Dating and Relationship Violence
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Student Services Building - 5th Floor
ANY FORCE DURING AN ARGUMENT
Holding partner down
Physically restraining partner
Pushing or shoving partner
Keeping partner in one room against partner's will until the argument has reached a conclusion satisfactory to the abuser
BLAMES OTHERS FOR OWN FEELINGS
"I wouldn't be like this if you would stop being so stupid."
"I can't help being angry."
"I wouldn't have gotten so out of control if you hadn't upset me."
BLAMES OTHERS FOR OWN PROBLEMS
Claiming that others are always doing wrong to him/her/hir.
Blaming almost anything that goes wrong on the partner.
BREAKING OR STRIKING OBJECTS
As a punishment (breaks partners' possessions or own possessions that partner cares about, such as gifts)
Striking tables, walls, furniture to show physical strength and intimidate partner
Throwing objects at or near partner
Working to cut partner off from all resources & friends
Playing mind games by saying things like, "We only fight after you talk to your parents," or 'You're only unhappy with our relationship after you've been hanging out with your friends."
Making demeaning remarks about friends, or about way partner acts around friends
Belittling partner for having close relationship with family or friends, painting the relationships as dependence or being "tied to apron strings"
Insulting partner's supportive family and friends, either to their faces or privately to partner
Controlling partner's access to phone, internet, or transportation
Limiting partner's professional, academic, or social activities (i.e. forcing partner to quit job/school, not allowing partner to leave home without permission)
Claiming jealousy is a "sign of love"
Expressing jealousy of whoever partner spends time with
Calling frequently during the day or dropping by unexpectedly
Refusing to let partner participate in school, work, or social activity, claiming fear of partner meeting someone else
Checking car mileage or asking own friends to watch partner
"You can't complain now; you wanted me to do this."
When partner wants to spend time alone or with others away from abuser, may say: "Don't you like spending time with me?" or "Well, I guess I won't be too lonely."
"This isn't what I want; I'm only doing it because I know it's best for you."
Saying she/he/ze is concerned for partner's safety as an excuse to limit mobility/physical freedom
Getting angry when partner is late, unprepared, or otherwise does not meet abuser's expectation
Not letting partner make decisions or disregarding partner's decisions
Taking control of money or other assets out of partner's hands (economic abuse)
JEKYLL & HYDE
Coming across as caring, amiable, or charming, such as when outsiders or people with authority are around the couple (i.e. at business functions, picnics, the grocery store)
Rapid changes in mood when talking to partner
Switching between kindness and cruelty as is necessary to persuade or scare partner into doing what the abuser wants
Becoming easily insulted
Claiming his/her/hir feelings are hurt when actually very mad
Complaining about the injustice of own daily life situations
Admission of hitting a partner in the past; is justified with; "She made me do it," "He was crazy," etc.)
Friends, family, or colleagues assert that person has been abusive
"PLAYFUL" USE OF FORCE DURING SEX
Throwing or holding partner down during sex
Acting out fantasies during sex where partner is helpless
Sulking or using anger to manipulate partner into compliance during sex
Demanding sex when partner is tired or ill
Claiming "love at first sight"
Becoming engaged or living together within six months
Expressing desperate need for partner:
"You're the only person I could ever talk to."
"I've never felt love like this for anyone."
"I can't live without you."
"I would die without you."
RIGID SEX ROLES
Expecting partner to be servile and obedient
Seeing partner as inferior to own self and all person's of own gender
Believing the partner is not a whole person outside of the relationship
THREATS OF VIOLENCE
Any threat of physical force meant to control partner
Justifies threats by saying, "Everyone talks like that," or, "I was just getting carried away."
Threatens family, friends, or other supporters of partner
Being dependent upon partner for own needs
Expecting partner to be the perfect lover, wife/husband, mother/father, etc.
Saying things that are cruel, degrading, or hurtful
Belittling or cursing partner
Awakening partner at night with abusive language or not letting partner sleep
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN
Punishes animals brutally, shows insensitivity to their pain
Expects children to do things beyond their ability
If you or someone you know would like more information on safety planning or other services available to students dealing with dating/relationship violence, please call the Counseling and Mental Health Center at 471-3515. When you call, ask for an appointment with a counselor who works with the CMHC Voices Against Violence (VAV) Program.