#HCAwarenessWeek: Domestic Violence; 6 Signs You Are in an Abusive Relationship

It can be difficult to realize that you’re in an abusive relationship, especially when you’re blinded by the love that you have for your significant other. This is especially true for an emotionally abusive relationship. Regardless of the type of abuse you are experiencing, it is detrimental to your physical, mental and emotional health. Below are some signs that you may be in an abusive relationship without realizing so.

Your partner begins to isolate you.

Often times in an abusive relationship, the abusive partner will prevent the other from spending time with family and friends. The abusive partner has the belief that anyone their partner spends time with is a threat to their relationship. So, they attempt to limit the time they spend with anyone else. Possessiveness is also a factor; abusers want their partner to spend all of their time with them. This is often an attempt to avoid anyone noticing signs of abuse from the abused.

Your partner forces sexual intimacy.

Abusive partners will tend to force sex, even if you are not interested. Enduring an abusive relationship typically causes the abused partner to lose sexual desire, especially toward their abuser. In this situation, the abuser will assume past consent as present consent, even though it is vital for each encounter. For example, if kissing had to lead to sex in the past, the abuser will assume that kissing should always lead to sex with their partner.

Your partner denies any acts of abuse they have committed toward you.

Abusers will deny that any type of abuse has taken place, especially if it is brought up to others outside of the relationship. Typically, this is because the abuser doesn’t want others to know that their partner is in an abusive relationship. The abuser would have an extreme fear of losing their partner if others were to learn of the situation. When this is not the case, the abuser will use this as psychological abuse toward their partner. In many situations, the abusive partner can convince their partner that they aren’t in an abusive relationship if they act as if nothing has happened.

Your partner threatens you or your family’s well-being if you tell anyone of the abuse.

Abusive partners will use this to keep their partner from telling anyone that you are being abused. Whether or not they intend on following through with their threats, if the opportunity presented itself or not, living with the current abuse seems better than putting your family at risk. This is a common control tactic abusers use.

Your partner physically abuses you.

Although this may seem obvious, it is worth adding to the list.  Even if there is only one incident, punching, slapping, choking or any other type of physical harm for that matter, is a definite sign that you are in an abusive relationship.

You apologize for things, even when you know you aren’t at fault.

At this point, victims have been abused so extensively, that they believe they are the reason for what is happening to them. They and their partner have both convinced themselves that their abuse is the result of something they have done, so in turn, they apologize.  

These are only a few signs, among many others. If you are looking for more signs, or any other information regarding domestic violence, you can visit The Domestic Violence Hotline. The Domestic Violence Hotline also has a 24/7 call service, 1-800-799-7233.

This article was written as part of HC at WVU's Domestic Violence Awareness Week. If you or someone you know is struggling from a domestic violence situation, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.​