As a survivor of abuse in a community of other survivors, it's important to create a checklist of just how often something appears. Sometimes there's no logic behind the abuse at all. Sometimes people are horrible, but background reasoning or not, you are not meant to "fix them." They are very aware of their attitude. They are very aware of how they treat you, especially if you have spoken up about what bothers you. You're hurting, and you ask them to stop, but they don't listen.
Abuse can come from "friends," family members, or people we thought we could trust. Abuse holds no gender on who it chooses to attack. It happens to women, it happens to men, it happens to children, and it even happens to people who are so old they can barely stand. Someone could be the best person you'd ever met, but then, as the days pass, maybe even years ahead, things change, and they don't change for the better.
You grow scared to speak up. You don't know what they'll do. Or maybe you do know what they'll do and you see no point in saying anything.
Here are some signs:
→ They want to know your every movement, who you're hanging out with, how they're connected to you. Maybe they get insecure about that person and tell you to stop hanging out with said person. If you continue to hang out with said person, you're "obviously" cheating on them.
Other examples can be taking your credit card and controlling your expenses, keeping you from getting a job, traveling, or going out with friends.
→ Maybe they tell you what clothes to wear. (Ex: "That's too short. Change it." or "I don't want people to look at you." And it's not meant in a playful way.)
→ If you don't do something they like, they'll criticize you, make you feel small, maybe call you something they know you're insecure about. Maybe it hasn't been the first time they've said it either.
→ Cut you off from family and friends. They tell you to stop hanging out with certain friends that make you happy. Maybe the friend is even a very responsible one. Maybe they tell you to stop listening to a family member that has always felt uncomfortable about that person. The family member doesn't trust the abuser.
→ They embarrass you and when you tell them you didn't like it, they call you a "baby" or say "you're overreacting," and that "you're no fun."
Your feelings are valid. When someone makes you uncomfortable and you say it out loud, it is that person's responsibility to stop.
→ Gaslighting is when the abuser does something and when confronted, they tell you they never did that. Even though you remember it clearly, they deny, deny, deny, and you start to wonder if it really did happen. They know they did it.
Some more outright red flags:
→ They will punch or break something when they're angry.
→ They threaten to hurt you or something/someone important to you.
→ They say they're going to kill themselves.
→ They punch, kick, slap you. Maybe it can start as a joke, but when you show actual pain, they don't really care at all.
→ They would cause you harm and they would keep you from a hospital; maybe by taking away any communication from the outside world until you heal up.
→ Refuse to wear condoms or use birth control and still enforce sex with you.
If they use that "too big" excuse, that's disgusting bullsh**. People have put their heads into condoms just fine as well as their forearms.
Note: No matter when it was said, either halfway through sex or in the beginning if someone says "stop" or "no more" or anything similar, it's DONE. FINISHED. It doesn't continue, because the person has "blue balls" (also excusive bs). There better be VERBAL CONSENT from the very beginning.
If it's BDSM, you make a list of what you're ok with, what you're not, and DEFINITELY a safe-word or safe-movement if your mouth will be busy. Safe BDSM is the best BDSM.
These are only some signs. Please, speaking from a survivor, look up more signs and look at how the person treats you, whoever it may be. There's psychological, emotional, and physical abuse. Just because "it wasn't that bad", doesn't mean it can't be horrible later and it doesn't erase what already happened. Comparing what happened between you and someone else is wrong and saying, "mine isn't that bad" erases your views.
There are accidents, but then there's unchanged behavior.
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