Know the signs

Many people who’ve experienced domestic abuse say they didn’t recognise they were in an abusive relationship until they were out of it.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical, and will often start with controlling behaviour. This is often disguised as concern – wanting to know where you are or who you are with for example. It may involve slowly wearing down your confidence or isolating you from family and friends. This can get worse over time and may become physical.

Realising you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it.

Signs that you are in an abusive relationship

  • Your partner is violent or threatening towards you
  • Your partner criticises you and puts you down
  • Your partner is controlling about what you do, where you go, who you see or what you spend
  • You feel afraid of your partner
  • You think you are to blame for the way your partner treats you•You feel embarrassed when your friends and family see how your partner treats you

If you are in an abusive relationship there is some practical advice on how to keep yourself safe here. There are also lots of organisations ready and waiting to help.

Signs that someone you know may be in an abusive relationship

  • They withdraw from their circle of friends and do less with other people
  • They receive lots of phone calls or texts from their partner when they are not with them
  • They become anxious when they might be home late or plans change
  • They have unexplained bruises or physical injuries

If you are concerned about a friend or family you can find out more about how you can help here.

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