What are the signs of relationship abuse?

People in an abusive relationship may:

Receive harassing messages from their partner

  • receives texts or calls constantly when apart
  • checks the time frequently and reports back on whereabouts
  • is subjected to humiliating, belittling or abusive language

Seem afraid of or are anxious to please their partner

  • avoids socialising, especially with the opposite sex and may be restricted from seeing family/friends
  • has to explain/make excuses for partner’s possessive behaviour and always asks permission to do things
  • appears withdrawn when partner enters the room

Have limited or no access to finances or decision-making

  • has no personal bank accounts, debit cards or credit
  • is tracked for every dollar spent
  • routinely defers to partner’s choices with little or no decision-making power

Show changes in personality, behaviour or physical appearance

  • feels depressed, anxious or suicidal and expresses self-hate or shame
  • experiences mood swings, such as sudden crying or anger
  • fears being touched and avoids eye contact

Stop taking care of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs

  • loses interest in hobbies, activities and exercise
  • begins illegal substance or alcohol abuse
  • exhibits a change in sleep patterns and appetite

Need help?

If you are experiencing abuse, please call 1800 RESPECT (. If you are helping someone, call a helpline to seek professional guidance, encourage the individual to seek support, listen without judgment and respect the individual’s privacy.

For a list of international country helplines, click here

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