DEAR ABBY: I am 23 and involved with a man who is younger than I am. When we started our relationship, he was awesome and very kind. Now, six months later, he has changed. He is always yelling at me and telling me what to do. When I do what he says, it's still not right, or good enough.
After we were together for one month, we moved back to my home in New Mexico, and that's when the problems started. At first, it was only name-calling. I have tried to break up with him, but he won't let me. He keeps me awake, and won't let me leave the room to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water until I agree to stay with him. He has even laid his hands on me at times.
He throws it in my face that he can't leave because he has nowhere to go since we're so far from his home. Abby, he's the one who wanted to come here. I'm afraid of him. I'm convinced he will seriously hurt me sooner or later. -- SCARED IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR SCARED: So am I, because his abuse is escalating. Pick up the phone and call the toll-free number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233. They will help you formulate an escape plan. Please do not wait -- do it today.