There are many signs of an abusive relationship—some are obvious, others are not. Breaking the cycle of violence begins with education, and to that end we’ve placed this information on our website to help you better understand your situation.

The most telling sign of an abusive relationship is a real fear of your partner.

If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that indicate you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you. This usually results in you experiencing feelings of self-loathing, helplessness and desperation.

People who are being emotionally abused may:

  • Seem afraid and anxious to please their partner
  • Go along with everything their partner says and does
  • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

People who are being physically abused may:

  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)

People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

  • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
  • Rarely go out in public without their partner
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards or the car

People who are being abused may:

  • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)
  • Be depressed, anxious or suicidal