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Women of Strength
As Latter Day Saint women we often are faced with challenges that set us apart from the world.  One of those challenges is Abuse.  We are not the only ones who experience abuse, and not all of us experience it.  However, often times there are false feelings of security that if you choose the right and marry a "good lds member" that we will NEVER experience abuse in any form.  I'm sorry to say sisters, that isn't the case.  We must be aware of all possibilities in member and non member alike.  Just because one is a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day saints doesn't' exclude them from the weaknesses that the rest of the world experiences.

I wanted to create a page specifically to assist sisters in their quest for Joy in life.  In doing this, perhaps one sister out there who is wondering if she should marry a certain man who is behaving in a derogatory fashion towards her, will have her eyes opened.  My only hope from this page is to help make people aware that it does happen every day and in the church as well.

This first section will be a questionnaire section.  This will begin with watch signs for possible abusers prior to marriage to the end of the marriage.  I wanted to include a disclaimer.  I'm in no way an expert in this field other than having experienced all forms of abuse from my spouse for ten years.  If you read over this page and feel that you might be suffering abuse then please seek your bishop and go from there.

Abuser Checklist

1.  He comes on as a real charmer and loves you instantly.
2.  He has problems with authority figures.
3.  He embarrasses you in the presence of others.
4.  He is nasty on the road--feels other drivers are competing with him.
5.  He wants your undivided attention at all times.
6.  You feel controlled because he must always be "in charge."
7.  He has a dual personality--sometimes adult, other times childish.
8.  He is very competitive--and he must always win.
9.  His promises and apologies are meaningless.
10. He displays jealousy toward your close friends and family members.
11. He can't tolerate criticism and is always defending himself and
trying to justify unacceptable behavior.
12. He has extreme highs and low--both unpredictable.
13.  He is rough at times--love pats become more and more painful.

Twelve signs of a batterer

1. Jealousy
2. They blame others, including you, for their faults.
3.They blame circumstances for their problems...."If I had a better job"
4.Their behavior is unpredictable.
5.The belittle you verbally.
6.They cannot control their anger. Or seem to not be able to control it.
7.They always ask for a second chance.
8.They say they'll change. Offer to go to counseling. Find God.
9.Their family resolved problems with anger/violence.
10.They play on your guilt.
11.Behavior worsens with alcohol/drugs.
12.They are closed minded. Theirs is the only way.
 

Questions To ask yourself

1. Are you afraid of your partner?
   2. Do you sometimes feel like you have to walk on pins and needles to keep your partner from
     getting angry?
   3. Has your partner ever hit, slapped, choked or pushed you?
   4. Has your partner ever pulled your hair?
   5. Do you ever feel like you deserve to be punished?
   6. Do you ever feel like you've done something wrong but you just can't figure out what it is?
   7.Have you lost all respect or love for your partner?
   8.Is your partner very good to you most of the time -- sometimes downright wonderful, but every
     once in a while very cruel or scary?
   9.Does your partner drive you crazy or make you feel like you're going crazy?
  10.Do you find yourself sometimes thinking of ways of killing your partner?
  11.Have you believed that your partner would kill you?
  12.Have you been told by your partner that he or she would kill you?
  13.Has your partner threatened or attempted to commit suicide?
  14.Have you thought that suicide would be a good thing for you because everybody would be better
     off without you or if you'd never been born?
  15.Were you abused as a child?
  16.Have you ever done harmful things to yourself like cutting yourself, agreeing to do things you
     don't like, engaging in reckless or dangerous behavior, etc. because you felt like you should be
     punished when things have gone badly?
  17.Have you been forced by your partner to do something you didn't want to do?
  18.Have you lost all or most of your friends since you've been with your partner?
  19.Have you put up with something that made you really uncomfortable, or something that you
     really knew was wrong, because you love your partner?
  20.Do you feel isolated, like there's nowhere to turn for help, and that no one would believe you
     anyway?
  21.Have you lost a job because of your partner?
  22.Have you ever "frozen" when your partner gave you "the look"?
  23.Do you feel emotionally numb?
  24.Do you feel like you have to say that you're doing okay even when you really aren't?
  25.Have you ever left your partner or had your partner leave because of how you were treated, but
     later returned or allowed your partner to return after promises that it would "all be different."
  26.Are you afraid to tell anybody about what's going on in your life because you don't want your
     partner to get in trouble or go to jail?
  27.Have you ever had sex shortly after a violent episode?
  28.Have you ever been in a relationship where you could have answered yes to these questions,
     but right now you're past all that?
  29.Are you certain that you're not being abused because:
          You fight back?
          You've never been hit?
          You've never been hit with a closed fist?
          You've never had to go to the hospital?
          You've never had a broken bone?
          You deserve what you get?
          You give as good as you get?
          Nobody ever treated you this well before?
          You're not like "those" people that abuse happens to?
  30.Do you feel that you are better or smarter than people who are abused?
  31.Are you certain that abuse is going to stop because:
          You're going to love your partner so much that he or she will stop abusing you?
          Your partner has so much potential, and is going to change?
          Your partner is so nice to you when other people are around? or
          Your partner comes from a difficult background and is getting better all the time?
  32.Are you afraid to ask for help because you're afraid that:
          No one will understand?
          People will say that you're:
               overly sensitive?
               whining?
               immature?
               making it up?
               trying to get attention?
               crazy?
               trying to get out of your responsibilities?
               unfaithful?
               lying?
               a wimp?
               homosexual?
               a man/woman hater?
          You deserve to be treated like that?
          You haven't been treated badly enough yet?
          Everyone you know will find out how much of a failure you really are?
          You don't want to tear your relationship or marriage or family apart?
  33.Do you find yourself agreeing with or giving in to your partner when you don't really agree?

Questions for Abusers to ask themselves:

1.Is your partner afraid of you sometimes?
   2.Are you jealous of your partner?
   3.Do you need to know where your partner is at all times and with whom and doing what?
   4.Are you very protective of your partner?
   5. Do you consider yourself the ruler of your castle?
   6.Do you feel like sometimes you have to put your foot down to straighten things out in your
     relationship?
   7.Have you ever hit, slapped, choked or pushed your partner?
   8.Have you ever said "Don't make me angry!"?
   9.Have you ever threatened your partner?
  10.Have you ever said something that your partner might consider a threat, even if you never really
     would do it or were just joking?
  11.Have you ever said or thought "If I can't have you, nobody can!"?
  12.Have you ever had sex shortly after a violent episode?
  13.Have you ever thrown things or hit walls during an argument with your partner?
  14.Do you find yourself "convincing" your partner on a regular basis to do things that he or she
     would rather not do?
  15.Do you consider it important that things go your way?
  16.Do you think that your partner sometimes deserves to be hit?
  17.Do you think that your partner sometimes wants to be hit?
  18.Have you ever found yourself smiling or laughing when your partner is hurt?
  19.Have you ever intentionally harmed or broken something which was important to your partner?
  20.Have you ever been afraid to tell someone about something that happened between you and
     your partner because you were afraid that they wouldn't understand and that you would be in
     trouble (maybe even legal trouble)?
  21.Are you sure that you don't have an abuse problem because:
          you see people around you doing worse all the time?
          you never meant to hurt anybody?
          you are a harmless, loveable person?
          anybody else would treat your partner at least as badly?
          you think that you are better or smarter than abusers?
          you love your partner?
          you never hit your partner?
          your partner always hits you back/first/more?
          your friends all tell you that it's okay?
  22.Do you think you have an anger problem?
  23.Have you ever seen your partner "tune out" while you were yelling at him or her?
  24.Have you ever seen your partner honestly fear you?
  25.Have you ever followed your partner when he or she didn't want you to?
  26.Have you ever physically stopped your partner from leaving?
  27.Is it important to you that others, particularly your partner, agree with you?
  28.Would you be completely non-violent and non-threatening "if only...."?
  29.Have you been told by your partner or others that you are:
          Selfish?
          Mean?
          Controlling?
          Critical?
          Stubborn?
          Manipulative?
          Cruel?
          Arrogant?
          Hypocritical?
  30.Do you find yourself answering questions here with "yes, but..."?
  31.Have you ever threatened or attempted to kill yourself or a partner?

Soul Searching

Are you preparing to marry someone and looking for questions to ask yourself first?  Well this is the section for you.

1.  Do you feel that its just you and he against the world because no one else likes them?
2.  Do all your friends and people you respect tell you not to marry him?
3.  When you have arguments with them, does he ever verbally bash you?
4.  When they are driving, and they get upset, do they often hit the excellerator and drive irrationally? If not often, have they EVER done this?
5.  Do you ever receive compliments from them?
6.  Do they take you away from doing the things in life that truly make you happy?
7.  Have they ever confided in you that they have considered/attempted suicide in the past?
8.  After an argument are you showered with gifts?

 
 


This site nominated for the Braveheart award in December 1998.  Click to view the site that gives out this honorable award. 

 
After reading those questions if you find yourself nodding as you read.. there are things you can do.  First, if you suspect you are an abuser, please go to Blain Nelson's Abuse pages.  He has listed resources available to you and he is LDS which gives it some added dimension for you.

If you are a woman and are in need of some support then there is an e-mail list that I created for LDS women experiencing or who have experienced spousal abuse.  Its called Mary and Martha.  Check out that page and see if its something you'd be interested in.

I'd like to create an experience page.  This will be a page where women tell their stories and they can remain anonymous if they wish.  Please go to this page by clicking on the Next at the bottom of the page.  As you read the stories you will find links to e-mail me stories and experiences that you have to add to it.  It will be at the sole discression of me to determine where the stories fit in.  I must be very careful as I add this as not to receive any fraudulent messages.  I'm very guarded about this because it is a sensitive issue.  If you are a  possible abuser, again I ask you to direct your stories to Blaine Nelsons Abuse pages.  His page is more for that side of things.
 

 
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people have visited this page.  I hope it has helped in some way.