Sadly, domestic abuse is a real concern for anybody getting into a new relationship, particularly women. If you have started dating somebody new, the signs that they could be a domestic abuser might not always manifest themselves right at the start.
Often, the signs of domestic abuse are very subtle and things might not start getting serious until much further into the relationship when it is harder to leave. Whether you’ve met somebody online or bumped into them in your day-to-day life, knowing how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and where to look to find crucial information could potentially save your life.
Finding Public Records
The good news is that if your new date has ever been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence or has been convicted of domestic violence in the past, it should be easy enough for you to find these records when you know where to look. You can use a site like Public Records Reviews to find sentencing records, arrest records, citation records, and other red flags regarding domestic abuse by simply searching for their name or other information like their date of birth or address. Click here for more information. Of course, there’s always the risk that they have not been reported for or arrested for domestic violence in the past, which is why it’s important to recognize the early signs.
Love bombing is a technique that is often used by narcissists and manipulative people to trick you into trusting them and trap you in a relationship that eventually turns abusive. This could take the form of showering you with gifts or compliments very early into the relationship, or if you feel that the relationship is moving a lot faster than you would normally expect. It’s not uncommon for people in abusive relationships to have moved in together, gotten engaged, or even gotten married within the first few months of dating.
At the beginning of a relationship, somebody who is abusive will equate jealousy with love, and they may be so subtle with it that you slowly start to believe that they are only acting this way because they care so much about you. For example, they might question you about who you are talking to, where you are going, or become jealous of the time that you spend with your friends. They may accuse you of flirting with people who you know you weren’t flirting with, but it’s not uncommon for them to do it in such a way that you end up questioning yourself and wondering if you actually were crossing a line. At first, them calling you multiple times throughout the day, showing up at your workplace or asking friends to check on you might seem caring, but it’s a very common sign of abuse.
Most people who are abusive in relationships will not isolate their partner from everybody straight away, but they will do it in a gradual manner. In fact, the victim might not even realize that it is happening until it is too late. If you are dating somebody who always seems to be driving a wedge between you and your friends or family or getting into fights with people who are close to you, this could be an attempt to sabotage the relationships that you have with them and isolate you from your support system.
Refusal to Accept Blame
An abuser will rarely ever take responsibility for the things that they do. You might get an apology from them but it will most likely be followed by an explanation of why they did something in a way that shifts the blame onto you. For example, they might say that they are sorry they shouted at you, but they only did it because you did something wrong or annoyed them. Abusers will often blame others for their own shortcomings – somebody is always out to get them or is an obstacle to their achievements; it’s very rare for an abuser to genuinely recognize something as being their own fault. In addition, it’s common for abusers to blame you for how they feel, rather than taking responsibility for these feelings themselves.
‘Playful’ Use of Force
Unless you have agreed upon it specifically, ‘playful’ use of force in the relationship can be a huge red flag that the abuse will eventually escalate. This could take the form of ‘play fighting’ where you are ‘accidentally’ hurt or it could be under the guise of being sexual, such as restraining you during sex when you didn’t agree to that. An abuser may show little concern for your wishes in these situations and might try to make you feel like you are in the wrong for being worried about it, for example, they might tell you that you’re being too sensitive because they were only joking with you.
At the beginning of a relationship, most abusers are good at covering up their true selves and fooling you into thinking that they are a decent and kind person. Understanding the warning signs to look out for could save your life.