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Subtle Warning Signs of Abuse

An abusive relationship describes a relationship where one person consistently and constantly uses tactics to psychologically, physically, financially, emotionally, and sexually control and have power over another person. A relationship that is considered to have domestic violence is a relationship where there is an imbalance of power.


  • You walk on eggshells to avoid disappointing your partner.
  • Your partner requires constant check-ins and wants to know where you are and who you are with at all times.
  • Your partner says hurtful things about you disguised as “jokes.”
  • You find yourself apologizing even when you know you’ve done nothing wrong.
  • Your partner is hot and cold.
  • Your partner refuses to acknowledge your strengths and belittles your accomplishments.
  • Your partner withholds affection, sex or money to punish you.
  • You’ve lost sexual desire for your partner.
  • You feel sorry for your partner, even though they hurt you. Your partner is always changing plans in order to “surprise” you — or so they say.
  • Your partner uses gas-lighting to maintain the upper hand in the relationship.

Naadmaagewin Indigenous Domestic Violence Committee Video - Spirtual Abuse

This is one of four videos produced by the Naadmaagewin Indigenous Domestic Violence Committee, of which Beendigen is a member. Each video provides awareness on a different form of abuse.

How do you know you are in an abusive relationship?

Abuse is defined as treating a person in a harmful way. Someone doesn’t have to physically hurt you for it to be abusive. It can be emotional, sexual, or psychological.

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