.



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