Signs that you are in an abusive relationship and what to do

It is not normal nor lovely that your partner checks on you at all times, is jealous of others around you, and tries to decide what you can wear.

You may think that is just the way your partner is, or because is so protective they love you, however, most of the time, these are signs that you are in an abusive relationship

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, and most of the time this comes from an intimate partner. 


There are many types of violence against women, such as economic or emotional apart from the physical and sexual. 

These are some signs that United Nations Women have listed as signs to look for if you think you are in an abusive relationship.


  • Your partner keeps track of everything you do. They monitor where you are and whom you are with at all times. They prevent or discourage you from seeing friends, family, or going to work or school.
  • Your partner insists that you reply right away to their texts, emails, and calls, and demands to know your passwords to social media sites, email, and other accounts.
  • An abusive partner may act jealous, including constantly accusing you of cheating. They may attempt to control how you spend money and your use of medications or birth control. They may make everyday decisions for you, such as what you wear or eat.
  • They may be demeaning. They may put you down by insulting your appearance, intelligence, or interests. They may try to humiliate you in front of others and attempt to destroy your property or things that you care about.
  • An abusive partner may act angry or have a quick or unpredictable temper, so you never know what might cause a problem. They may blame you for their violent outbursts and physically harm or threaten harm to you, themselves, and members of your household, including children or pets.
  • They may hurt you physically, such as hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting. They may use or threaten to use, a weapon against you.
  • They may be sexually abusive, including rape or other forced sexual activity. They may incorrectly assume that consent for a sex act in the past means that you must participate in the same acts in the future. They may also incorrectly assume that consent for one activity means consent for increased levels of intimacy. For example, an abuser may assume that a kiss should lead to sex every time.
  • An abusive partner may threaten to turn you in to authorities for illegal activity if you report the abuse, or if you resist.
  • They may try to make you financially dependent on them by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, and/or forbidding attendance at school or employment.


    If you spot one or more of these attitudes, might be a sign that you are in an abusive relationship. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Identity patterns to predict if your partner’s violence may escalate.
  • Share your concerns with a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. 
  • Develop a plan for when you need help. Maybe establish some code words, phrases, emojis, or call patterns you can use when in trouble. 
  • Develop an escape strategy in case things get rough and you are in danger. 
  • If possible, leave them and look for a safe place to stay.  
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