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Following are some common signs that a person is or may turn out to be violent toward his or her intimate partner. Answering yes to one or two questions below does not necessarily mean a person has a pattern of abuse. However, if any of the questions below are true about you or your partner, you should be cautious about proceeding with the relationship and be sure to address those issues, preferably with the help of a counselor.




Am I/is my partner a person who...


  • Gets very serious about a relationship very quickly - saying "I love you" very quickly, wanting to move in together or get engaged after only a few months, or pressuring partner for a serious commitment?
  • Comes on very strong, is extremely charming and an overly "smooth talker?"
  • Is extremely jealous?
  • Isolates partner from support systems - wants partner all to self, and tries to keep partner from friends, family or outside activities?
  • Attempts to control what partner wears, what s/he does or who s/he sees?
  • Is abusive toward other people, especially mother or sisters if he is a male?
  • Blames others for own misbehaviour or failures?
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol?
  • Has unrealistic expectations, like expecting partner to meet all needs and be the perfect partner?
  • Is overly sensitive - acts "hurt" when not getting own way, takes offense when others disagree with an opinion, gets very upset at small inconveniences that are just a normal part of life?
  • Has ever been cruel to animals?   
  • Has ever abused children?
  • Has ever hit a partner in the past?
  • Has ever threatened violence, even if it wasn't a "serious" threat?
  • Calls partner names, puts him/her down or curses at him/her?
  • Is extremely moody, and switches quickly from being very nice to exploding in anger?
  • If a male, believes women are inferior to men and should obey them?
  • Is intimidating, for example using threatening body language, punching walls or breaking objects?
  • Holds partner against his/her will to keep him/her from walking away or leaving the room?
  • Was or is abused by a parent?
  • Grew up in a home where an adult was abused by another adult?