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Those red flags are there to expose an abuser if only we were trained to see them. You will read the list and think “Now why oh why didn’t I think of that!” This checklist is a general one, as well all know in the BDSM lifestyle, some of these signs are not that of an abuser but of a good dominant, but like all things it doesn’t hurt to have a good idea about what might fall under the category of a potential abusive relationship/person.
HOW TO SPOT AN ABUSER CHECKLIST
- Are you afraid to act like yourself with this person? (no dominant should make you scard to act like your normal self, if you are then that is not right)
- Does this person refuse to talk AND listen to you? (The key to a lasting BDSM relationship is open communication, if your dominant is not listening to you, and will not talk with you about any of your fears or the like, then this might be called a red flag by many)
- Do you catch this person in lies?
- Are you this person’s only friend? (this does not always denote a abuser, some of us do not have a large friend list that we tend to associate with, this does not necessary mean the person will turn out to be an abuser)
- Does this person talk badly about other women?
- Does this person mistreat their mother/father, siblings or ex?
- Is this person mean to animals?
- Is this person subject to road rage?
- Does this person anger easily?
- Does this person hold grudges?
- Does this person express their anger physically?
- Is this person upset that you have other friends?
- Is this person jealous of your friends and relatives?
- Does this person try to cut you off from your friends? (This for many that I know if number 1 red flag)
- Does this person try to keep you from practicing your faith?
- Would you not consider this person a friend outside of this relationship?
- Is this person totally fixated on you? (some people say that there is a different between a loving partner and someone who is fixated on you, and its true, but some partners who are considered to be extreamly love and caring unfortunatly by some fall to various degrees into this catagory, thus its up to you to trust you own instints in this matter)
- Was this person abused as a child? Was their mother abused?
- Is this person co-dependent? (again this is a debated topic among many people apparently, some believe that you can’t have a M/s relationship without developing a co-dependence, others will argue otherwise.)
- Does this person have a poor self-image?
- Does this person have poor impulse control?
- Is this person preoccupied with sex?
- Does this person have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or a problem with compulsive gambling?
- Has this person pushed for intimacy early in the relationship? Perhaps making all sorts of promises for marriage and hope for the future. Has this person tried to brush aside your concerns as just jitters and tell you to just “trust them”?
- Does this person use guilt to try to manipulate you?
- Does this person unjustly accuse you of flirting with others?
- Does this person take your money?
- Must you always watch the TV program that this person wishes to see or go to the movie of their choice? (this for some might be a red flag, but in a M/s relationship its not necessarly so, depending on the level between the two partners.)
- Has this person tried “playful” forceful sex? Not stopping until you REALLY objected? (as many might think, that might not be a red flag, but it can be if the dom doesn’t stop when a safe word is used)
- Has this person threatened to hit you?
- Has this person hit, shoved, bit, kicked or in other ways tried to injure you? (This is not always the case as you might know, but then again doing this in anger is never good at any point in time, also if the intent of injury is more then temp or consentual then well of course its up to you to feel if its abuse or not)
- Has this person destroyed any of your property? Has this person threatened to do so?
- Does this person have a dual personality? Is this person nice and friendly most of the time, then cruel and heartless at other times?
- Does this person have to know where you are every minute and check up on you to make sure? (this might not always be a red flag, if it is something that is already known within your relationship, and has been agreed upon)
- Does this person check through your computer history, e-mail, cookies and logs to see where you have been? Does this person read your mail? Listen to your phone calls?
- Are you not allowed to be alone with friends and family?
- Does this person have a problem with authority figures?
- Does this person have extreme highs and extreme lows? Simple questions. Powerful questions. Perhaps even life saving questions.
If you answer YES to more than just even one or two of these you are in what many people would call an abusive relationship. The higher the number of questions checked the more serious the potential of the abuse is likely to be. However, this list is not comprehensive. Your particular situation will likely be somewhat different. If you feel you are being abused, seek professional counselling. Nothing in this checklist should be considered a substitute for counselling.
If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, get help now! You can take the first step by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TDD 1-800-787-3224) or go to http://www.ndvh.org