Hesperian Health Guides

Warning Signs

a man speaking to a woman who looks ashamed while other women stand nearby
Stupid woman. I told you not to go out, especially looking as ugly as you do.

It does not matter how much you love a person. Love cannot change someone. Only that person can choose to change himself.

When an abusive relationship becomes violent, it is much harder to leave. The longer a woman stays, the more control the man has over her, and the less faith she may have in herself. Some men are more likely to become violent than others. There are certain signs that may mean a man will become violent. If you see these signs, and have a way to get out of the relationship, think carefully.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does he act jealous when you see other people, or accuse you of lying to him? If you find you change your behavior to keep him from acting jealous, then he is controlling you.
  • Does he try to keep you from seeing your friends and family, or from doing things on your own? It does not matter what reason he uses. He is trying to keep you from having their support. It will be easier for him to abuse you if you have nowhere else to go.
  • Does he insult you or make fun of you in front of other people? You may start to believe what he says. This can make you feel as though you deserve to be treated badly.
  • What does he do when he gets angry? Does he break or throw things? Has he ever physically hurt you or threatened to hurt you? Has he ever hit another woman? All of these things show that he has trouble controlling the way he acts.
  • Does he feel insulted by people with authority, such as his teachers, bosses, or his father? He may feel he has no power. This can make him try to gain power over other people in other areas of his life by using violence.
  • Does he claim that alcohol, drugs, or stress are the reasons he acts the way he does? If he puts the blame on something else, he may say things will get better if he gets a new job, moves to a new town, or stops using drugs or alcohol.
  • Does he blame you or someone else for the way he acts, or deny that he is doing anything wrong? He is less likely to want to change himself if he thinks that the way he acts is your fault.

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019