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Abusive Red Flags Everyone Should Know

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From domesticshelters.org

One in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. Every day, three women in this country are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.[1]

Avoid becoming a statistic by being smart and recognizing the warning signs of an abusive relationship before it can even begin.

According to My Sister’s House,[2] a domestic violence shelter in South Carolina, the following are some indicators of potentially abusive relationships. It should be noted, however, that just because a person may match one or more of these characteristics does not define them as an abuser. These red flags are just that—warning signs that are worth paying attention to. You should question entering into a relationship with a partner who matches the warning signs

Indicators of Abusive Relationships

  • Pressures you to move fast in a relationship or pushes for immediate commitment.
  • Has been abusive in past relationships.
  • Believes in stereotyped gender roles and male supremacy, and is domineering.
  • Is very jealous and possessive. Isolates you from your friends and family and may try to persuade you not to have a job.
  • Has two sides to his or her personality—others see your partner as a good person, but behind closed doors, he or she is angry and aggressive toward you.
  • Experiences most emotions in the form of anger and has difficulty conveying other emotions.
  • Has a violent temper and quickly changing moods.
  • Is cruel to animals or children and is insensitive to their suffering.
  • Monitors your whereabouts, activities or spending.

Amy Borst, MFT, clinical director of Laura’s House, a domestic violence shelter in Orange County, Calif., says that victims who find themselves in abusive relationships should also be aware of the warning signs that indicate an escalating situation. “There’s a shortening of time between abusive incidents, along with threats of physical or bodily harm,” says Borst. Another indicator is when the abuser obtains the means by which the threats are made, such as purchasing a gun. Bottom line: If you feel threatened by your partner, don’t wait to get help.


[1] http://ccwrc.org/about-abuse/about-domestic-violence/

[2] http://mysistershouse.org/domestic-violence/profile-of-an-abuser/

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