The Dean of Students Office

Creating a Culture of Care

Symptoms of Relationship Violence

Early Warning signs that your partner may eventually become abusive:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Quick involvement, e.g. saying “I love you” early in the realtionship, getting engaged after only a few months in the relationship
  • Controlling behavior
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Explosive anger
  • Isolates you from friends and family
  • Uses force during an argument
  • Shows hypersensitivity
  • Believes in rigid sex roles
  • Blames others for his problems or feelings
  • Cruel to animals or children
  • Verbally abusive
  • Abused former partners
  • Threatens violence

(Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

If you believe you may be in an abusive relationship, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you ever been physically hurt, such as being kicked, pushed, choked or punched, by your partner or ex-partner?
  • Has your partner ever used the threat of hurting you or members of your family to get you to do something?
  • Has your partner ever injured or abused your pets?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed your property or things that you care about?
  • Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your family, going to school or doing other things that are important to you?
  • Do you feel like you are being controlled or isolated by your partner? For instance, does your partner control your money, transportation, activities or social contacts?
  • Have you ever been forced by your partner to have sex when you did not want to or to have unsafe sex?
  • Is your partner jealous and always questioning whether you are faithful?
  • Does your partner regularly blame you for things that you cannot control, or for his/her violent outbursts?
  • Does your partner regularly insult you?
  • Are you ever afraid of your partner or of going home? Does he/she make you feel unsafe?

(IL Department of Public Health,

There are signs of physical relationship violence that observers might see in a relative or friend who is in an abusive relationship. They include:

  • being prone to “accidents” or being repeatedly injured
  • having injuries that could not be caused unintentionally or that do not match the story of what happened to cause them
  • having injuries on many different parts of the body, such as the face, throat, neck, chest, abdomen or genitals
  • having bruises, burns or wounds that are shaped like teeth, hands, belts, cigarette tips or that look like the injured person has a glove or sock on (from having a hand or foot placed in boiling water)
  • having wounds in various states of healing
  • often seeking medical help or, conversely, waiting to seek or not seeking medical help even for serious injuries
  • showing signs of depression
  • using alcohol or other drugs
  • attempting suicide

(IL Department of Public Health,

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