In abusive relationships, there may be a cycle during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm. Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children. As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as dysregulated aggression which may later contribute to continuing the legacy of abuse when they reach adulthood.

If you need immediate help with a domestic violence problem, call the National DV Hotline at 1-800-733-SAFE (7233)

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
NO MORE

This list was put together by survivors of domestic violence who reflected on the early phases of the battering relationship and identified some of the early warning signs of abusers.

  • Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
  • Does not honor your boundaries.
  • Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.
  • Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.
  • Criticizes you or puts you down; most commonly tells you that you are “crazy,” “stupid” and/or “fat,” or that no one would ever want or love you.
  • Says one thing and does another.
  • Takes no responsibility for their behavior and blames others.
  • Has a history of battering.
  • Grew up in an abusive or violent home.
  • Insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
  • Seems “too good to be true.”
  • Insists that you stop participating in leisure interests.
  • Rages out of control and is impulsive.