Know the Signs

What Does An Abusive Relationship Look Like?

Does your partner ever….

  • Insult, demean or embarrass you with put-downs?

  • Control what you do, who you talk to or where you go?

  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all of the decisions without your input or consideration of your needs?
  • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
  • Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
  • Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?

If you answered 'yes' to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship. Don't hesitate to chat or call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (1-800-799-7233) if anything you read raises a red flag about your own relationship.

What is Abuse?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. 

Why Do People Abuse?
Abuse is about power and control.

Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?
If you’ve never been in an abusive relationship, it’s hard to understand why it’s so difficult to leave.

For Families and Friends

Are you concerned that someone you care about is experiencing abuse? Maybe you’ve noticed some warning signs, including:

  • Their partner puts them down in front of other people
  • They are constantly worried about making their partner angry
  • They make excuses for their partner’s behavior
  • Their partner is extremely jealous or possessive
  • They have unexplained marks or injuries
  • They’ve stopped spending time with friends and family
  • They are depressed or anxious, or you notice changes in their personality

If someone you love is being abused, it can be so difficult to know what to do. Your instinct may be to “save” them from the relationship, but it’s not that easy. After all, there are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, and leaving can be a very dangerous time for a victim.