- The use of constant criticism, insults, threats, and intimidation to isolate another person and make them afraid to leave the relationship or seek help.
- Any kind of forced sexual act, ranging from sexual touching to intercourse (rape).
- Some people believe you can’t be raped by someone you are in a relationship with; this is not true.
- If you don’t agree to have sex, it’s rape. It does not matter who the person is or what your relationship is to that person.
- Any kind of assault with the body (e.g., punching, kicking) or with an object (e.g., gun, knife, baseball bat) intended to cause physical harm.
- Limiting access to financial resources (e.g., cash, bank accounts, credit cards) so as to limit your ability to leave a relationship or to control you within a relationship.
Warning signs of abuse
Remember - the warning signs may be subtle.
You may hope that the relationship will improve but abusive relationships often worsen over time. And, remember, the abuser in a relationship is not determined by sex, wealth or other identifying feature.
It is very important that you speak to someone you trust if you are experiencing these warning signs.
- Your partner isolates you, limiting your time with family and friends
- Your partner is jealous and accuses you of things you did not do
- Your partner tries to control many aspects of your life (e.g., decisions, finances, how you dress, your friends, etc.)
- Your partner criticizes you and makes you feel ashamed
- Your partner calls you names or ridicules you
- Your partner uses intimidation to make you feel afraid of them or to control your behavior
- Your partner is violent and may yell at you, push you, or hit you
- Your partner demands you have sex, even if you say no
- Your partner threatens to hurt themselves, you or your family or friends if you do not do what they want
- You feel you always have to always act a certain way to please your partner (i.e. walking on eggshells)
- Your partner frequently demeans or humiliates you in front of others (this can be done as a “joke”)
If you are concerned that you are in an abusive relationship, don’t wait until something bad happens.
Make an appointment with a health care provider (such as a nurse or psychologist) or campus counselor and share your situation with them.
For More Information:
Abusive Relationships - warning signs for teens
The Red Flag Campaign
Nova Scotia Domestic Violence Resource Centre