Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. Am I in an abusive Relationship?

Am I in an abusive Relationship?

If you are having problems in your relationship, or find you are sometimes afraid of your partner or ex-partner, you may feel it’s your fault. However, abusive people often make their partners feel that any problems that are happening in the relationship are the fault of the person being abused. As a result, it can be often very difficult for an abused person to identify the fact that they are living in an abusive relationship.

If you are wondering whether you might be living in an abusive relationship we have listed some warning signs below to assist you.

Any one of the following signs is serious. You do not need to experience several, or all of them, for your relationship to be abusive.
• Your partner has been in a violent relationship before. If they have been abusive before it is likely they will be abusive again, even with a new partner.
• You are afraid of your partner.
• You are constantly ‘walking on eggshells’ because of their mood swings. You spend your time working out what kind of mood they are in and the focus is always on their needs.
• They lose their temper easily and over minor things.
• They criticise your friends or family and/or make it difficult for you to see them or talk to them on your own.
• They regularly criticise or undermine you - about the way you look, the way you dress, your abilities as a parent etc.
• Your needs are not considered important or are ignored, and they make the decisions in the relationship.
• You find it hard to get time away from them - even when you ask for it. When you spend time away from them, they want to know who you were with and where.
• They control your access to basic essentials such as the telephone, car, food or money.
• They try to control aspects of your life such as whether you work, and where; who you see and when; what you can spend; where you go and how; and what you watch or listen to on radio or television.

If after reading this you think that you are, or might be, living in an abusive relationship there's more information on this site that will help you to think through your options.