Abusive Relationship:
Red Flags


Red Flags

It can be challenging to identify abusive behaviors within a relationship and can be even more challenging to leave the situation once the abuse becomes obvious. At the beginning of most abusive relationships, the abuser is on their best behavior, often using grooming tactics to manipulate you and become the centre of your support system. Abusers use many covert tactics in order to assert control, and abusive and controlling behaviors intensify as the relationship grows. As the abuse escalates external support systems and resources are often diminished making it challenging to leave, therefore it is important to look out for red flags early on.

Some red flags that a relationship may be abusive are:

  • Embarrassing, shaming or putting you down;
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you;
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do;
  • Discouraging and/or preventing you from seeing your friends or families;
  • Taking your money and/or refusing to give you money for expenses;
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions;
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children;
  • Preventing you from working or attending school;
  • Blaming you for the abuse, or acting like it’s not really happening;
  • Destroying your property;
  • Threatening to hurt or kill your pets;
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons;
  • Shoving, slapping, choking or hitting you;
  • Attempting to stop you from pressing charges;
  • Threatening to commit suicide because of something you’ve done;
  • Threatening to hurt or kill you;
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with;
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol;
  • Preventing you from using birth control or pressuring you to become pregnant when you’re not ready.
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