There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner-constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up-chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

To learn more about Internet and technology safety, click here to read tips from the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings

Do You

  • Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • Feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Does Your Partner:

  • Humiliate or yell at you?
  • Criticize you or put you down?
  • Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • Blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats

Does Your Partner:

  • Have a bad or unpredictable temper?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • Force you to have sex or to do other things against your will?
  • Destroy or threaten to destroy your belongings?

Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior

Does Your Partner:

  • Act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Control where you go or what you do?
  • Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • Constantly check up on you?
  • Force or expect you to stay constantly connected via texting, cell phone, Facebook, other technology?


Signs of Human Trafficking


Below is a list of red flags that may be indicators of human trafficking. Remember: not all situations of trafficking will raise any or all of these red flags, and some of these indicators may be present in non-trafficking situations.

  • Few or no personal possessions
  • No control of financial records or identification documents
  • Limited knowledge of whereabouts
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Controlled or restricted communication
  • Limited or restricted freedom to leave working or living conditions (including excessive or inappropriate security features at the home and/or place of work)
  • Excessively long or unusual work hours
  • Unpaid, underpaid or paid only through tips
  • Lived in multiple residences within a brief period
  • Signs of trauma, fatigue, injuries or abuse
  • Excessive fearfulness of law enforcement and/or other authority figures
  • Non-cooperativeness
  • Minor (under 18 years old) engaged in commercial sex and/or in sexual situations beyond age-specific norms

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