Warning Signs

10 warning signs of a hurtful relationship:

  1. Your partner is jealous and possessive.
  2. Your partner tries to control you by being bossy and not considering your opinion.
  3. Your partner scares you and you are afraid to make him or her angry.
  4. Your partner has a quick temper.
  5. Your partner has a history of violence.
  6. Your partner pressures you into doing things that you do not want to do, like having sex or breaking the law.
  7. Your partner abuses drugs and/or alcohol.
  8. Your partner blames you for all of his or her problems.
  9. Your partner has a history of bad relationships.
  10. Your family and friends have warned you about your partner or told you that they are worried about your safety.

Lethality Checklist

  • Victim attempting to end the relationship The time that the victim is in greatest danger is when they attempt to leave the batterer. This is when most victims are killed.
  • History of violence A reasonable indicator of future behavior is a past pattern of physical abuse. Previous assaults on a partner or child can be indicative of future acts of violence that may escalate suddenly.
  • Use of or access to weapons This may include weapons other than knives and guns. The use of weapons or martial arts skills increases the risk that serious harm will be inflicted.
  • Threats to kill victim, children, or commit suicide In most situations when a batterer chooses to take their own life,  the first attempt is to take the life of a family member.
  • Substance abuse Although drug or alcohol abuse is not the cause of battering, it does enhance the severity of the violence and the potential for violence increases drastically.
  • Obsession with victim This is when we hear "If I can’t have them no one will." The violent act is committed to prevent the victim from leaving or ending the relationship. This obsessiveness is also apparent in a murder/suicide scenario.
  • Mental health issues Certain mental health problems such as depression and paranoia increase the chances of a lethal assault.
  • Surveillance A significant number of murders or attempted murders involving domestic violence are preceded by the monitoring of the victim by their assailant. Stalking behavior, reading of the victim’s mail, or listening in on their phone calls are some of these surveillance methods.
  • Sexual assaults Those batterers who have sexually assaulted their victims in the past are twice as likely to commit a lethal or dangerous act of violence.​​​