Signs of Abuse

Warning Signs
General Signs of Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse
Warning Signs of An Unsafe Relationship

Warning Signs

1. He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When you ask why he’s mad, he either denies it or tells you it’s your fault. Or he doesn’t respond to you at all.

2. When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying “You’re just trying to start an argument!” or claiming he has no idea what you’re talking about.

3. You frequently feel frustrated because you can’t get him to understand your intentions.

4. You’re upset about communication: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.

5. You sometimes think, “What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? If only I would do it this way. If I was a better partner/wife, then he would love me.”

6. He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything, and his opinion isn’t stated as “I think,” but as if you’re wrong and he’s right. He will say, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

7. Emotional abuse such as putting the person down or trying to control the persons actions.

General Signs of Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse

Some general signs are present in children who seem:

  • Nervous around adults or afraid of certain adults
  • Reluctant to go home
  • Very passive and withdrawn – or aggressive / disruptive
  • Tired a lot or complaining of nightmares or
  • Not sleeping well
  • Fearful and anxious
  • Abused children may also show sudden changes in behavior or school performance


Some signs of physical abuse:


  • Unexplained turns, bruises, black eyes and other injuries
  • Faded bruises of healing injuries after missing school
  • Fear of a parent or caretaker


Some Signs of sexual abuse:


  • Difficulty walking or sitting or other indications of injury in the genital area / Urinary Tract Infection, Vaginal Infection
  • Sexual knowledge or behavior beyond what is normal for the child’s age
  • Running away from home


Some signs of emotional abuse:


  • Acting overly mature or immature for the child’s age
  • Extreme changes in behavior
  • Delays in physical or emotional development
  • Attempted suicide

Warning Signs of an Unsafe Relationship

In most cases, abuse in relationships is a behavior learned from the home enviroment. It is passed down from generation to generation. Often, there are many warning signs that indicate the potential for violence.

To help determine if you are in an abusive relationship, check out these warning signs…

You may be headed for danger if you date someone who:

  • Tries to isolate you from friends and family.
  • Does not want you to spend time with anybody else.
  • Hits, punches, kicks or shoves you. Or, threatens to hurt you in any way.
  • Is extremely jealous.
  • Gets mad when you talk to other people.
  • Is possessive. Treats you like a belonging.
  • Is controlling. Insists that you call to “check in” or ask permission to do things.
  • Tries to control what you wear, what you do and how you act.
  • Scares you. Makes you worry about reactions to things you say or do.
  • Has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, has hurt animals or other people.
  • Is emotionally abusive. Puts you down, calls you names.
  • Makes all the decisions in the relationship. Does not care about your thoughts and feelings.
  • Abuses alcohol or drugs and pressures you to take them.
  • Won’t accept breaking up. Threatens to hurt you, or him / herself if you break up.
  • Stalks you after you’ve tried to break if off.

If you experience any of these warning signs in your relationship, you may be a victim of dating or domestic violence. To get help, tell someone you trust: a friend, your parents, counselor, clergy member, etc. Remember that you are not alone and that the abuse is not your fault. Help is available. Call for help, 911, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233).