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Table of Contents

About The Domestic Violence Unit

Test Your Relationship

Educational Info

Order of Protection Information

Getting Help

Devise a Safety Plan


Why the Victim Stays


How to Help

Cycle of Violence





Are You in a Healthy or an Unhealthy Relationship?

A Healthy Relationship Involves:

1. Negotiation and Fairness:

  • Seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict.
  • Accepting Challenge
  • Being Willing to compromise.

2. Non-Threatening Behavior

  • Talking and acting so that you feel safe and comfortable expressing yourself and doing things.

3. Respect

  • Listening to you non-judgmentally
  • Being emotionally affirming and understanding
  • Valuing your opinions

4. Trust and Support

  • Supporting your goals in life
  • Respecting your right to your own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions

5. Honesty and Accountability

  • Accepting responsibility for self
  • Acknowledging past use of violence (if that is the case)
  • Admitting being wrong
  • Communicating openly and truthfully

6. Responsible Parenting

  • Sharing parental responsibilities
  • Being a positive, nonviolent role model for the children

7. Shared Responsibility

  • Mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work
  • Making family decisions together

8. Economic Partnership

  • Making money decisions together
  • Making sure both partners benefit from financial agreements

An Unhealthy Relationship Involves:

1. Coercion and Threats

  • Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt you
  • Threatening not to love you, to commit suicide, or to report you to welfare
  • Making you drop charges
  • Making you do illegal things

2. Intimidation

  • Making you afraid by using looks, actions, and gestures
  • Smashing things, destroying your property
  • Abusing pets
  • Displaying weapons

3. Emotional Abuse

  • Putting you down, calling you names, and making you feel bad about yourself
  • Making you think you're crazy, playing mind games
  • Humiliating you
  • Making you feel guilty

4. Isolation

  • Controlling what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, and where you go
  • Limiting your outside involvement
  • Using jealousy to justify actions

5. Minimizing, denying, and blaming

  • Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously
  • Saying the abuse didn't happen
  • Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, saying you caused the abusive behavior

6. Using Children

  • Making you feel guilty about the children
  • Using the children to relay messages
  • Using visitation to harass you
  • Threatening to take the children away

7. Economic Abuse

  • Preventing you from getting or keeping a job
  • Making you ask for money, or giving you and allowance
  • Taking your money
  • Not letting you know about or have access to family income

8. Male Privilege

  • Treating you like a servant
  • Making all the big decisions, acting like the "master of the castle"
  • Being the one to define men's and women's roles



Knoxville Police Department  (click for map)
800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37915
(865) 215-7000
Emergency Dial 911

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