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The Signs

Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime


There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is 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 you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.


Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings
Your Partner’s Belittling Behaviour

Do you:


  • Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?

Does your partner:


  • Humiliate or yell at you?
  • Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner? 
  • Criticize you and put you down?
  • Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • Blame you for their own abusive behaviour?
  • Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
  • See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behaviour or Threats
Your Partner’s Controlling Behaviour

Does your partner:


  • Have a bad and unpredictable temper?

Does your partner:


  • Act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Control where you go or what you do?
  • Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • Keep you from seeing your friendsorfamily?
  • Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or car?
  • Destroy your belongings?
  • Constantly check up on you?


Early signs of abuse in a relationship include:
  • Quick, whirlwind romance
  • Wanting to be with you all the time; tracking what you’re doing and who you’re with
  • Jealousy at any perceived attention to or from others
  • Attempts to isolate you in the guise of loving behaviour – “you don’t need to go to work/school”, “we only need each other”, or “your friend / family don’t care  about you”