When I talk to people about feeling safe in their relationships, usually physical safety is the first thing that comes to mind. When someone says they feel unsafe in their relationship, we almost automatically assume that their partner is hitting them. However, physical safety goes deeper than that. Below are some red flags for physical safety:
- My partner has drawn back a hand as if to hit me.
- My partner has thrown objects around me, but not at me.
- My partner has hit walls, tables, beds, or other objects when angry with me.
- My partner has broken objects belonging to me.
- My partner has hidden objects belonging to me (cellphone, keys, debit card, etc.)
- My partner has verbally threatened to hurt me, pets, children, or themselves.
- My partner has verbally threatened to call (or has called) welfare, immigration, or child protective services without justification.
- My partner has displayed weapons to threaten me.
The two most dangerous times in a domestic violence relationship are when the abused partner attempts to leave and during pregnancy. On average, a person will attempt to leave an abusive relationship seven times before separating from their partner. But your safety and your life are worth it.