What Are The Warning Signs?

Often in the early stages, the victim may not realize she is in an abusive relationship.  By the time a victim realizes it, there are often many barriers to leaving.  Without outside intervention to protect the victim and hold the abuser accountable, the results can be serious physical injury or death.  It is important to learn the signs.

Here are a few to watch for.



You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
  • Continually criticizes you, calls you names, and shouts at you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Makes all the decisions in the relationship.
  • Chastises you after social functions for talking with other people.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
  • Ignores and/or dismisses your opinions or accomplishments.
  • Does not want you to work or go to school.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Withholds approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Blames you for his abusive behavior.
  • Makes you afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions.
  • Threatens to hurt you, your children, your family, or your pets.
  • Treats you as his property rather than as a person.
  • Humiliates you in any way.
  • Threatens to have you deported.
  • Controls access to medication or medical devices.
  • Threatens to kidnap your children.
  • Stalks you.


You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:
  • Damaged property when angry including throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors.
  • Grabbed, pushed, slapped, bitten, or kicked.
  • Choked, pulled your hair, punched, or burned you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Forced alcohol or drug use on you.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Withholds access to medication, medical care, food, and/or fluids.
  • Does not allow you to sleep.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.


You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
  • Coerces sex by manipulation or threat of physical force.
  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Wants sex at a time you are not willing.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Wants violent sex.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Withholds or demands frequent sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you.
  • Hurts you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Forced sexual activity with a third person.
What are the warning signs
Noticing the warning signs and 
the symptoms of domestic
violence and abuse are
the first steps to
ending it.
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