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Early signs of abuse in relationships

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Power and control

Is obsessive. Tells you who you can see, what clothes to wear, how to have your hair or makeup.  Often says, “If you love me you will …”.
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Possessiveness

Wants to know where you going, who you are with, when you will be home, and so on. Displays stalking behaviours such as following you, accusing you of being unfaithful, flirting, and so on.
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Isolates you

Stops you or makes it difficult for you to see your family or friends. Sulks or is moody when your family or friends are around, and makes you feel uncomfortable until they are gone.
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Threats

Is abusive to you, or about your family, friends or pets. Indulges in name calling, and physical and emotional threats. Says things like, “I will leave you if …”, “I will hurt you if ….”. Nasty behaviour towards pets is a frequent early warning sign.
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Suicide threats

Says things like: “I need you.”
“You’re the only one who understands me.”
“I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“If you leave me I will hurt myself.”
“I need help; please help me.”
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Changeable/volatile behaviour

Is erratic – nice one minute or day, and abusive and nasty the next. Blames you for his behaviour. “You make me react that way”, “if you did this, or didn’t do that I wouldn’t get so angry.” You feel like you are walking on egg shells and constantly “trying to make him happy.”
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Sexual abuse

Is coercive, pressuring you to do things you don’t want to. Takes no responsibility for contraception, seeing it as “your problem”.
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Physical abuse

Says he loves you but then physically abuses you, by hitting, punching, choking, or pushing. Often has a history of previous abuse.
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Communication

Is haphazard and unreliable. Leaves you to do the contacting and keeps you dangling. You are left confused and don’t know what he wants.  Doesn’t appear to be telling you the truth about what he is doing and says “it’s none of your business”.  Makes you feel crazy, or jealous, or insecure when that is not how you usually feel.
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MINIMISATION & BLAME

Not accepting responsibility for your actions
Making a joke when you hurt your partner
Telling your partner everything is their fault
Acting like abuse is okay in the relationship

POWER & CONTROL

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INTIMIDATION

Yelling or screaming
Using a threatening tone
Talking down
Threatening to hurt yourself or your partner
Making your partner feel afraid
Tearing up pictures, smashing gifts, destroying objects

POWER & CONTROL

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SEXUAL ABUSE

Bragging about your sexual relationship
Comparing your partner to past partners
Flirting to make your partner jealous
Using drugs/alcohol to get sex
Pressuring your partner
Rape

POWER & CONTROL

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PHYSICAL ABUSE

Holding your partner so they can’t leave
Slamming them into a wall or locker
Hurting your partner where bruises don’t show
Grabbing, Slapping, Hitting, Shoving, Punching, Kicking

POWER & CONTROL

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THREATS

Saying you can’t live with your partner
Telling your partner you will leave them somewhere if they don’t do what you say
Constantly threatening to find someone else
Saying you will commit suicide if you breakup

POWER & CONTROL

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DOMINATION

Treating your partner like a baby, property or servant
Making all of the decisions
Having expectations that no one can meet
Controlling who your partner sees or spends time with
Setting all of the rules in the relationship

POWER & CONTROL

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HUMILIATION

Putting down your partner
Calling your partner names
Constant criticism
Making your partner feel like they are crazy
Humiliating your partner in front of people
Making your partner feel guilty
Embarrassing your partner

POWER & CONTROL

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POSSESSIVENESS

Using jealousy as a sign of love
Accusing your partner of cheating on you
Not letting your partner have other friends
Telling your partner how to think, dress and act

POWER & CONTROL

If you think you or someone you know may suffer from dating violence, please ask for help