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Domestic abuse is all about Power and Control. While physical violence is an obvious sign, verbal, mental, psychological, sexual, financial, and technological abuse are extremely common in controlling relationships.  Coercive, controlling behavior can be difficult to identify.  Behavior can shift over time. What starts out seeming like a sign of love can slowly morph into abuse.

Recognizing Controlling Partner Behavior

While abuse is often hidden, there are common indicators seen in many controlling relationships.

Recognizing Warning Signs in a Loved One

 It’s hard to know what’s really going on in someone else’s relationship. Controlling behavior can be difficult to identify, even within the relationship. There are signs you can look for if you are concerned about a friend or family member. 

How to Help

There are things you can do to help, but be very careful about how you proceed. Victims typically leave their abusers 6-8 times before making the break for good. Leaving can be the most dangerous time as abusers escalate their tactics to maintain the power they feel they are losing. If your loved one’s partner is controlling and suspects you are trying to undermine that control, the situation can intensify quickly. Let your friend’s actions, words, and desires guide you. 

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