Tag Archives: safety

BDSM Basic Principles

TEN BASIC BDSM PRINCIPLES

1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.

2) Know your SM player(s). Do not have BDSM play with strangers.

3) Always inform a friend that you are having BDSM play: where, when and with whom.  Use safecalls.

4) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

5) Negotiate the scene before you start. Communicate your limits, medical conditions, medications, experience and desires.

6) “No limits” is fantasy. Every sane player has limits. Do not be embarrassed to express them to the dominant player(s).

7) Do not engage in BDSM play while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

8) Expect the unexpected (fire, power failure, medical emergency, etc.) and be prepared. Another man’s life is in your hands.

9) Always have a first aid kit nearby.

10) Don’t play with a person unless you feel absolutely safe!

TEN BASIC BONDAGE PRINCIPLES

1) NEVER let yourself be tied up if you don’t feel absolutely safe.

2) NEVER let a stranger restrain you the first time you play.

3) NEVER tie up a body part so tight that it begins to tingle, feels cold, or “goes to sleep”.

4) No bondage involving the front of the neck.

5) NEVER restrain or gag a person and leave them unattended.

6) Always have safety paramedic scissors nearby.

7) Watch out for rope burns, particularly with coarse rope.

8) Do not gag a person suffering with respiratory ailments .

9) When gagging a person, always have an audible, bodily signal in lieu of a safe word (i.e., stomp feet three times, tap fingers, etc.)

TEN BASIC MUMMIFICATION PRINCIPLES

1) Always determine if the masochist has experienced mummification before; claustrophobic tendencies; longest period in bondage and/or hood; and if the masochist has ever experienced panic during a scene. If the masochist is a novice, consider covering the face last.

2) Always determine if the masochist has any medical conditions, particularly allergies, asthma, congestion, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. as well as any alcohol, drug or medication usage within 24 hours of the mummification. If the masochist wears contacts, they should be removed.

3) Be sure to have the following items nearby for the scene: safety scissors for emergency removal of the wrappings; electric fan and ice to keep the body cool; and towels to remove sweat.

4) Monitor the masochist’s body temperature and pulse. Take a baseline pulse before you begin. Use ice and a fan to cool the body if necessary.

5) NEVER leave the mummy unattended.

6) Use a towel or foam splints to place between the legs, arms and torso, or wherever two body parts come into contact.

7) Do not wrap any body part so tightly that it begins to tingle, feels cold or “goes to sleep”. Check the fingers for signs of blueness.

8) When wrapping the chest, be sure the mummy expands the chest cavity, so the wrappings do not constrict breathing. When wrapping the neck, apply the pieces vertically (up and down) to avoid strangulation.

9) Provide cool water (with a straw) often to prevent dehydration.

10) Provide appropriate aftercare for the masochist. If overheated, apply ice.

TEN BASIC PADDLING PRINCIPLES

1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.

2) Know your paddler or spanker and inquire as to hisor her experience. 

3) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

4) Be careful with the force of your stroke. Paddles cause a sharper, more intense pain than a spanking hand.

5) Sharp edges or rough areas on the paddle may break the skin.

6) The narrower the paddle, the less noise it will make and the more likely it is to leave marks.

7) Begin the paddling with a spanking session first to warm up and prepare the bottom for the paddle.

8) Direct the paddle to strike the lower half of the buttocks.

9) The best position when using a heavy paddle is for the bottom to be prone or standing upright with hands braced against the wall and legs spread about shoulder width.

10) When spanking, remove your rings first – they leave marks.

BDSM 101: Basics made simple

 D/S, S/M and B/D are the terms most often used in society today. They are distinctly different in that D/S stands for Dominance and Submission, S/M stands for Sadism and Masochism while B/D stands for Bondage and Discipline. These are three distinctly different life styles.

But remember at all time and in each of the separate lifestyles all actions must be SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL.

The terms are not interchangeable, yet one lifestyle may lead into the other or may overlap another depending upon the limits agreed upon by both consenting parties.

As the relationship continues to grow and expand the limits may be changed by both parties and therefore lead from one lifestyle to the next.

S/M may be and usually is incorporated in both or either of the other two lifestyles in one form or another or may be considered a separate lifestyle on it’s own.

These lifestyles might better be referred to as a form of alternative relationships, each of them being a form of love in which one person controls and the other person surrenders willingly, never forcefully.

First some terminology is necessary:

Dominant one– The controlling person. They may be a Master, a Mistress, a Dom, a Domme, a Goddess, a Lord, a Switch or a Top

submissive one– The one who chooses to be controlled or dominated. They may be a submissive, a slave, a switch or a bottom.

submissive– One who chooses to be submissive but who does not give total control of all aspects of their lives to a Dominant one.

slave- One who have given all aspects of their lives, physically, sexually and mentally to be controlled by a Dominant one and who usually has a contracted relationship.

Dom or Domme– One who is a Dominant one.

Master or Mistress– A Dominant one who has accepted the gift of submission from a submissive one who then has become theirs.

Floating or subbie space– The state where the submissive one relinquishes all control to the Dominant one and simply put, floats on a cloud, thus reaching a state of euphoria.

Switch– One who chooses at different times to be either a Dominant one or a submissive one.

Bottom– One who chooses to be scened or sessioned by a Dominant one but who is not necessarily a submissive one.

Top– One who chooses to scene or session a submissive one but who is not necessarily a Dominant one.

Goddess– Usually a Domme who have been trained under the “Old Guard” and who has earned the right to be worshipped and obeyed and who trains other Dom/mes, Masters, Mistresses, submissives, Switches, Tops, Bottoms and slaves.

Lord– The masculine equivalent of Goddess

Sadist- One who likes to inflict pain upon another.

Masochist-  One who likes to have pain inflicted upon them by another

Limits- These are actions or areas or degrees of pain and/or experiences that are not to be inflicted upon a submissive one.

Safeword- A word or gesture that has been agreed upon between a Dominant one and a submissive one that should it be used by someone during a scene or a session will cause the other person to have an immediate agreed upon response.

boy- A term used for a submissive one which could be for either gender.

girl- A term used for a submissive one which could be either gender.

Dominatrix- A female Dominant one who gets paid for scening or sessioning a submissive one.

Implements-Toys-Accouterments- Anything that is used during a scene or session by a Dominant one on a submissive one.

Although a Dom or Domme can be a Master or Mistress not all are. If the Dom or Domme chooses to accept a submissive one for their own, they then become the Master or Mistress to that one.

The major differences in the two life styles, D/S and B/D, is that of pain and humiliation. In the D/S lifestyle control by use of pain or humiliation rarely occurs. The control is relinquished by the submissive one willingly to the Dominant one. The Dominant one controls by voice and minor punishment. In the B/D scene the punishment is more severe and pain and humiliation is more a part of the ongoing relationship and incorporated in scenes or sessions on a regular basis. Punishment is given for misdeeds or failure to obey, warmth is given for obeying. One must remember this is a game of love, and that love must be shown at all times, even during the act of punishment.

When one speaks of punishment, one must also speak of limits. Limits are agreed upon prior to the start of any part of this lifestyle. These limits must be adhered to by all parties involved. The submissive one submits and trusts the Dominant one that these limits will not be exceeded. They must never  be exceeded under any circumstances, without first discussing them between the two parties and mutually agreeing to remove or extend the limit in question.

Mutual respect and trust is of the utmost importance in these lifestyles. When mutual trust disappears, the parties should re-evaluate the relationship immediately. remember this trust is earned over a long period of time but may be lost in a split second. Seldom when a trust is truly violated can the same degree of trust ever be regained.

Many Master/Mistresses are good teachers and can teach their submissive one on their own. But in many cases a Master/Mistress chooses to have another Dominant one teach their submissive one for them. They may or may not choose to have their submissive one serve that Dominant one in any other capacity than as a scene. Submissive ones may be trained by a Dominant one without already having a Master or Mistress to serve, be chosen by the Dominant one to serve or stay as free a submissive one with no one to serve.

In all cases the Dominant one and the Master/Mistress are responsible for the protection and safety of the submissive one. They must honor and cherish them as much as they are cherished by them. Love and respect reins above all in these relationships.

The use of safe words comes into play at this point. There are usually two safe words that have been agreed upon and understood by both parties. One safe word usually means that the submissive one is being pushed to their limits and when used the Dominant one eases off slightly and takes more time to get the submissive one to the place where they want them to go. The second safe word, when used by submissive one tells the Dominant one that something is wrong and the scene, session or the actions tops immediately and the Dominant one ensures the safety and well being of the submissive one. Under no circumstances can the action continue unless mutually agreed upon. should the action continue without the permission of the submissive one then it is no longer a consensual actions but one of force.

If you are submissive/slave it means that you consent — or choose — to submit. In other words, your submission is a gift that should be respected by whomever you choose as your Dominant. If you are Dominant, you consent to accept that gift and respect the person who offers it. Failure to do so may ultimately cause you to be ostracized from the community. Whatever takes place in a session/scene is the result of a prior careful discussion by both partners of the submissive’s limits. And it DOES mean that the Dominant one MUST always respect those limits.

Everything in these lifestyles should be
SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL

Reference books that should be read and reread:

La Laisse Soduire La Maison Du Raison
Different Loving Gloria Brame, G Brame Villard Books
Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns Phillip Miller and Molly Deveon Mystic Rose Books
The Bottoming Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Topping Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Loving Dominant John Warren Masquerade Books Inc.
Ties That Bind Guy Baldwin Daedalus Pub. Co.
Learning the Ropes Race Bannon Daedalus Pub. Co.
Sensuous Magic Pat Califia Masquerade Books Inc.
Safe Sane Consensual and Fun John Warren Diversified Press
The Ethical Slut Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
Anal Pleasure and Health Jack Morin MD Down There Press
Leathersex Joseph W. Bean Daedalus Pub. Co.
Bound to be Free Charles Moser Ph.D M.D., JJ MaDeson Continuum Pub. Co.

© 1999 by Lakshimi All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only. This author advises if you wish to engage in any activity mentioned in this article that you do further research and upon engaging in any activity mentioned upon you do so in the presence of an experienced mentor.

First Contact Safety

These rules may vary, according to what you have to work with, or are able to reveal, or decide to use….but whateveryou do, don’t ignore the basic safety you will require, as a submissive meeting a new dom for the first time. There are people out there who are simply predators, and your new dom may be wonderful, online and the phone, but admit you don’t really know him, and protect yourself until you do.

1) Before you even plan a meeting, be sure you discuss your personal safety with your new dom. Tell him how you feel, and listen to what he says. If he’s really a man who cares for you, he’ll add things to protect you, and agree to anything you wish to do. If he does not, then treat it as a first clue to use caution.

2) Once you plan your meeting, find two people who know you personally: Your name, your address, your phone # and most of all, your background. Make sure they know who you are meeting: HIS name, his address, and his background, as well as any other info about him you might know. Leave them as detailed a plan of your visit as you can foresee, and arrange with them for regular telephone check-ins…and what to do if one of them is not made. Obviously you don’t want the police breaking down a hotel door, while your dom has you tied to the bed, but it might just be that you’ll be glad to see them.

3) Meet with your dom in a public place…somewhere that there are lots of people…and don’t LEAVE that public place until you feel comfortable with the person you are meeting. If you don’t get comfortable right away, be sure you have some sort of alternative plan available, in lieu of going with him. Try to have YOUR car available…or better yet, a large, muscular friend to see you off, and meet your dom with you. 🙂

4) For the first meeting, do not travel to a remote place to get acquainted. Find a comfortable, well-staffed hotel or inn, where there, again, are PEOPLE. Other people are your best defense against injury and if necessary, run to them…even naked. The old cabin in the hills, where he says you can really “be alone”, might sound wonderful, but it is not safe, and should not be considered.

5) Never, never travel away from your planned itinerary with a new dom. You planned that schedule so people could find you…if you leave it, they can’t…and your new dom ought to understand that. Stay where you said you would be, when you set up your security, and resist, to the point of running away, any attempt by your dom to take you away.

6) D/s and playing. It’s normal for you to want very much to please this man who means so much to you…to give him everything he asks for…and delight in the pleasure he enjoys. But like everything else you do, for the first time, you have to protect yourself…and as exciting as a caning might sound, while tied and gagged…once you start, remember that stopping him is going to be a problem. Use safe words…there’s nothing to be ashamed of, in doing so, and if you need them, you WILL need them. Resist any sort of neck or throat bondage. Resist any sort of oxygen deprivation play these are dangerous kinds of play, and require enormous care…and you don’t know your dom, yet. Sex itself…well, AIDS is around, but it’s silly to try and convince two people in your situation to refrain, so use a condom. Insist on it, in fact, and don’t give in.

7) This is from me, to all of you. You are submissives, and there is nothing I’ve found in my world which is more wonderful. You are all special…and we can’t afford to lose you, cause there aren’t enough to go around, now…so please, take care of yourself. When you do come back, show us your new collar, or your welts, or whatever you value most from your visit, and we’ll love you more for having done it.

But, whatever you do, come back to us.

Rules of Etiquette

APeX events are intended to be a safe space for our members and guests. These guidelines exist to help everyone feel more comfortable. We expect all members and guests to follow them.

If the words or actions of any attendee at any APeX function cause you to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, please bring it to the attention of a Board of Directors member at the event if you are comfortable doing so. You may also contact us via APeX_NY on FetLife or email the Secretary with your concerns. You need not reveal your identity, and we will not disclose your identity or other personal details to any other person without your express permission.

Do not touch others without their permission.

If you haven’t established an agreement with someone, you need to ask before you touch. Hugging and other personal touch is unwelcome to many people, so please don’t until you get permission. A simple, “May I hug you?” will do. It should be OK with you to hear the word “NO,” without taking it personally. “No” doesn’t mean anything about you, only that the person you’ve just asked either does not feel like being hugged or touched at this time, or perhaps, needs permission to do that. Also, do not touch anyone else’s equipment or belongings without permission.

Use “scene” names, not real names.

Many people use first names or pseudonyms in the community. Please address others by the name they are using at the event, even if you know their “real” name. When in doubt, politely ask.

Ask about pronouns, don’t assume.

Attendees have the right to use and be known by the pronouns and other words of identity that they choose. Consider including your preferred pronouns when you introduce yourself or adding them to your name tag. If you’re not sure of a person’s preferences, politely ask them what they like to use. Intentional misgendering is unacceptable behavior which will result in a warning or expulsion from an event should it continue.

Inappropriate Language

No, not four letter words… We’re all adults, and sometimes some spicy language might be heard at an event. That’s fine, though keep in mind sound travels and to not offend others in our public locations.

Language that’s inappropriate includes discriminatory language, words which are hurtful or marginalizing towards a specific ethnic group, sexuality, or which otherwise break the safe space of an APeX event.

Using language that is sexist, racist, transphobic, ageist, ableist, sizest, or otherwise marginalizing towards anyone is unacceptable. That includes telling jokes that stereotype or marginalize any group, using slurs, or speaking to or about people in a disrespectful manner.

Using language that is demeaning or derogatory towards an individual without their prior consent is unacceptable.  Sending threatening or demeaning messages in any online forum, email, instant message platform, etc. without prior consent may result in an Administrative Hold barring attendance at APeX functions.

If you use inappropriate language at an APeX function or online in APeX’s message boards or other fora, you will be given a warning. Any online posts may be edited or deleted to remove the inappropriate language. Repeated offenses will result in you being asked to leave the event or having your posting rights to online resources revoked. If after repeated warnings the behavior continues, you will be asked to cease attending any APeX events until further notice.

Event Confidentiality

What happens at an event stays at the event. While making public posts or giving a “thank you” in person may be appropriate, describing the interactions of participants at an event, or other specific details of an event, is not appropriate.

If you do talk about an event in public, avoid using details which could identify people. It’s one thing to say, “I saw a hot spanking recently,” but something quite different to say, “Joe was really getting spanked hard at Mary’s house last night.” Speaking generally of activities is permissible, but speaking specifically of participants, locations, and even exact dates can reveal details that others may need to keep private due to employment, family, or simply preference.

Behave appropriately in public.

When we are in a public venue, or when a private venue opens up to the public, it is important to protect the integrity and privacy of the group, so there will be no exhibitionism allowed. Anyone simulating BDSM acts, overt sexual behavior, or outlandish activity which calls attention to our group will be given a warning. If the offensive behavior continues, the person/s in question will be asked to leave. Please DO NOT wear fetish attire to events held in public venues.

Alcohol & Drugs

Anyone arriving at a function under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave. Anyone who becomes noticeably under the influence of alcohol or drugs at an event will be asked to leave. While social drinking is acceptable at some events where alcohol is sold, BDSM and inebriation do not mix at APeX events.

Solicitation & Promotion

No soliciting for sexual or BDSM related services is allowed.

Promotion of other events, spaces, etc. is generally permitted, but requires approval from the BoD. If you’d like to share an upcoming event, please email the Secretary or talk to a Board of Directors member at one of our events. APeX reserves the right to refuse promotion at our functions of events or spaces which have consent or behavior policies which are not in keeping with APeX’s ideals.

Consequences

APeX reserves the right to take whatever actions we deem necessary to preserve the safety of our spaces and the comfort of participants. Continued violations of etiquette or other rules may result in formal warnings, expulsion from an event without refund, or banning from some or all future APeX events.

Red Flags

 What is a “Red Flag”?

Author Unknown

Cross-posted to the Albany Power eXchange message board 9/06.

A “Red Flag” is any indication that you should steer clear of a particular person, either Dom/me or sub. These can pop up at any time, though most often in the beginning of a potential relationship. They can be obvious or they can be subtle.

Some common examples might be:

1) Inappropriate questions or comments during the initial conversations, such as do you want to play? or what are you wearing? or what do you look like? or asking for your phone number immediately, etc. Such questions have nothing at all to do with D/s, but rather indicate the person is looking for cyber or phone sex.

2) Moving too quickly: if the prospective Dom/me or sub seems to be in a hurry to begin a relationship, or to advance it faster than seems reasonable or comfortable for you. Like if they want to meet you within the first 10 minutes online. Trust is the cornerstone, and cannot be rushed. Clearly, there is no arbitrary time frame, but most long-lasting relationships take several weeks if not months to build before actual contact.

3) Inappropriate attitude: “Bow down and worship me” those who act as if every submissive must obey every so-called Dom, and begin giving or obeying orders from the word go. Or those who have the idea that each and every Tom, Dick, and Harry must be addressed as Sir, whether they know them or not. Many subs in the chat rooms do this, but respect is worth little if it is so lightly given. Both of these attitudes and practices show a poor understanding of the true dynamics of Dominance and submission.

4) Safety violations: reluctance to have a safeword or other safety precautions in place, either during the first meeting or later. Run.

5) Lack of communication: if your potential partner is reluctant to discuss something with you, pay attention. Likewise, and equally serious, if you are told directly or indirectly, that you may not discuss something with others, or may not talk to someone else, or may not go to a particular area, be careful. Trying to “gag” someone is a sign that something is wrong.

6) A persistent bad reputation: or unwillingness to give references. This can be tricky if the person you are talking to is new online, but it is still a red flag. Or perhaps a yellow one.

7) Trashing ex-partners. When someone is constantly talking about their ex publicly in the chat rooms and on bb’s, i.e., trying to ruin their rep, try to keep in mind that you might be their “ex” someday and be subjected to such treatment if things do not go the way they want. This is something that both Dom/mes and subs are frequently guilty of. Warning others of potential danger from an ex-partner is obviously a different case.

8) Frequent inconsistencies. If someone often makes contradictory statements from one day to the next, like Mon. tells you s/he has no children, then on Fri., mentions his/her son’s birthday or something. If a person often seems to have a lot of trouble remembering what they have said to you from one day to the next, it could be that they are telling a lot of people a lot of different things. Just in general, I would encourage anyone to really try to get to know
someone before making a final judgment on their character. However, caution and common sense should always rule. If you have doubts, do not give out personal information. You can still talk to this person, but be careful.

And please, trust that GUT INSTINCT.

BDSM is NOT Abuse

 BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 (Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what he says?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

 

 

BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 

(Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what they say?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

Note: This list is not comprehensive. Your particular situation may be somewhat different. If you still feel you are being abused, seek professional counseling. Nothing in this checklist should be considered a substitute for counseling.