Get Informed

This following list identifies a series of behaviors typically demonstrated by batterers and abusive people.  All of these forms of abuse, psychological, economic, and physical – come from the batterer’s desire for power and control.  The list can help you recognize if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship with an intimate partner, spouse, parent, sibling or other family member.

Red Flags

  • Destructive Criticism/Verbal Abuse: Name-calling; mocking; accusing; blaming; yelling; screaming; making humiliating remarks or gestures.
  • Abusing Technology: Tampering with your email, social media; installing tracking devices; reading your text messages; tracking your location.
  • Pressure Tactics: Emotional “guilt-tripping;” manipulating children to obtain what they want form their partner; telling you what to do.
  • Abusing Authority: Always claiming to be right and insisting that their statements are “the truth” and more logical.
  • Disrespect: Putting down in front of other people; attacking the character of you, your friends and family.
  • Abusing Trust: Lying; withholding information; cheating on you; being overly jealous.
  • Breaking Promises: Having a pattern of not following through.
  • Emotional Withholding: Not respecting feelings, rights, or opinions.
  • Minimizing, Denying & Blaming: Making light of your concerns; saying the abuse didn’t happen; saying you or someone else were the cause for their behavior.
  • Economic Control: Not letting you work; refusing to give you money or taking it from you.
  • Self-Destructive Behavior: Abusing alcohol or drugs; threatening suicide or other forms of self-harm; deliberately saying or doing things that will have negative consequences.
  • Isolation: Prevention you form seeing friends or relatives; monitoring your communication with others; telling you where you can and cannot go.
  • Harassment: Making uninvited visits or calls; following you, embarrassing you in public; refusing to leave when asked.
  • Intimidation: Making angry or threatening gestures; use of physical size to intimidate.
  • Destruction: Destroying your possessions (e.g. furniture); punching walls; throwing and/or breaking things.
  • Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to hurt you or others.
  • Sexual Violence: Degrading treatment based on your sex or sexual orientation; using force or coercion to obtain sex or perform sexual acts.
  • Physical Violence: Being violent to you, your children, household pets or others; slapping; punching; grabbing; kicking; choking; pushing; biting; burning; stabbing; shoots; etc.
  • Weapons: Use of weapons, keeping weapons around which frighten you; threatening to attempting to kill you or those you love.

The higher number of these “red flag” behaviors you recognize in your situation or someone you know the more at risk for becoming a victim of domestic violence.  See our Safety Plan for steps you can take to protect yourself and/or your children from further harm.

It is not safe to stay in an abusive relationship.

If your partner has been violent in the past, chances are very good it will happen again – even if your partner promised it wouldn’t.  For you and/or your children’s own safety, it’s best to be prepared just in case.  Remember, you do not have control over your partner’s violence, but you do have control over how you prepare for it and respond to it.

  • Know how to leave your home, the location of the police department, the address and phone number of where you will go if violence occurs.
  • Keep all assistance numbers in one location for easy accesses in an emergency situation and have your purse, car keys, phone numbers, important documents and some cash in a place where you can reach them easily. Keep an extra set of these items with a trusted friend or relative.
  • Teach your children how to contact 911 for any unsafe situation, so that if you need to tell them to do so they will know how.
  • Do not attempt to stop a violent person from leaving. Attempting to stop the batterer from leaving can be dangerous.
  • Press charges for physical violence or threats of violence and follow through with a court order to ensure safety.
  • Criminal courts provide temporary protection orders and civil protection are available through the domestic relations courts.
  • If you have a protection order, keep a copy with you and let your employer know of any such order.
  • Safe shelter is available to victims of violence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Phone: 937-426-2334 or Text: 937-347-5917.