The following questions can help you to determine whether your own relationship has characteristics of abuse.

The Healthy Relationship Wheel offers a view of a relationship that is based not on power and control, but on equality and non-violence.

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Relationship abuse is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear, intimidation, and power. Abuse occurs when one person believes that he or she is entitled to control another.

It is an effective method for gaining and keeping control, and there are usually no adverse consequences for the perpetrator of the abuse.

Compare the characteristics of a healthy relationship to those of an abusive relationship and those listed in the scriptures.

My so called baby daddy has refused to pay me any child support since the beginning of time.

It might include any of the following: Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not want or agree to.

It is an act of violence, anger, power, and control that stems from one person's determination to exercise power over another.

This often happens in unbalanced relationships--where there is unequal power.

One person always "gives," and the other always "takes." Sexual coercion can take many forms: The Violence Wheel helps to link the different behaviors that together form a pattern of violence and shows how the violence is maintained through psychological abuse.

Something will happen to trigger the physical and sexual attacks and threats.

The woman hopes that the relationship will change, knowing that it didn't begin like this. During this "honeymoon period," the abuser might apologize, blame the woman or other circumstances, promise to change, or give gifts. Abused women experience shame, embarrassment and isolation.

Finally, it may become life-threatening, with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of weapons.