It’s Not ‘Just Playing’, Protective Or Love: 12 Signs You’re In An Abusive Relationship

African American woman serious

While it’s no one’s intention to enter into abusive relationship, many men and women find themselves victims of emotional and physical abuse.  In fact, many who’ve escaped abusive relationships, which includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional or psychological abuse, swear they’ll never get into another one — only to find themselves in yet another sticky situation.

READ: When Sex Is Scary: Sigs You’re In A Sexually Abusive Relationship

Sadly, it takes an average of five to seven acts of violence before a woman leaves her abuser, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Considering about 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence, this is nothing to take lightly. A report from Planned Parenthood states African-American women reported higher rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization than women of other races.  So, how does one avoid entering into an abusive relationship in the first place? Learn to detect the early warning signs!

1. He pushes for quick involvement. He comes on strong, claiming he’s “never felt loved like this before.” He’ll insist on access: to your home and belongings. In some cases, involving children, he’ll begin to insert himself as a father figure — demanding respect.

2. Restless jealousy. He/she is excessively possessive. He’ll call and text constantly. Should you not respond in a “timely manner” he may pop up on you, at your home, work, or your favorite coffee spot, unannounced.

3. He insists you look a certain way. It may begin with suggesting you switch up your hair color. Only, before you know it, he’ll be telling you how to get your nails done, do your makeup or worse, dressing you. Sure, this sounds innocent – until it robs you of your identity.

READ: 8 Red Flags You May Be Dating A Sociopath

4. There’s isolation. He ensures he has ample time to spend with his family and friends. But once you mention you’re going to step out to do the same, tries to cut you off. He may deprive you of a phone or car, or even start a fight.

5. He blames others for his mistakes. Don’t expect him to take responsibility for his faults – he will ALWAYS place blame on someone else.