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20Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Updated on March 23, 2017

Domestic violence usually does not start suddenly and out of the blue. There are stages through which a relationship goes and then turns violent. You can surely predict domestic violence. If you think whether your partner will or will not turn violent, watch for these signs.

#1.The Relationship Gets Serious Too Quickly

So many men are commitment phobic. If you meet a man who gets serious quickly and starts to plan your future together, be cautious. There may be trouble ahead. Non-abusive men usually take enough time to get to know a woman well before they want to commit.

If your partner has not taken enough time to get to know you well, It might be because he is trying to wrap you into a package that he can own.

Possessiveness is the root of the evil called domestic abuse.

#2.He Breaks, Hits or Throws Things in Anger

Does your partner breaks or strikes things when he’s angry? Has he ever punched holes in the walls? Does he breaks objects in his hands or throws them across the room, in the middle of an argument?

These are all signs of aggression. Even though he has never gotten close to hurting you.Pay attention. Breaking stuff shows an aggressive nature. In future, he may not be able to control his physical aggression and might harm you.

#3.He Acts like Master of the House

Does your partner act like a master of the house─ makes all the decisions himself and treats you like an unpaid servant?

If a man has no respect for you, it surely means he doesn’t love you either and is very likely to harm you.

#4.He was Violent to His Former Partners

People do not change.Past behavior is a very good indicator of future behavior.Find out ,If he was violent to his former partners.If he was ─ he will be violent to you too.

Be alert,if another woman considers him abusive or he himself tells you that he physically abused his ex because ‘’she was crazy’’, ‘’she drove him nuts’’ and ‘’she made him put his hands on her.''

#5.Your Intuition Tells You That You are at Risk

Listen carefully to your intuition,even if he has not been violent to you in the past .Does it tell you that you are at risk? If you feel afraid of him or you feel he will harm you.Try to leave the relationship.As more time spent with an abuser makes it harder to leave the relationship.

A recent study found that women‘s own predictions about future violence by their partners were far more accurate than assessments based on any other factor.

#6.He is Excessively Jealous and Controlling

Is your partner excessively jealous?.Does he go ballistic when you talk to other men even for a while or take a sidelong glance at a man in the street?.Does your partner interrogate you about your whereabouts and require you to account for your time?

If he does any of that,there’s probably trouble ahead.

Dr.Susan Forward ,a leading psychotherapist says,’’ Extreme jealousy and suspicion are so often precursors to violent behavior.’’

#7.He has Criminal History

Does your partner has had previous police encounters for behavioral offenses likes threat,stalking or battery?It’s not hard to check anyone’s criminal history you can do it online.

Men with a criminal record are not safe to live with.They are much more likely to turn violent than other men.

#8.He Identifies or Compares Himself to Violent People

Violent people usually identify with other violent individuals.

Does your partner identify with violent people in films, stories, news or history? Does he think the violence of others as justified?

Anyone who can “sort of understand” why Charli Sheen struck his wife Donna Peele in the head is handing you a bright red flag.

#9.He Refuses to Take Responsibility for His Actions

Nothing is ever his fault.Whatever bad happens in his life it’s either yours,his mother’s or someone else’s fault.But never his.

#10.He is Obsessed with Weapons.

Does your partner love weapons and mostly collects, talks and reads about them? Does He think that a gun is an instrument of power, control, and revenge?

An obsession with weapons is unhealthy and increases the risk of harm to you.

Domestic violence Researchers Jacquelyn C. Campbell and Websdale observed that ’’When a gun was in the house, an abused woman was 6 times more likely than other abused woman to be killed ‘’.

#11.He Blames his Bad behavior on Drugs or Alcohol

Alcohol doesn’t cause a man to be abusive or violent. Men are violent because of their values and belief system.

If he tells you that he called you ‘’selfish bitch’’ last night because “I got so drunk ,I was crazy’’.You should never accept this explanation.It’s an excuse ─ a sure sign of an abuser.

Abusive men who also take drugs are very likely to turn violent.Some abusive men consciously go out and get drunk so as to create an excuse to get violent.

Never accept excuses that a man offers for his bad behavior.

#12.His Mood Changes are Extreme and Abrupt

Men, who are sometimes very gentle and kind but other times,cruel and insulting ,are very dangerous. It’s a sure sign trouble is ahead.This type of man is likely to turn violent in future.Even if he doesn’t turn violent the emotional and psychological harm that such men cause, will leave you devastated.

Patricia Evans, author of the bestseller,The verbally abusive relationship, writes,’’ When it comes to Jekyll and Hyde behavior—that is, an abuser’s first being kind, then unkind—you don’t need to try to figure out, ‘Is he a saint or a sinner, a devil or an angel?’ You only need to know that he may be just plain toxic to you! ‘’


#13.He Minimizes Incidents of Abuse.

When a man uses the tactic of minimization, he is attempting to convince you that the wrongful thing he did, wasn’t really as bad or as harmful, as you think. He knows what he did was cruel, but he won’t admit it to you.

For instance, during an argument, your partner shoves you. You are shocked because he has never done it before.The next day you are still upset by the incident so you bring up the issue.

You: I’m upset that you shoved me last night.It was so shocking and hurtful.

Him: Yeah, I might have touched you and pushed you a little bit, but you could hardly call it a ‘shove’ and there’s no way you can claim I hurt you or meant to hurt you. You are making me out to be a monster, and I’m not. Besides, you pushed me to the brink!

His statement combined several effective tactics from minimizing and trivializing the event (“touched You and pushed You a little bit”) to denial of malicious intent (“no way You can claim I meant to hurt You”), vilifying the victim (“You are making me out to be a monster”) and externalizing the blame (“You pushed me to the brink!”)among others. .

Abusers and violent men are often skilled manipulators.

#14.He Uses Money to Control You

Abusive men often use money to control their women. They don’t let the woman have personal bank accounts or saving accounts and demand an account of everything she buys.

If your partner doesn’t let you hold a job or sabotages your attempt to hold a job or you hold a job but he makes sure that your checks go to him and he deposits the money in a separate account out of your control.

These are all his attempts to weaken you economically so that you become dependent on him and cannot leave him no matter how he treats you.Such type of behavior should alert you to more trouble ahead.

#15.He Expects the Relationship to go on Forever

Is your partner very controlling and jealous but sometimes tells you that ,’’we are together for life’ ’or ‘’we will always be together ,no matter what’’ or something like this?

Such type of statements coming out of the mouth of a controlling, jealous partner should be taken as a red flag.

#16.He Has Inappropriately Surveilled or Followed You

Do you think your partner is spying on you?Following are the ways that man may use to spy on his partner

  • Monitoring her mail, email, phone calls, and/or text messages
  • Tracking her or her car using GPS
  • Monitoring her use of social media ,such as Facebook
  • Having her bugged
  • Having her followed by a private investigator
  • Watching her via video surveillance (including via a nanny cam)
  • Following her personally

If your partner has done any of these to keep an eye on you.It shows his excessively jealous and suspicious nature.You should be very cautious.Signs of trouble are there in your relationship.


#17.If You Leave me I will Kill Myself

A person who gives you suicide threats shows that he’s troubled or he is just trying to manipulate you. Whatever the reason Living with such person is dangerous.

In Dr.Susan Forward’s opinion,’’Obsesses who make suicide threats usually do so as to try to evoke strong feelings of apprehension or guilt in their targets,hoping to manipulate the target into coming back’’.

#18.He has Sexually Coerced or Assaulted You

Does your partner force you to have sex when you do not want to? or force you to have sex in ways that you do not want to?

Both count as rape.Rape is forced sex. He is getting off. You are getting violated. What would prevent a man from hitting you or choking you who has already raped you.

#19.He is Verbally Abusive

Verbal abuse underlies all other forms of abuse. Dr.Lillian Glass an interpersonal communication expert says,’’ The wrong kind of words can not only hurt you, they can emotionally maim you.’’

Does your partner say things to you that hurt or demean you? But when you tell him so,he responds somewhat like this:

“why do you always have to make a big deal out of nothing?”

‘’I was only joking’’

“I didn’t mean it that way.” “What I really meant to say was…”(But what he tells you that he really meant, is so much different than his earlier statement.)

If he responds like this, You are being verbally abused. Most of the men who hit or killed their women were verbally abusive to them before the violent incident.

#20.He Resolves Conflict with Intimidation and Violence

If during an argument,your partner raises a fist or punches a hole in the wall or throws things at you or restrains,pushes,shoves or threatens you , that is physical abuse.

Lundy Bancroft a renowned consultant on domestic abuse says,’’Physical abuse is dangerous. Once it starts in a relationship, it can escalate over time to more serious assaults such as slapping, punching, or choking. Even if it doesn’t, so-called ‘lower-level ‘physical abuse can frighten you, give your partner power over you, and start to affect your ability to manage your own life’’.

The more of these signs you have in your relationship,the more likely it is to turn violent.

If you are worried about your relationship ,I recommend reading Why does he do that by Lundy Bancroft and The gift of fear by Gavin de Becker.


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Passionate, you wrote two number 19s instead of a 20. That aside, this is a very useful article especially for younger women who are prone to deny abuse. Hope all would consider these pointers seriously. Thank you.


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