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.”

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.”

Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone.”

Unrealistic expectations:

Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.

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.”

Past battering:

Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person “made” him (or her) do it.

Rigid roles:

Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.


Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad.

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.

Verbal abuse:

Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things, degrades, curses, calls you ugly names.

Sudden mood swings:

Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.

Controlling behaviors using social media or technology:

Cyberstalking and creeping your online profile.

Use of force during sex:

Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex.

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.