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WCNV Mission Statement

To maintain Westford as a peaceable and safe community built on respect, caring and responsibility for ourselves and each
other through ongoing community conversations and activities. The safety and well being of our community life requires non-violent resolution of conflict.

Warning Signs

Warning Signs of an Abusive Realtionship

Most individuals who hurt their partners and/or family members do not do it out of anger; they do it out of a desire to control.  Listed below are tactics used by controlling individuals and may be signs that you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship.

Emotionally Abusive

  • Humiliates, ridicules, name calls, mocks
  • Degrades, withholds affection
  • Uses silence or profanity
  • Tells partner no one else would want him/her and she/he will never be allowed to leave the relationship
  • Acts loving and apologetic after verbal or physical abuse
  • Begs for forgiveness and promises to change (but never does)


  • Displays intense jealousy or possessiveness
  • Becomes easily enraged
  • Threatens to leave or institutionalize partner
  • Destroys partner’s property
  • Threatens/hurts children or pets or other family members or friends
  • Threatens to kill partner or him/herself if the relationship should end

Physically Abuses

  • Slaps, punches, pinches, bites, kicks, hits walls, throws things, etc.
  • Is rough with physical body parts during care giving
  • Strangles partner

Sexually Abuses

  • Is rough with intimate body parts during sex
  • Makes demeaning remarks about intimate body parts
  • Refuses affections or sexual intimacy as punishment
  • Forces sexual intimacy or uncomfortable sexual behavior

Minimizes, Denies, and Blames the Person Being Controlled

  • Makes light of abusive behavior
  • Does not take partner’s concerns about it seriously
  • Denies abuse happened
  • Says it was the partner’s behavior that caused the abuse

Uses Family Members

  • Misleads family about extent and nature of partner’s illnesses/conditions/mental stability
  • Excludes or denies partner access to family; forces family to keep secrets
  • Manipulates children to be abusive to partner


  • Controls what partner does, who partner sees, and where partner goes
  • Denies access to phone or mail

Ridicules Values/Spirituality

  • Denies access to worship and/or clergy
  • Ignores or ridicules religious/cultural values
  • Uses religion/scriptures to rationalize abuse

Abuses/Neglects Dependencies and Medical Needs

  • Takes away partner’s walker, wheelchair, glasses, medications, etc.
  • Does not report medical conditions and/or makes partner miss medical appointments

Exploits Financially

  • Steals money, property titles, possessions
  • Takes control of finances without permission
  • Abuses power of attorney

Uses Privilege

  • Treats partner like a servant
  • Makes all major decisions

Adapted from the Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN), Inc.