Red Flags

Dating violence is defined as controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It occurs among people who are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination of these. Relationships in which dating violence happens might have red flags such as jealousy, manipulation, name-calling, and sometimes physical or sexual abuse.

  • Holds stereotyped beliefs about the "proper" roles for women and men in society.
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs.
  • Is more emotonally constricted, less emotionally expressive, less empathetic.
  • Views sexual relations as "conquests."
  • Has a history of trouble with the law, getting into fights, or breaking and destroying property.
  • Doesn't work or go to school.
  • Blames partner for how they are treated, or for anything bad that happens.
  • Abuses siblings, other family members, children or pets.
  • Puts down people, including partners family and friends - may call them names.
  • Is always angry at someone or something.
  • Tries to isolate partner and control who partner see or where partner goes.
  • Nags or forces partner to be sexual even when partner doesn't want to be.
  • Cheats on partner or has lots of partners.
  • Is physically rough with partner (pushes, shoves, pulls, yanks, squeezes, restrains).
  • Takes partner's money or takes advantage of partner in other ways.
  • Accuses partner of flirting or "coming on" to others or accuses partner of cheating.
  • Doesn't listen to partner or show interest in partner's opinions or feelings.
  • Ignores, gives silent treatment to, or hangs up on partner.
  • Lies to partner.
  • Doesn't show up when expected or disappears for days.
  • Makes vulgar comments about others in the presence of partner.
  • Blames all arguments and problems on partner.
  • Tells partner how to dress or act.
  • Threatens to kill him/her self if partner attempts a break-up.
  • Tells partner he/she can't live without partner.
  • Experiences extreme mood swings...tells partner "you are the greatest" one minute and rips partner apart the next.
  • Tells partner to shut up.
  • Tells partner how stupid, dumb, fat or "  " partner is.
  • Compares current partner to former partners.

 Other cues that might indicate an abusive relationship:

  • You feel afraid to break up with him/her.
  • You feel tied down, like you have to check in with your partner.
  • You feel afraid of making decision or bringing up certain subjects so your partner won't get made.
  • You tell yourself that if you just try harder and love your partner enough, everything will be just fine.
  • You find yourself crying a lot, being depressed or unhappy.
  • You find yourself worrying and obsessing about how to please your partner and keep him/her happy.
  • You find the physical or emotional abuse getting worse over time. 
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