It is estimated that up to one-third of high school and college age students experience violence in an intimate or dating relationship.

Warning Signs

  • Grew up in an abusive home
  • Gets into fights with other individuals besides partner-fights in bars, sporting events, etc.
  • Cruel to animals or pets
  • Believes the man should make all the decisions- where you go, who you can go with, what you wear, etc.
  • Believes hitting is an OK form of discipline
  • Is a possessive individual (not just jealous, treats you like a possession)
  • Outbursts of temper for little or no reason
  • Blames others for his actions
  • Has a poor self image
  • Abuses drugs and/or alcohol
  • Wants control over partner's actions
  • Tries to isolate partner from family and friends
  • Is a very traditional person- woman should be submissive, non-assertive, passive, etc.
  • Doesn't know how to appropriately deal with stress or anger
  • Moods change quickly
  • May have an arrest record involving assaults
  • Does not have good communication skills; couples with low verbal communication with one another will experience
  • more violence than those with high verbal communication
  • Lacks self-esteem

Danger Signs of Abusive Relationships

  • You are frightened of your partner's temper.
  • Compliant because you are afraid to hurt your partner's feeling or afraid of partner's anger.
  • Having the urge to rescue partner when partner is in trouble.
  • Apologizing to others for partner's behavior when treated badly.
  • Being hit, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown at you by partner when he/she was jealous/angry.
  • Making decisions about activities and friends according to how your partner will react.
  • Extreme jealousy- not a sign of love, a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust.
  • Controlling behavior- controls your time, how it is spent, who you can see or talk to, controls your money, makes decisions for you.
  • Quick involvement- abuser will pressure partner to commit to the relationship in such a way that later the partner may feel very guilty when wanting to break off the relationship.
  • Unrealistic expectations- perfect partner.
  • Blames others for problems- abuser makes mistakes and then blames partner, anything that goes wrong is blamed on partner. .
  • Blames others for feelings- "you make me mad", "you are hurting me by not doing what I want you to do."

Indicators of Lethality--When an Abuser Might Kill

The Centers of Disease Control reports that intimate partner violence results in about 2 million injuries and 1300 deaths nationwide each year. 

 The abuser has threatened to kill

  • Partner has left the relationship or the abuser has discovered that his/her partner wants to leave, file for separation or divorce
  • Weapons are present
  • The abuser has easy access to partner or partner’s family
  • A history of prior calls to the police for help
  • Stalking behavior on the part of the abuser may be an indication of willingness to engage in life threatening behavior
  • The abuser has threatened the children
  • The abuser has threatened to take  partner hostage of has held the partner hostage
  • The abuser has killed or mutilated a pet
  • The abuser has a history of assaultive behavior against others
  • The abuser has a history of weapon
  • The abuser has threatened suicide
  • The abuser has an alcohol or drug problem