If you suspect abuse but are uncertain and worried about making the situation worse, here are some signs to help you make a decision.

If you recognize some of these warning signs, it may be time to take action:


  • puts her down;
  • does all the talking and dominates the conversation;
  • checks up on her all the time, even at work;
  • tries to suggest he is the victim and acts depressed;
  • tries to keep her away from you;
  • acts as if he owns her;
  • lies to make himself look good or exaggerates his good qualities;
  • acts like he is superior and of more value than others in his home.


  • is apologetic and makes excuses for his behavior or becomes aggressive and angry;
  • is nervous when talking when he's there;
  • seems to be sick more often and misses work;
  • tries to cover up bruises;
  • makes excuses at the last minute about why she can't meet you or tries to avoid you on the street;
  • seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and afraid;
  • uses more drugs or alcohol to cope.

The danger may be greater if:


  • has access to her and her children;
  • has access to weapons;
  • has a history of abuse with her or others;
  • has threatened to harm or kill her should she leave;
  • threatened to harm her children, her pets or her property;
  • has threatened to kill himself;
  • has hit her or choked her in the past;
  • is going through a major life crisis;
  • is convinced of her infidelity;
  • blames her for ruining his life;
  • doesn't seek support;
  • watches her actions, listens to her conversations; reads her emails, follows her;
  • has trouble staying employed;
  • is abusing drugs or alcohol;
  • has no respect for the law.


  • has just separated or is planning to leave;
  • fears for her life and for the safety of her children or refuses to see the risk;
  • is in a custody battle, or has children from a previous relationship;
  • is involved in another relationship;
  • has unexplained injuries;
  • has no access to a phone;
  • has no friends or family;
  • faces obstacles to reaching out (language barriers, living in remote area, etc).

end faq

For more information you can view the brochure or download this wallet size card on how you can identify and help women at risk of abuse.

Though studies show that women in heterosexual relationships are at greater risk, abuse can also be endured by men as well as partners in gay and lesbian relationships. The signs mentionned above are equally applicable.

Source: Neighbours, Friends and Families