Maybe you didn’t see the abuse sneaking into your relationship and are now unsure how to handle the beginning of abuse. Many men and women enter into a relationship with good intentions and may not recognize the warning signs at the beginning. Abuse is not something that begins overnight but usually builds up over time.
In order to protect yourself, you must recognize the signs, create a safety plan, and get help as soon as possible. Abuse is never acceptable. You deserve dignity and respect from a partner. You are not alone in your journey; help is available.
Signs of an Abusive Partner
Whether you have just noticed one or more signs of abuse, or you have lived with an abusive person for years, it’s never too late to get help. Abuse comes in many forms such as verbal, physical, or emotional. Here are some common behaviors to watch out for:
- Insults or shames you, even in front of others
- Shows extreme jealousy of your friends/family
- Discourages you from spending time with friends/family
- Pressures you to engage in sex or sexual activity you are not comfortable with
- Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol
- Destroys your belongings/home
- Intimidates or threatens you with weapons
- Harms you physically or threatens to do so
- Controls finances in the household without discussion (taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses)
Create a Plan of Action
Create a plan to ensure your safety and remove yourself from any dangerous situation. Thinking clearly in a crisis is tough; that’s why having a plan in place is so vital. We understand how scary this step is and the courage it takes to leave. You are not alone.
Take these steps now:
- Inform your friends/family who you trust about your plan and identify moments you will need their help
- Have a phone available at all times and know the numbers to call for help.
- Talk to others in or near your home (come up with a signal for them to know when you may need them to contact help for you)
- Be prepared to avoid your partner if a threatening situation arises. Come up with multiple reasons to leave the house – things you do on a typical day like grocery shopping, staying longer at work, or hanging out with a friend
- Consider what you will do if your partner finds out about your plan
How to Get Help
If you recognize signs of abuse or are stuck in an abusive relationship, help is available. Even if you see only one early sign of abuse, don’t wait until it escalates. Remove yourself from the relationship as soon as you can.
Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline today and receive instruction and information about a safety plan. They can help you prepare to leave your abusive partner, help with legal protection resources, and advise you on what to do after leaving.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline today at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or chat with them online to get help today. You can do this.