What are the warning signs of an abusive relationship?

Information in Irish sign language

Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time.

But if this begins to form a consistent pattern and you feel afraid of your partner, then this in a sign of domestic violence. You may feel like you have no power over your life and that you are being controlled by your partner.

We have listed some warning signs below to help you make sense of your situation. Any one of the following signs is serious. You do not need to experience several, or all of them for your relationship to be abusive.

  • You are afraid of your partner.
  • You are constantly 'walking on eggshells' because of his mood swings.
  • You spend your time working out what kind of mood he is in and the focus is always on his needs.
  • He loses his temper easily and over minor things.
  • He has hit you or almost hit you and/or your children.
  • Your partner has been abusive in a previous relationship.
  • He criticises your family and friends and/or makes it difficult for you to see them or talk to them on your own.
  • He calls you names and threatens you and/or your children.
  • He is jealous and accuses you of flirting and having affairs.
  • He regularly criticises or undermines you in front of other people - including about the way you look, dress, and/or your abilities as a mother.
  • Your needs are not considered important or are ignored, and he makes the decisions in the relationship.
  • You find it hard to get time on your own. When you do spend time away from him, he demands to know where you were and who you were with.
  • He controls your access to basic essentials such as the car, the family finances, food, the telephone and internet.
  • He has forced you to do something that you really did not want to do.
  • He has forced you to have sex with him or with other people. He has made you participate in sexual activities that you were uncomfortable with.
  • He has threatened to have you deported because of your immigration status.
  • He tries to control aspects of your life such as whether you work, and where; who you see and when; what you can spend; what you can wear; what you watch or listen to on the radio or television.
  • He demands to know the passwords to you email account and social networking pages.

If after reading this you think that you are, or might be, living in an abusive relationship read more about domestic violence and find out how you can keep safe . If you have children and are worried about their safety, click here .

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