- By Native News Online Staff
While you and your partner might be having fun getting to know each other, it’s important to watch for certain behaviors when dating someone new. In the beginning of a relationship, it’s not always easy to tell if your partner might become abusive.
It can also be hard to spot the early warning signs of abuse because every relationship is different. The one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner will do anything to gain power and control over their partner.
Here are some early “red flags” to look for, but know that these behaviors can appear in a relationship at any time.
Does your partner:
- Move too fast into the relationship or pressure you to commit?
- Shower you with compliments or seem “too good to be true”?
- Constantly ask where you are all the time, or frequently call or text you throughout the day?
- Follow you around or show up at your home, school or work without telling you in advance?
- Pressure you to have sex before you’re ready?
- Act extremely jealous or possessive of you?
- Make jokes about your culture or put you down for being Native?
- Lose their temper with you or yell at you in private, but stay calm around others?
- Insist that you “make more time for them” by spending less time with your family or friends?
- Encourage you to quit school or work, or to stop participating in activities and hobbies?
- Insist on driving you everywhere, or check your car mileage when you return?
- Blame their former partners for abuse in previous relationships (ex. “My ex was crazy,” or “It wasn’t that bad.”)?
Someone who acts in these ways may try to blame their partner for their own abusive behavior. No matter the reason a person chooses to abuse, it is never their partner’s fault.
What You Can Do
Understanding patterns of abuse is a starting point in maintaining healthy relationships. If any of these behaviors raise a red flag for you, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. To get help, connect with StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) or by clicking on the Chat Now icon on the website daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. As a collaboration with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, callers reaching out after hours can connect with The Hotline by choosing option one.
Need help? Contact strongheartshelpline.org today.
More Stories Like ThisThe Association on American Indian Affairs is declaring #EVERYTHINGBACK during the 7th Annual Repatriation Conference
Headed Back to School: Prioritizing community health for Native Youth
Forest carbon: the intersection of modern-day stewardship and economic development
How ILCC helped the Kashia Tribe reclaim its ancestral homelands after two centuries
Native American students find connections, community at GVSU
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.