Watson Law
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Abuse Warning Signs

Sometimes acts of domestic violence seemingly come from nowhere. But the usual case is that the victim didn't see the "warning signs." In my practice I often talk to people who I believe are in a potentially abusive relationship. In tracking those cases and reading many other cases and articles, I have developed my own list of "warning signs." (Although I talk about "he" below, abusers are not always men.)


Warning Signs:

Easy: If he does this - get out!

  • He constantly makes you feel worthless and devalued; putting you down.
  • He threatens you or your loved ones.
  • He slams things, throws things, or breaks things when upset.
  • He punishes you, by abusing your kids or pets.
  • He makes all the decisions.
  • He doesn't let you further your education, or work.
  • He require you to work, but the money goes to him.
  • He controls your access to medicine, medical care, and/or medical devices.
  • He pushes, slaps, restrains, kicks... physically abuses you.
  • He expects/demands sex, sexual acts you aren't comfortable with, or sexually assaults you.

Hard: These are more subtle and may or may not point to potential abuse. The more of these he engages in or the more severe the act, the more likely that abuse is imminent, or happening.

  • He is jealous of who you talk to.
  • He puts you down in front of others.
  • He always finds fault with things you said or did at social events.
  • He checks in very often to see what you are doing, where you are, and/or who is with you.
  • He only wants you to do things with his friends and family.
  • He is utterly uninterested in spending time with your friends or family.
  • He objects to you being involved with you friends or family.
  • Everything is your fault.
  • He rushes to move in move-in, or get married.
  • He wants to be involved with everything you do.

You see that almost all of these clearly involve him being in control. Abuse is almost always an issue of control. Anything he does that appears to be him asserting control to the exclusion of you, can be another "sign".

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Chuck Watson

Watson Law

206 S. Sixth St.

Springfield, IL 62701

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