I never believed she’d treat me like this.
The new relationship seemed wonderful, caring, very intense and exciting. We even had a ceremony. (Jessie)
Even if it had to be us against the world, we were equal partners – that’s what I used to think. (Nita)
It can be difficult to recognise the signs of abuse in a relationship, as people who are abusive are not always that way. Things can get worse gradually, and abuse can take many different forms.
Is it abuse?
Looking at your relationship, you could ask yourself if:
- You feel afraid of upsetting your partner and you change your behaviour to avoid it.
- Your partner puts you down or humiliates you.
- Your partner threatens to ‘out’ you to employers or family.
- She constantly monitors your movements.
- She acts in an aggressive way towards you or damages your possessions.
- She pressures or forces you to do sexual things against your will.
- She blames you for her behaviour.
- She controls your money.
- She threatens to hurt you, other people, or herself if you leave her.
I stopped talking to everyone I cared about, because she was so jealous. (Jade)
These can be signs of abuse in a relationship. And it’s not only physical violence that is serious, all abuse has damaging consequences.
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