Is Your Partner Abusive? 10 Red Flags of Domestic Violence
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. For many, this means that they’ll suffer abuse from someone close to them, such as their partner or spouse. Recognizing the signs of abuse can help you escape an abusive relationship before it gets worse, saving both you and your partner from long-term emotional trauma and physical harm. Pay attention to these 10 red flags of domestic violence, whether you see them in your own relationship or observe them happening to someone else you know.
1) You've been knocked down or hit by your partner.
Don't brush this off or assume it's nothing serious. This is physical abuse, a form of domestic violence that will not stop on its own. Next time it happens you should call the police to ensure your safety and call someone you trust for support.
2) They humiliate you in front of others.
If your partner is emotionally abusive, they may find ways to degrade you in front of other people or make jokes at your expense in social settings. They may criticize you or tell you that you're worthless. This is abusive. It can be difficult to define emotional abuse as it is not a physical act and does not leave any physical signs on the body, but emotional abuse can be just as harmful and dangerous for someone's mental health.
3) You're afraid of them when they are angry.
You don't know what will set them off. It's really frustrating to feel like you can't control how a person feels and reacts to situations, and it's also unnerving not knowing when you might encounter the anger that scares you so much. When they are angry, they may verbally abuse or threaten you. They may strike out physically and push, hit, or choke you.
4) When you are in a fight, your partner threatens you with violence.
When your partner starts a fight and threatens you with violence, it is a sign that they are starting to slip into an abusive mindset. There are many different types of abuse, from emotional to physical abuse, but threatening their partner with violence is one type of mental and emotional abuse that can be detected by those close to the couple. The reality is, no one deserves to be threatened in this way and it should not be something anyone lives with on a regular basis.
5) They threaten to leave you if you don't change.
This is a tactic abusers use to get power and control over their partner by using fear and guilt against them. It's a really common form of emotional abuse because it makes the victim feel like they have no other choice than to give in. When an abuser threatens you with abandonment, your first instinct may be to do everything they say so that you don't lose them; even though you should be trying to get out the relationship instead.
6) They make all the decisions about money, who to spend time with, and where to go.
If they seem to have control over what you wear and how you present yourself, that might be a sign of them trying to control you. If your partner makes all the decisions about money, who to spend time with, and where to go, this is also a red flag.
7) They monitor your phone and social media activity.
One common sign of abuse is that they monitor your phone and social media activity. Some might even limit how much time you can spend on those platforms, or refuse to give you access to them at all. They may seem overprotective when it comes to who you talk to and what your posts are about, but these tactics can quickly escalate into more serious forms of abuse.
8) They destroy your things, like breaking your cell phone or slashing your tires.
One way to assess the situation is by assessing how your partner treats you and how they treat the things you own. Some signs that a person might be abusive include: breaking your cell phone, slashing your tires, punching you in the face or other parts of your body, kicking you out or not letting you do something that you want to do.
9) They want to know where you are at all times or check up on you frequently.
It is normal for partners to want to spend time together and for it to be important for them to know where the other person is, but if a partner becomes controlling, then it might be a sign that they are abusive. A controlling partner may not want you to have any friends or socialize with other people. They may also want you to watch what you wear and do your hair the way they like it.
10) Their mood swings cause problems in your relationship.
Your partner's mood swings can cause problems in your relationship. You spend a lot of time trying to figure out why they're upset, and avoid saying anything that might make them mad, so that the anger will dissipate. One minute they're loving and affectionate, and the next they're snapping at you for no reason or shutting down completely. You try not to rock the boat or make waves so that you don't end up being yelled at too. If their moods rule your life, this is a form of abuse.
If any of these signs describe your relationship or the relationships of close friends or family, please reach out for help. It's a sign of strength, not weakness. The number for the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788. The website is https://www.thehotline.org/.