No one wants to imagine that their loved one would ever intentionally harm them; however, the reality is, over 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. That’s why you must remain vigilant and be aware of the warning signs of a potential domestic abuser because they may be harder to spot than you think.
Domestic violence doesn’t always start with physical abuse, and it can take on many forms, including stalking, intimidation, sexual and emotional abuse. So to help yourself or someone else in an abusive relationship, here are five warning signs you should look out for in a partner:
They display controlling behavior.
This is the most telltale sign of potential domestic violence. Abusers may try to cover up their controlling tendencies by saying it’s out of concern for your safety. They will want to know your whereabouts at all times, know who you’ve spoken to or been with, and the abuser will become angry if they aren’t in control.
They try to isolate you from your family and friends.
An abuser will try to cut you off from your support system. They might even accuse your family and friends of being problematic as a reason to isolate yourself from them.
The slightest remarks easily offend an abuser. They will rant about injustices that have happened to them in the past.
They’re too much too fast.
If a partner says things like, “You’re the only one I can trust,” or “You’re the only one who loves me this way,” early in the relationship, this is a manipulative way to pressure you into commitment.
They have a history of violence.
An abuser may admit to being violent in the past, but they will justify their behavior and say someone made them do it. You might hear from other victims about their experience with the abuser.
Are these signs familiar?
Domestic violence is never the victim’s fault. If you recognize these signs in your partner, seek help from a loved one or a professional so that you can leave the relationship safely.