This post is republished in collaboration with Bumble’s longtime partners, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting those affected by relationship abuse—and helping them reclaim their power back. It’s one of the many resources available on The Hotline’s website.
It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. In fact, in the early stages of a relationship, many people who are abusive seem perfect on the surface, or like a dream partner. However, possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight but emerge and intensify as the relationship grows. That’s why it’s important to know the potential red flags of abuse.
If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for.
Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline to talk about what’s going on.
- Embarrassing or putting you down
- Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
- Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Preventing you or discouraging you from seeing your friends or families
- Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
- Preventing you from making your own decisions
- Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
- Preventing you from working or attending school
- Blaming you for the abuse, or acting like it’s not happening
- Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidating you with guns, knives, or other weapons
- Shoving, slapping, choking, or hitting you
- Attempting to stop you from pressing charges
- Threatening to commit suicide because of something you’ve done
- Threatening to hurt or kill you
- Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
- Preventing you from using birth control or pressuring you to become pregnant when you’re not ready
It’s important to know the red flags of abuse because domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many things to have more power and control over their partner.
If you’re concerned about some of these things happening in your relationship, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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