Spotting signs of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse comes in different forms. It can happen between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship. But it can also happen within your immediate family, or even your extended family.

It can build slowly over time, which can make it very hard to pinpoint any one thing as domestic abuse.

Note that: we talk about a ‘partner’ to describe a relationship here but we know that this may not be your circumstances. As you’re going through the questions, you can change ‘partner’ for what your relationship and situation is.

Do you think you might be in an abusive situation?

Take a look at the questions below and see if you can relate to any of them.

Ask yourself, have you been feeling:

Walking on eggshells?

Like you’re walking on eggshells in your own home? Do you act differently to avoid sudden changes in your partner’s behaviour?


Stupid and not good enough?

Does your partner make you feel like this?


Uncomfortable and pressured?

Uncomfortable or pressured before or during sex with your partner? Have they done things that you didn’t want them to do?



Are you forced to do things you don’t want to do? Like you need to check if you can do something or go somewhere? For example, checking when you can do the food shopping.



Does your partner have a problem with you seeing friends or family?



Scared of your partner and what they might do?


Ask yourself, have these things been happening:

Being blamed?

Are you blamed for your partner’s behaviour? Do they say it’s your fault for the way they behave?
For example, they might say they didn’t get a promotion at work and it’s your fault for making them stressed.


Control over money?

Do you have control over your own money? Do you have to ask for money to do things?


Comments about your appearance?

Does your partner tell you what you can and can’t wear?


Question your judgement?

Does your partner question your judgement? Do they make you doubt yourself?
For example, do you fret over what to cook for dinner or what to watch on TV


Being threatened?

Has your partner threatened to do certain things, either to you or themselves?
For example, share your intimate photos, ruin your reputation at work or hurt themselves if you don’t do something.


Physically violent?

Has your partner been physically violent towards you? Have they thrown things or hit you?



You are not alone.

Even if it’s just one or two signs, you could be in an abusive relationship.
Bright Sky can connect you to support.



You are not alone.

Even if it’s just one or two signs, you could be in an abusive relationship.
Bright Sky can connect you to support.



Types of domestic abuse

Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Psychological abuse is name-calling, yelling, blaming and guilt tripping.

This feels like you’re being brainwashed in a very subtle way. Slowly, over time, you start to question your own judgement and doubt yourself. You can feel very cared for and protected, but really, you are being controlled.

You have limited access to your own money. They may have put you in debt, forced you to stop working or make you pay their living expenses.

They might insist on looking through your devices, including things like your phone, tablet, or kindle. They could send you aggressive and belittling text messages or use GPS to track and monitor your location.

Any kind of sex that makes you feel uncomfortable and is not consensual.

This is not just hitting. It could be that they throw things at you, restrain or shove you.