It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.
In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.
Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.
If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call or chat online with an advocate to talk about what’s going on.
Telling you that you can never do anything rightShowing jealousy of your friends and time spent awayKeeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family membersEmbarrassing or shaming you with put-downsControlling every penny spent in the householdTaking your money or refusing to give you money for expensesLooking at you or acting in ways that scare youControlling who you see, where you go, or what you doPreventing you from making your own decisionsTelling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your childrenPreventing you from working or attending schoolDestroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your petsIntimidating you with guns, knives or other weaponsPressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable withPressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender.
It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These are behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time.