Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram

Red flags for abusive/ toxic relationship

Reshma Sukumaran
9th sem BALLB

Falling in love is a beautiful feeling. When you get to know your partner, every second feels special. But what if your partner’s acts slowly turn them into a walking red flag?  Domestic violence is a combination of acts from the abuser towards their victims. These violent acts may be extremely ignorable at the beginning of a relationship and such acts are often referred to as red flags. Red flags tend to make the other partner slightly uncomfortable but are ignored due to their genuine love and affection for the other. Abuse in domestic spaces usually is portrayed as or is mistaken for love and desire and thus it is unnoticed by a lot in the beginning and starts to taunt later. These signs are referred to as red flags as the color red has a lot to do with sending a warning message. The color red has a long history of signifying danger, aggression, or bad things to come, so the term “red flag” is apt to showcase apprehension and violence. An abuser may use many tactics to abuse his/her victim, to control and manipulate them. Some of the abuses are as follows;

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Emotional Abuse
  3. Financial Abuse
  4. Psychological Abuse
  5. Mental Abuse
  6. Verbal Abuse
  7. Sexual Abuse etc.

Some of the red flags to be aware of are as follows ;

  1. They blame everything on you and the people around them.

Abusers often don’t take responsibility for their actions, instead, they blame it on others.

  • They pressure you for everything.

Abusers pressure their victims for everything so that they can latch onto their prey as quickly and tightly as possible.

  • They check on you always.

This particular red flag is often misinterpreted as care from the side of the other partner but in fact, it is a clear sign of control over the opposite partner. The abuser constantly calls you to know your location, whom you are with, ands.

  • They have an opinion on everything you do and say.

An abuser usually tries to control your life. They’ll have an opinion on even the smallest decision of your life. But at the same time, you may not have the space to share your opinion on their lives and often overreact if you do.

  • They start to isolate you from your friends and family.

This is the way by which the abuser makes sure that you have no one left to rely on and has to stay with them even after realising that they are abusive. You no longer have any connection with the outside world so they’ll be your only source of reliance.

The list of red flags goes on, but the earlier we identify red flags and accept them, the easier it is to avoid domestic violence and move on from a toxic relationship.

Author Name: Reshma Sukumaran
Email ID: reshmaresh1999@gmail.com

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