Domestic abuse isn’t just violence. It can be sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial too. In fact, these types of abuse are extremely common. Abuse can happen to anyone – men, women, older people, younger people, and in same-sex relationships. Often, in an abusive relationships there can be early warning signs that the relationship is not healthy. It’s common for the early relationship to feel like a whirlwind, for you to be ‘swept of your feet’, for it to be really romantic – but also for there to be some areas that just don’t feel right.
These could be some of the early warning signs of an abusive relationship; is your partner:
- Wanting to know how you spend your money, even though you have separate finances?
- Paying for everything and telling you you don’t need to worry, they will take care of you?
- Uncomfortable with you seeing your friends or family – perhaps they say that they ‘want you all to themselves’
- Jealous of your male/female friends; they might say it’s because you are too attractive for them not to fancy you, or because they like you so much
- Encouraging you to do things sexually you are not comfortable with, including sending pictures or text messages
- Very critical of you; sometimes you feel that you can’t do anything right
- Physically intimidating – they might not have touched you but their body language sometimes makes you feel worried
These are just some of the early signs of a relationship that could be damaging to you. Of course they don’t automatically mean that your partner could be abusive, but if anything is making you feel uncomfortable about your relationship, or if you are worried about a friend of family member, it’s ok to talk about it.
You can talk to Solace, in confidence, by calling 0808 802 5565 or visiting their website. You can also find out more about support available in Southwark council site http://advicelocal.org.uk/resources/southwark/children-and-families/domestic-violence-issues