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Abusive Behaviors


People who are abusive frequently exhibit "warning signs" of this type of future behavior.  One or two signs do not nessecarily make someone an abuser, but beware of someone who shows multiple warning signs.


  • Criticism

  • Name calling

  • Swearing

  • Mocking

  • Put-downs

  • Ridicule

  • Accusations

  • Blaming

  • Humiliation

  • Lying

  • Withholding information

  • Infidelity

  • Unreasonable jealousy

  • Withholding money or use of the car

  • Interference with work

  • Intimidation

  • Threats of violence

  • Destroying posessions


Warning Signs of Unhealthy Behavior

  • Loss of temper on a frequent basis
  • Physical fighting
  • Vandalism or property damage
  • Increase in use of drugs or alcohol
  • Detailed plans to commit acts of violence
  • Increase in risk taking behavior
  • Enjoyment of hurting animals
  • Serious drug and alcohol use
  • Gang membership or desire to be in one
  • Fascination with weapons
  • Trouble controlling feelings like anger
  • Withdrawl from friends and usual activities
  • Feeling rejected or alone
  • Poor school or employment performance
  • Frequent run-ins with authorities
  • Feeling constantly disrepected
  • Failing to acknowledge the feelings or rights of others
  • A history of violent or aggresive behavior


How can I help a friend or family member who is being abused?
  • Don't be afraid to let him or her know that you are concerned for their safety. Help them recognize that what's happening is not "normal" and they deserve a healthy, non-violent relationship.
  • Acknowledge that he or she is in a very difficult and scary situation. Let them know that abuse is not their fault.
  • Be supportive.  Listen to them and let them know that you are available to help whenever they need it.
  • Encourage him or her to participate in activities outside of the relationship.
  • If he or she ends the relationship, continue to be supportive of them.
  • Encourage him or her to talk to people who can provide help and guidance.
  • Remember that you cannot "rescue" him or her.  Ultimately the person getting hurt has to be the one to decide to do something.


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