Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

How to Know if You’re in an Abusive Relationship

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling behaviors, violence, or threats of violence, that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner or family member in order to control that person’s actions and activities.

Abusive relationships usually don’t start out that way, often violent and abusive behavior develops over time. Knowing the warning signs of an abusive relationship can help you identify and protect yourself from a potentially dangerous relationship.

Relationship abuse is usually separated into two categories; emotional abuse and domestic violence, but it is common for them to be used together by abusers.

What are the signs of emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is an attempt to control one person by another by manipulating their feelings, emotions and self-esteem. Emotional, or psychological abuse, can come in many forms but some of the signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Insults and calls you names
  • Humiliates and belittles you in public or private
  • Constantly accuses you of infidelity without the basis for doing so
  • Insists on deciding how you should dress
  • Isolates you from family and friends
  • Bans you from studying or working
  • Destroys your property and objects
  • Threatens to reveal personal or damaging information about you to your family, friends or employer
  • Uses children as a pawn in the relationship
  • Controls all financial activity
  • Threatens to commit suicide if you end the relationship

What are the signs of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is not a disagreement, a marital spat or an anger management problem. It is abusive, disrespectful and hurtful behaviors that one intimate partner chooses to use against the other. At a high level, domestic violence is any behavior that causes physical injury to another person but knowing the signs of domestic violence before they happen can help you protect yourself and loved ones.

  • Threats of violence towards yourself or others
  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness
  • Destroys your property
  • Demands sex or unwanted sex practices
  • Stalks you during or after the relationship has ended

If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse remember you have done nothing to deserve it and you are not alone. There are resources available in Florida and nationwide that provide confidential and anonymous assistance for domestic violence victims.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has highly-trained advocates that can answer your questions and help you locate resources in your area 24/7/365.

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence operates Florida’s toll-free domestic violence hotline that connects callers with the nearest domestic violence center.