Spotting the signs of an abusive relationship

It is not always easy to know if you are being abused. Abusers may try to persuade you that what they are doing is normal, is a sign of love or that they are really sorry. Here are some possible signs:

  • You are scared of them
  • They have hurt, or threatened to hurt, you or people you care about
  • They force you to do things you do not want to do, including sexually
  • They stop you from seeing your friends, family or people who you may go to for advice such as a GP
  • They have threatened to take your children away or hurt them
  • They prevent you from continuing or starting school, college or from going to work
  • They constantly check up on you or follow you - they may also track you via your mobile phone
  • They wrongly accuse you of flirting or of having affairs on a regular basis
  • They get extremely jealous and possessive
  • They constantly humiliate you or criticise or insult you, often in front of other people
  • You change your behaviour because you are afraid of what they might do or say to you
  • They deliberately destroy things that belong to you
  • They control how much money you have
  • They blame you for the abuse
  • They control your daily routine

If you are not sure whether something that has happened to you is abuse or not, it can help to imagine if you would be worried if it happened to a friend or a close relative.

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