Signs of Relationship Abuse

Abuse happens in many ways and it’s important to know what it is.

Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern of control.” – Center For Relationship Abuse Awareness Center

Barrie Levy, MSW states in her book In Love and In Danger, “Young women ages 16-24 are most vulnerable to relationship abuse” but it’s important to know abuse can be caused or suffered by a male or female.

How do we know if we’re in an abusive relationship?

Check the list below to help decide if your relationship is potentially abusive.

Do they check your cell phone or email without your permission?

Are they constantly putting you down?

Do they act extremely jealous or insecure?

Do they have an explosive temper?

Do they have to know how much money you have or what you have spent your money on?

Do they want you to spend all your time with them or make you feel guilty when you spend time with friends or family?

Do they have mood swings?

Have they physically hurt you in any way?

Are they possessive and act as if they own you?

Do they tell you what to do or boss you around?

If you checked any of these boxes you may want to take an honest look at your relationship. Maybe even get outside help. Abuse only gets worse.

Looking for relationship building skills? Consider checking out our Dream Keepers program at Starting Point.

If you are being abused, one thing is for sure… it is not your fault.

It is not uncommon for a pregnancy to be a result of an abusive relationship. If you think you might be pregnant Starting Point can help. All appointments are private, so no one has to know you visited.


We’re here for you. You’re not alone.