Are you afraid of your partner?
Do you feel as if you have to walk on eggshells to keep your
partner from getting angry?
Does she/he emotionally abuse you ie insults, belittling
comments, ignoring you, acting sulky or angry when you initiate an action or
Does she/he tells you who you may be friends with, how you
should dress, or tries to control other elements of your life or relationship?
Is he/she physically violent to you or others, even if it only
seems like grabbing and pushing to get his/her way?
Does she/he have extreme mood swings from being kind one
minute and cruel the next?
Is she/he angry and threatening to the extent that you have
changed your life so as not to 'provoke' him/her?
Does your partner make all the financial decisions without
Is it impossible for you to freely express your values and
If you have said 'yes' to two or more of the above then you
may be in an abusive relationship.
Remember also that abusers are often very charming and convincing to everyone - including their partners, until the abuse starts - and then they often continue to be very charming to everyone else except him or her.
This often has the effect of making the woman or man think 'oh it must be me, it must be my fault', especially since the abuser is usually telling him/her it is. It can also make her feel awkward about telling other people because she won't seem plausible because they only know his or her 'nice' side.
The single biggest warning sign is:
Other possible warning signs are: