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Jealousy, Control & Isolation: The Warning Signs Of Domestic Violence

Every minute in the United States, almost 20 people are physically abused by a partner. According to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), about one in four women and one in nine men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking. That’s more than 10 million people each year.

These relationships don’t often start out abusive. According to Psychology Today, during the early stages of a relationship, abusers tend to “mask their abusive tendencies,” so “by the time many people notice the obvious red flags, they’re already attached to an abuser, which makes it much harder for them to leave the relationship.” Or as one anonymous survivor of domestic violence wrote for Refinery29, “Domestic abuse isn’t something of which the participants are necessarily aware [of] until it’s been pointed out by someone else.”

If you think that your relationship, or a loved one’s, may be heading towards domestic violence, here are some potential early warning signs of abuse. Remember, not all abusive relationships look the same, and a relationship doesn’t have to include every warning sign listed here to be abusive.

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