Be careful if your mate displays any of the following signs:

  • Jealousy of your time with co-workers, friends and family.
  • Controlling behavior. Controls your comings and goings; controls your money and insists on “helping you make personal decisions.
  • Isolation. Cuts you off from friends, supportive resources, colleagues at work.
  • Blames others for their problems: Family problems, everything is “your” fault
  • Hypersensitivity. Easily upset by annoyances that are a part of daily life: criticism of any kind, being asked to help with chores or child care.
  • Cruelty to animals or children. Insensitive to the pain and suffering, may tease and/or hurt children and pets.
  • “Playful” use of force in sex. May throw you down and hold you during sex. May start having sex with you when you are sleeping or demand sex when you are ill or tired.
  • Verbal abuse. Says cruel and hurtful things, degrades and humiliates you, wakes you up to abuse you verbally or doesn’t let you go to sleep.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. Sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior – one minute loving, the next minute angry, manipulative, punitive.
  • Past history of battering. Has hit others before but has a list of excuses for having been “pushed” over the edge.
  • Threats of violence. Threatens to hit you, slap you, kill you break your neck, leave you, take the children away, take all the money and leave you penniless and alone
  • Breaking/striking objects. Breaks your things, throws object near or at you or the children.
  • Uses force during an argument. Holds you down or against a wall; pushes, shoves, slaps or kicks you; tries to get you to hit them first.

You don’t have to accept violent or abusive behavior from anyone – friends, dates, parents, spouses, anyone. Some people do not realize they are being abused until it is pointed out to them, or it is too late. If you see yourself in any of the above situations, look up the number of the nearest shelter and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (800-799-7233)