How do you tell?


26_tell_9422REMEMBER MY NAME  — Gary & Leo’s IGA has on display posters with names of people that have died at the hands of domestic abuse. The posters are set up above the produce section. I-O Photo by Barb Endler






Sometimes it is just hard to tell.  Especially when you’re looking at yourself.

“Am I? There was that one time, but he said it was because he was drinking. He hasn’t done it since. One time doesn’t mean anything. Right?”

“Nooo, it’s just because she doesn’t like my friends. It doesn’t mean anything. If I had some friends she liked, then she’d be ok with me going out with them. Right?”

“Demanding to know my passwords for my e-mail and Facebook accounts isn’t being controlling; he said all committed couples should have complete access to each other’s life. He just keeps forgetting to give me his passwords, but he will. Right?”


What’s normal in a relationship? What’s not? What is considered abuse? Where is the line? So many times it’s not black and white. The line can get grey and fuzzy, especially when emotions and feelings of love are involved.


A person never wants to believe two things. One, that someone they love would be abusive and two, that they are a victim.

There are many telltale signs that a relationship is in danger of, or highly likely of being abusive. These signs are so important to know, especially for young adults and teenagers who may be new to dating and relationships.

Some red flags to watch for are:

1. Mood swings.

2. Any kind of violence.

3. She/he say’s “You’re the only person for me”.

4. Double standards.

5. She/he doesn’t meet his/her needs or keep promises.

6. She/he gets him/her to talk about themselves, but she/he rarely discloses.

7. He/she feels an attraction to his or her strength-physical and emotional.

8. She/he has a family history of abuse.

9. She/he has a problem with alcohol/drug use.

10. How does he/she interact with children?

11. Beware if you feel defensive-a need to justify what you do.

12. Do you choose not to say how you feel because you don’t want to hurt his/her feelings, or make him/her mad?

13. She/he doesn’t have any other friends, only you.

14. When she/he’s angry, she/he attacks your personhood.

15. She/he blames you or other people when things go wrong.

16. Violence in his/her past relationship?

17. Do you feel a need to take care of him/her?

18. How does he/she handle anger?

19. How does she/he interact with their own family?

Also, be aware of the different tactics used to gain and keep power and control by an abuser.

If you suspect, even a little, that you or someone you know could be in an abusive relationship, but would like more information or to talk with an advocate, please call Hi-Line’s Help at 278-3342.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Be Aware. It’s your life.

It is important to note that abusers can be male or female.  Domestic violence can occur in traditional and same sex couples.  Females can be abusers and men can be victims.