Identifying Domestic Violence

While domestic violence is most commonly identified as when an intimate partner physically attacks or sexually abuses you, these are far from the only issues that fall under this broad heading. In fact, the term “domestic violence” can be used to describe almost any behavior that uses power and control to force someone to stay in a harmful relationship.

So what other warning signs of domestic violence should you look out for in your partner? Any form of emotional abuse should be viewed as a clear sign that your wellbeing is in jeopardy. An emotionally abusive partner may try to isolate you from others in your life, frequently insult or criticize you, or act excessively possessive.

This emotional manipulation will often also be displayed digitally or financially. For example, an abusive partner may frequently look through your phone and social media feeds without your permission. They may use these platforms to send negative messages or “keep tabs” on your behavior. Financially, an abusive partner may cut off access to bank accounts, steal money, max out credit cards, or even forbid you to work.

Quite often, verbal threats and emotional manipulation will escalate into physical or sexual abuse. As you come to understand the early warning signs of domestic violence, it is essential that you seek appropriate support as quickly as possible. Acting now could help you get out before domestic violence threatens your very life.