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Warning Signs of Abuse


When beginning a new relationship, sometimes the excitement of going out with someone you really like stops you from seeing the warning signs of abuse. You don't have to have broken bones or a black eye to be abused. You may be experiencing emotional abuse, which might turn into physical abuse. Are you with someone who....

  • Is jealous and possessive, won't let you have friends, checks up on you, won't accept breaking up.
  • Tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions, doesn't take your opinion seriously.
  • Is scary. You worry about how they will react to things you say or do. Threatens you.
  • Is violent: has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly. Brags about mistreating others.
  • Pressures you for sex, is forceful or scary around sex. Attempts to manipulate or guilt-trip you by saying "if you really loved me you would".
  • Gets too serious about the relationship too fast.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them.
  • Blames you when they mistreat you. Says you provoked them, pressed their buttons, made them do it, led them on.
  • Has a history of bad relationships and blames the other person for all the problems. "they just don't understand me."
  • Believes men should be in control and powerful and that women should be passive and submissive.
  • Has hit, pushed, choked, restrained, kicked, or physically abused you.
  • Your family and friends have warned you about the person or told you they were worried for you safety.
  • If you answered "yes" to more than two of these questions, turn to someone for help before the "ultimate date" turns on you.
  • Some people you could talk to might be:
    • police officer
    • a member of your family
    • a teacher or school counselor
    • your friends or their parents
    • your priest, minister or rabbi
    • a doctor or nurse
    • people in court, the local prosecuting attorney or victim advocate
    • staff at battered women's programs
    • another adult you trust