Warning signs of abuse
Some warning signs of abuse in the home or in a relationship include:
- Pushing for quick involvement: Comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.”
- Jealousy: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone.”
- Controlling Behavior: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to do anything.
- Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.
- Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who support you of “causing trouble.”
- Blaming others for problems or mistakes: It’s always someone else’s fault when anything goes wrong.
- Making others responsible for his or her feelings: The abuser says, “You make me angry,” instead of “I am angry,” or says, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.”
- Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad.
- Cruelty to animals or children: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also, may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry.
- Use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex.
- Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things, degrades, curses, calls you ugly names.
- Rigid roles: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.
- Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.
- Past battering: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person “made” him (or her) do it.
- Threats of violence: Says things like, “I’ll break your neck,” or “I’ll kill you,” and then dismisses them with, “I didn’t really mean it.”