Warning Signs

Abuse is often associated with physical violence, but it may also be emotional, psychological, verbal, sexual or financial.⁠

Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship.

Someone can experience abuse from a partner or a former partner, in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, or from children or other family members.

Who does domestic abuse happen to?

Anyone can experience domestic abuse no matter their age, race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, (dis)ability, wealth, or lifestyle.

However, the vast majority of domestic abuse is experienced by women, and perpetrated by men. In general, women experience incidents of domestic abuse more often, over longer periods of time, and are at higher risk of serious harm. Domestic abuse is rooted in gender inequality in our society.

How common is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is very common. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. It can be very difficult for someone who is experiencing domestic abuse to reach out to an expert support service or to the police. This means that the scale of the problem is not well recognised in everyday life.

Although every situation is unique, there are common factors that link the experience of an abusive relationship.

”Red flags” are indicators that you are potentially dealing with a toxic person and headed into an abusive situation.⁠

Acknowledging these factors is an important step in preventing and stopping the abuse. This list can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.⁠

People tend to overlook the simple signs of an abuser until it’s too late. It’s important to be able to recognise the 8 signs of an abusive relationship so you can help yourself and other remain safe.⁠

? INTENSITY, such as: lying, over the top gestures, insisting on getting married quickly / early, bombarding with texts / emails⁠

? JEALOUSY: irrational behaviour, refusal to let you speak to someone of the opposite sex, demanding to know private details of your life⁠

? CONTROL: telling you how to dress, behave, speak…, showing up uninvited, checking your phone without permission⁠

? ISOLATION: insisiting you spend time with only them, making you enmotionally, physically and financially dependent on them⁠

? CRITICISM: Calling you names, ridiculing your life, trying to brainwash you, claiming they are the only one who cares about you⁠

? SABOTAGE: making you miss work or school, hiding your keys or your money, destroying your self-esteem⁠

? BLAME: making you feel guilty and blaming you for their problems, making you responsible for their destructive behaviour⁠

? ANGER: overreacting to issues, having outbursts that you cannot control, threatening to hurt or kill you, feeling afraid for your life⁠