The Red Flags of Abusive Relationships You Might Not Know About

January 7th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Physical violence is often the first thing that comes to mind when people are asked what constitutes an abusive relationship, and it's not incorrect. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average “nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States," the majority of whom are women.

But physical violence is unfortunately only one piece of these unhealthy partnerships — and when physical harm is the only wrong that people are told to watch out for, they may be unable to identify others, like emotional or financial abuse, that are just as important to flag.

On Twitter, activist and writer Jack Monroe set out to help people identify other important but perhaps less obvious signs of abusive behavior in a series of tweets.

Monroe pointed out that when a partner gaslights, excessively lies to, or humiliates their partners they could be initiating abusive behavior.

Monroe also made a point of undercutting seemingly romantic behaviors perpetuated by Hollywood, such as repeatedly showing up unannounced or saying “I can’t live without you,” as manipulative.

Last year, the viral hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou had a similar goal: helping raise awareness about the more nuanced forms of abuse that could be easily dismissed as characteristics of a partner that is "protective" or "insecure." In order to effectively put an end to destructive partnerships, it is necessary that people are able to identify the signs of all types of abuse in their own lives as well as the lives of others’.