Red Flags to an Abusive Relationship
· Wants to be with you constantly
· Accuses you of cheating all the time
· Follows you around or frequently calls during the day
· Odd behaviors like checking your car mileage or asking friends to check in on you
· Pretends to be concerned for your safety or your productive use of time
· Acts like you do not have the ability to make good decisions
· Becomes extremely angry when late
· Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said & where
· Makes you ask permission to do certain things
· 6 months or less before living together/engaged
· Claims of love at first sight
· Says you are the only one who can make her/him feel this way
· Pressure for commitment
· Compliments you in a way that makes you seem superhuman
· Very dependent for all needs
· Expects you to be perfect
· Says things like, I am all you need. You are all I need
· Tries to cut off all your resources
· Puts down everyone you know
Friends are either stupid, slutty, or you are cheating
Family is too controlling, don't really love you, or you are too dependent on them
· Refuse to let you use car or talk on the phone
· Makes it difficult for you to go to school or work
Blames Others for Problems
· If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else's fault
· You're at fault for everything that goes wrong in the relationship
Blames Others for Feelings
· Makes you responsible for how they feel:
· You made me mad.
· You're hurting me by not doing what I ask.
· I can't help being angry.
· You make me happy.
· You control how I feel.
· Easily insulted
· Sees everything as personal attacks
· Has a tantrum about the injustice of things that happen to them
· Totally goes off about small irritations
· Looks for fights
· Blows things out of proportion
Disrespectful or Cruel to Others
· Punishes animals/children cruelly
· Insensitive to pain and suffering
· High expectations of children beyond their abilities
· Tease children or younger sibling until they cry
· Doesn't treat other people with respect
Playful Use of Force During Sex
· Little concern over whether you want sex or not, & uses sulking or anger to manipulate
you into compliance
· Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you
Rigid Sex Roles
· Believes women are inferior to men
· Unable to be a whole person without a relationship
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
· Sudden mood changes--like they have two different personalities
· One minute nice/next minute exploding
· One minute happy/next minute sad
· You may hear the person was abusive to someone else they were in a relationship with,
they may deny it saying it is a lie or their ex is crazy/it wasn't that bad
Breaking or Striking Objects
· Used as punishment
· Breaks cherished possessions
· May beat on tables with fist
· Throws objects at/around/or near you
Any Force during an Argument
· Physically restrains you from leaving the room
· Pushes or shoves you
Questions to Ask
· Are you in a relationship in which you have been physically hurt or threatened by
· Are you in a relationship in which you felt you were treated badly? In what ways?
· Has your partner ever destroyed things that you care about?
· Has your partner ever threatened or abused your children?
· Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn't want to?
· What happens when you and your partner disagree?
· Do you ever feel afraid of your partner?
· Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house, seeing friends, getting
a job or continuing your education?
· If your partner uses drugs/alcohol, how does he act? Is he ever verbally or physically
· Do you have guns in your home? Has your partner ever threatened to use them when
he was angry?
Borrowed from "New Directions":
My Local County Domestic Abuse Shelter