Do you think you are abusing someone? Is someone abusing you? Are you abusing each other? What kind of behaviours are abusive and just how serious are they?
This questionnaire has 35 questions designed to help you get the answer to these questions about any relationship you are having whether it’s with a friend, lover, parent, child, business partner or work colleague.
The questionnaire is divided into three sections. Part one covers behaviours that are classified, at least here in Australia, as criminal offences. Part two covers behaviours that are emotionally, psychologically, financially, or socially abusive and part three targets verbal abuse.
Some questions award extra points if the person who performed the behaviour is bigger, stronger, or in a position of power over the other person because, in such cases, the abuse is considered more serious. It is considered more serious because size, strength, and power add to the level of fear the other person experiences in that scenario.
A position of power includes being the employer or parent of the other person, being in possession of resources the other person needs, or being able to harm the other person, their reputation, or their relationships with others in any way.
No score for being bigger, stronger, or in a position of power over the other person is given, however, if the person has not done the things mentioned in the question.
Some questions also award extra points if physical harm occurred because of the behaviour as injuries make abuse more serious and, potentially, more dangerous.
When answering the questions you should include past behaviour unless the person has genuinely changed. Abusive behaviour that stopped because the target has learned to “walk on eggshells” in an effort to prevent it, or because police intervened, should still be counted.
If behaviour changed because the person got professional help you may answer the questions according to what they have done since getting that help.
It is important to complete the questionnaire honestly because the results can only be useful if the information you provide is accurate. Nobody on this site can see your answers because they cannot be recorded here. You will need to record scores on a piece of paper, save the questionnaire to your computer, or print it out and answer it offline.
The questionnaire is not asking if you, or the other person, has excuses, reasons or justifications for the behaviours it is asking if the behaviours have occurred. Do not discount anything because you think it does not, or should not, count. If it happened it counts.
Answer each question according to your behaviour and enter your score, then answer the question according to what the other person has done to you, and enter their score. Answer with regard to the other persons behaviour even if the other person is a small child. It will help you get a clearer picture of your own behaviour and will show you if you are teaching, or if someone has already taught, the child to be abusive too. If the child scores higher than you on this questionnaire it is likely they are learning their abusive behaviours from someone else.
Please do not skip questions or fail to answer each question for both of the people in the relationship. It is important to get the truth about what kind of abuse is happening and exactly who is being abusive. Skipping questions or not answering for both people will prevent you from getting those truths.
Some questions may not apply to you. Some questions, for example, involve behaviour that is occurring in front of your children. If you are childless you may think you can skip such a question but read it before you make that decision and only skip it if you are sure it doesn’t apply. You may not have children of your own but, if the behaviour happens in front of your step-children, children you baby-sit, or children you teach, are related to, or are responsible for in any way it is still abusive and should be counted.
Read the whole question and include all the listed behaviours in your answer.
For example: You are bigger and stronger than your partner. You work, your partner cares for the children, you handle the money and your partner relies on your income to survive. You have been together 10 years and you headbutted your partner once by accident, punched them once when they startled you and playfully pinched them once but the pinch was harder than you intended and it left a bruise.
In this scenario, on the first question, you would score yourself 10 for more than twice, plus 5 points for the bruising, and another 5 points for being in a position of power over the other person since you are supporting them financially as well as being bigger and stronger than them.
If, however, you would be too afraid to use your superior strength against them or stop them from accessing your wages if they left because they have threatened to make sure you never see the children again if you make them angry, you would not add the extra 5 points for being in a position of power.
If they headbutted, punched, and pinched you the “position of power” points would, in fact, need to be added to their score because they are using the children to gain a position of power over you that makes your size, strength, and financial position irrelevant.
It is important to note that this is a DRAFT version of a questionnaire I have devised which has NOT been tested or validated. If you see any problems with it PLEASE send me your feedback!