Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Red Flags

Jealousy and Possessiveness: Always questioning where you have been, who you were with, not wanting you to have friends, checks up on you, has people keep an eye on you, will not accept breaking up, often assumes you are cheating on them, confuses jealousy with love, says they are possessive or jealous only because they loves you so much and is scared of losing you.

Controlling Behavior: Decides where you will go, who you are “allowed” to see, is bossy, gives orders and expects them to be followed, makes all the decisions in the relationship, does not respect your opinions, wants and needs, tells you how to dress, accuses you of things you didn’t do, everything has to be their way.

Isolation: Through behaviors or words, tries to have you all to themselves, does not like you to be around anyone but them, sees friends and family as competition, expects you to stay home alone if you are not with them.

Blames Others For Problems: Does not accept responsibility for their behavior, always thinks others or the world are out to get them, sees everything as anyone and everyone else’s fault but their own, will not hold themselves accountable for words or actions, always has an excuse.

Blames Others For Feelings: Tells you that you or others make them feel a certain way(s), uses excuse of past experiences to justify present feelings and actions.

Hypersensitivity: Gets mad at insignificant things, you have to worry about everything you say and do because you don’t know how they will take it and/or react to it, often sees themselves as a victim, often feels defensive, is easily set off.

Cruelty To Animals or Children: Mistreats or abuses children or animals, thinks cruelty to animals or children is funny, brags about this mistreatment, sees nothing wrong with this kind of behavior.

Verbal Abuse: Calls you names, puts you down, threatens you, makes fun of you alone or in front of others, tries to make you look stupid in front of others, criticizes you, puts down things or people you like, talks to you in a way that is not respectful.

Believes In Traditional Gender Roles: Believes men should be in control and powerful and women should be passive and submissive, believes that man should always pay for the dates, believes men should be the decision makers, sees men as more important than women.

Has A Past History Of Being Abusive: Has a history of bad relationships and always blames the other partner for all the problems, has been physically, emotionally or sexually abusive in past relationships, has a history of fighting.

Threatens You With Violence: Do they scare you? Do they break, strike or throw objects? Do they own weapons? Do they make threats of hurting you or those you love? Do they use fear to control you? Do they use threats of violence toward themselves to control you?

Use Of Force During An Argument: Do they physically restrain you from leaving when you want to or from doing what you want? Do they punch, kick, bite, slap, pinch, hit, or throw you? Do they hurt your pets or things important to you to get at you during an argument? Do they stand in an intimidating manner (tower over you etc.) during an argument? Do they not give you a chance to say anything during an argument?

Is Too Serious About The Relationship Too Fast: Abusers often bring relationships to serious levels quickly, they often insist on commitment after only a short period, they want to take up all of your time right off the bat, they insist that they can’t live without you soon after you’ve started dating, they refuse to move at a pace that is comfortable for you, insisting that if you really cared about them you would want what they want.

Blames You When They Mistreat You: Want you to believe you provoked them, tells you it would not have happened if you didn’t press their buttons, tells you that you make them do it because of your actions, tells you that you led them on, tells you that you deserved it, tells you they can’t control themselves, tells you it’s only because they cares about you so much.

Pressures You For Sex or Sexual Acts: Do they think of women/men as sex objects? Attempt to manipulate you into sex by making you feel guilty (if you really loved me you would etc.)? Force you to do things you don’t want to do or are uncomfortable with? Minimize your feelings about sex? Berate you about your past sexual history? Touch you when you don’t want to be touched?


**None of these behaviors alone necessarily signify abuse.  But if your partner or potential partner exhibits any combination of these behaviors, you should rethink your relationship or your desire to get into a relationship with that person.  If you are worried, trust your instincts!  Talk to someone; get another person’s opinion.  And remember, you are never responsible to how another acts or feels especially if it is compromising your mental health and/or physical safety.

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