Emotional abuse often begins subtly and increases in severity over time.Batterers use emotional abuse gain power and control over their victims.Feeling uncomfortable or being afraid in your relationship is the number 1 red flag that your relationship is not healthy.Estimates are that 1 out of 4 women will experience an abusive relationship and there are often many early, detectible warning signs. Controlling behaviors often are the first indicators – anything they ask or demand you do to change who you are, your appearance or behavior seem like simple, compromise-type relationship concessions but are often veiled warning signs that this relationship may turn abusive.If you think your spouse or partner is abusive, or you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship, review the red flags and other information on domestic abuse and violence covered in this article.
Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Department of Justice.
Sources: Eastside Domestic Violence Program (2006).
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, but dating violence can happen across all age groups.
Physical or sexual violence may occur without warning.
Sometimes, however, there may be signs or "red flags" that serve as warnings that the relationship is abusive.