Red Flags for Abusive Relationships

The following is a list of warning signs, also known as “red flags” for potentially abusive relationships. This list of signs is not all inclusive and may not be indicative of all abusive behaviors.

Domestic/dating abuse is defined as the use of emotional, physical and/or sexual tactics used by one partner to gain power over the other partner in an intimate relationship.

It is important to know that what may be a red flag to you in your relationship, may not be considered abuse to someone else; however, everyone deserves a healthy relationship filled with equal dynamics.

  • Your partner abuses alcohol or other drugs; becomes violent when under the influence.
  • Has a history of trouble with the law, get into fights, or break and destroy property.
  • Has trouble holding down a job or demands money from their partner, family, and friends.
  • Your partner blames you for how they treat you, or for anything bad that happens; never holds themselves accountable for their own behaviors.
  • They are abusive (verbally, physically) towards siblings, other family members, friends, children or pets.
  • Constant put downs/name-calling.
  • They are always angry at someone or something.
  • Your partner tries to isolate you and control whom you see or where you go.
  • Your partner refuses “no” and/or pressures you or forces you to be sexual when you do not want to be.
  • Cheats on you or have lots of partners.
  • Your partner is physically “rough” with you (push, shove, pull, yank, squeeze, restrain) but minimizes the behavior as serious (regardless if they leave marks).
  • Takes your money or take advantage of you in other ways.
  • Your partner accuses you of flirting or “coming on” to others or accuses you of cheating on them; they act possessive or does not allow you to have platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex.
  • Your partner makes all of the relationship decisions and does not listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings.
  • Ignores you, gives you the silent treatment, or hangs up on you; never is willing to compromise.
  • Lies to you.
  • Makes vulgar comments about you in others presence.
  • Tells you how to dress or act.
  • Threatens to kill themself if you break up with them, or tell you that they cannot live without you.
  • Displays extreme mood swings.
  • Compares you to former partners.


Information adapted from

Report to Title IX
Contact Drake Public Safety
Confidential Resources

Quick contacts to reach a confidential advocate

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        - Tuesdays 2:30-4:30
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