Red Flags

The warning signs for domestic abuse are myriad and not always obvious. We’ve listed a few of the red flags you should watch out for. And remember: domestic abuse isn’t always violent — it’s about controlling and manipulating the mind and emotions of a partner.

  • Hypercriticism – you never do anything right 
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Humiliation – shames and insults you, especially in front of other people
  • Controlling behavior
  • Extreme jealousy of friends and time spent away from the abuser
  • Blaming others and you for all their problems
  • Isolation – prevents you from spending time with friends and family
  • Intimidating behavior, especially using guns and knives 
  • Restricts use of car and controls money
  • Makes decisions without consulting you
  • Pressures or forces you into unwanted sex acts
  • Sharp mood swings
  • Throws things and/or punches walls when angry
  • Restricts your movements 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, reach out for help by contacting the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence (, the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center (, Sojourner House (, the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center ( or the Women’s Center of RI (