Tuesday, July 17, 2012

7 Red Flags of Dating Abuse

When we think about relationship abuse, the mental image that comes to mind is a black eye. But physical violence occurs far later in an abusive relationship… or relationship abuse may never involve physical violence at all. To complicate matters, some of the early red flags of abuse may bear some similarity to early stages in a healthy relationship, e.g., social isolation can initially be misinterpreted for just wanting to be together or jealousy can start out looking like flattery. So what are some early signs to look out for?
·         Jealously and possessiveness
The individual may question their partner about time spent, conversations with or just looks at other men or women. This can seem sweet or harmless in the beginning, “You’re so good looking. I bet you turn heads whenever you walk into a room.”
·         Social Isolation
Limiting access to friends or family. “Your friends are trying to break us up. They’re just jealous of what a great relationship we have. I don’t want to hang with them. I just want to be with you.”
·         Moving the relationship too fast
“From the minute I met you I knew you were the one.”
·         Frequently calling or texting
        Initially this can look harmless, “I’m just calling to say I’m thinking about you”, but over time can increase to monitoring the partner’s every move.
·         Controlling behaviors
Criticizing how the partner dresses or acts, limiting his/her ability to engage in favorite pastimes. Put downs, criticisms or blaming the partner.
·         ‘Play’ fighting or ‘playful’ use of physical force
·         Rigid gender-defined roles
·         Hypersensitivity or threats to harm self if the partner doesn’t act as expected.

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