Signs of Abuse

The following signs can be indicators of domestic violence or an abusive situation. Use these indicators to recognize an abusive situation and listen to your gut:

  • Feeling like you’re being controlled. This could include your partner telling you how to dress, who you can see or talk to, whether or not you can have a job, or your partner is restricting your access to money.
  • Feeling fearful that your partner might physically abuse you.
  • Having a partner with a pattern of low self-esteem or who expresses feelings of inadequacy or powerlessness.
  • A sense that your partner is objectifying you, treating you more like his or her property than an equal partner.
  • Having a partner who constantly blames their outbursts, anger or controlling behavior on external circumstances—a stressful job, family drama, drinking too much or just having a bad day.
  • Having a partner who constantly puts you down or calls you names.
  • Having your partner who threatens to leave or take your children away from you.
  • A general sense of feeling on edge or not feeling safe.
  • Noticing your partner is "overly kind" outside the home with friends, family or coworkers, and changes into a more threatening person with you behind closed doors.

Additionally, physical violence is a clear indicator of an abusive partner. According to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, an abusive partner may also...

  • Hit, slap, choke or shove you, or threaten you with weapons
  • Threaten to or actually does hurt your children or pets
  • Threaten to kill themselves or you
  • Force you to do things sexually that you're not comfortable with