Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Physical or sexual violence may occur without warning. Sometimes, however, there may be signs or “red flags” that serve as warnings that the relationship is abusive. The following are some examples of a person’s behavior or personality that are potential “red flags” for an abusive relationship.


  • Does your partner tease you in a hurtful way & play it off as a “joke” or tell you you’re being too sensitive?
  • Does your partner call you names such as “stupid” or “bitch”?
  • Does your partner act jealous of your friends, family, or co-workers or coerce you into avoiding or not spending time with them?
  • Does your partner get angry about or make you change the clothes & shoes you wear, how you style your hair, or whether or not you wear makeup & how much?
  • Does your partner check-up on you by repeatedly calling, driving by, or getting someone else to?
  • Has your partner gone places with you or sent someone just to “keep an eye on you”?
  • Does your partner insist on knowing who you talk with on the phone, check your call log or phone bill?
  • Does your partner blame you for his problems or his bad mood?
  • Does your partner get angry so easily that you feel like you’re “walking on eggshells”?
  • Does your partner hit walls, drive dangerously, or do other things to scare you?
  • Does your partner often drink or use drugs?
  • Does your partner insist that you drink or use drugs with him?
  • Have you lost friends or no longer see some of your family because of your partner?
  • Does your partner accuse you of being interested in someone else or cheating on them?
  • Does your partner read your e/mail, check your computer history, go through your purse, or other personal papers?
  • Does your partner keep money from you, keep you in debt, or have “money secrets?”
  • Has your partner kept you from getting a job, or caused you to lose a job?
  • Has your partner sold your car, made you give up your license, or not repaired your car?
  • Does your partner threaten to hurt you, your children, family, friends, or pets?
  • Does your partner force you to have sex when you do not want to?
  • Does your partner force you to have sex in ways that you do not want to?
  • Does your partner threaten to kill you or themselves if you leave?
  • Is your partner like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” acting one way in front of other people and another way when you are alone?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be at risk.  Even if you only said yes to one or two of the above, these behaviors could multiply and worsen over time.  Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (Se habla español también) to speak with a domestic violence advocate.  The hotline is up 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

If you would prefer to chat via text with a domestic violence advocate, please go to http://www.thehotline.org/what-is-live-chat/ to start a safe, private, and secure chat with a domestic violence advocate.  Chat in English is available every day 7:00 AM – 2:00 AM C.D.T.

Si usted prefiere hablar con un defensor de violencia doméstica por el chat, por favor haz clic aqui.  Asistencia está disponible en español 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM C.D.T. todos los días.