Early warning signs of domestic violence

People often wonder if there are any signs that might warn about the potential for violence in a relationship. The following is adopted from material pushed by the National Technical Assistance Center on Family Violence.

1. Did your partner grow up in a violent family? Some people, especially males, who grew up in violent homes are more at risk for using violence when faced with a problem. Society also teaches us that certain forms of violence are expected and accepted from males (e.g. boxing, football, “boys will be boys”). This is to such an extent that all men must accept some level of violence or their masculinity is questioned.

2. Does your partner tend to use force or violence to “solve problems? Does your partner have a quick temper? Does your partner overreact to little problems of frustrations, like not finding a parking space or having a bad seat at the movies? Does our partner punch walls or things when upset? Cruelty to animals is a common behavior of people who are cruel to people.

3. Does he/she have a negative self image?

4. Does your partner have strong ideas about the role of men and women? Does he think women should stay home, take care of their partners and follow their wishes?

5. Is your partner jealous of you, your friends and family? Does your partner keep tabs on you? Does he/she want you to go with even if it is an inconvenience?

6. Does your partner threaten to use weapons against people or threaten to use them to get even?

7. Does your partner experience extreme highs and lows? Very kind in one instance and then very cruel in other instances?

8. When your partner gets angry do you fear him/her? Do you find that most of your energy goes into not making your partner angry?

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