What are the Red Flags of Abuse?

Domestic violence encompasses a spectrum of behaviors that abusers use to control victims. The following list includes warning signs that someone may be abusive. If you or a friend experience these behaviors from a partner, remember: it is not your fault and there are advocates waiting to help. 

"Red flags" include someone who:

  • Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
  • Early in the relationship flatters you constantly and seems "too good to be true."
  • Wants you all to him- or herself; insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
  • Insists that you stop participating in hobbies or activities, quit school, or quit your job.
  • Does not honor your boundaries. 
  • Is excessively jealous and accuses you of being unfaithful. 
  • Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails, and texts you throughout the day. 
  • Criticizes or puts you down; says you are crazy, stupid, and/or fat/unattractive, or that no one else would ever want or love you. 
  • Takes no responsibility for his or her behavior and blames others. 
  • Has a history of abusing others. 
  • Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on his or her former partner; for example, "My ex was totally crazy." 
  • Takes your money or runs up your credit card debt. 
  • Rages out of control with you but can maintain composure around others. 

Abuse is never the fault of the victim. If you experience these "red flags," you can confide in a friend or reach out for support from a domestic violence advocate. If you believe a friend or relative is being abused, offer your nonjudgmental support and help. 

Sort Order: 
3