Explore By Topic: Relationship Abuse

Stories we consume in entertainment media and online contribute to our views about the relationships in our own lives. We need to be careful when talking about relationships — especially ones that were unhealthy or abusive — to ensure we are providing messages that are helpful and not harmful for followers who have current or past experiences with relationship abuse.

Need to Know

Relationship abuse encompasses a range of behaviors, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse.

The patterns of abuse often involve a cycle of power and control, in which the abuser systematically undermines the victim’s self-worth and independence.

Warning signs of relationship abuse can include extreme jealousy, possessiveness, unpredictability, bad temper, and isolation from friends and family.

Relationship abuse can also be very difficult to spot. Maintain close connections with your friend if you’re worried.

Leaving an abusive relationship can be incredibly challenging and dangerous. It’s important to understand the complexities involved and avoid oversimplifying the survivor’s experience.

Healing from relationship abuse is a personal journey that can involve therapy, support groups, legal action, and rebuilding one’s sense of self.

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, it’s important to reach out for help before things get worse.

Things to Avoid

Refrain from sharing graphic details of abuse that could be triggering or distressing to survivors.

Avoid blaming the victim or suggesting that they could have easily left the situation. Remember that the dynamics of abuse are intricate, and leaving can sometimes increase risk.

Be mindful not to generalize or make assumptions about what an abusive relationship looks like. Every situation is unique.

When discussing your own or someone else’s experiences, steer clear of identifying specific abusers, especially if legal proceedings are involved or personal safety is at risk.

Your Opportunity

Share stories of empowerment and resilience, focusing on how individuals have navigated their path to recovery and healing.

Promote awareness of the signs of relationship abuse and the importance of seeking help from professionals or trusted resources.

Emphasize that experiencing abuse is not a character flaw or sign of weakness. It can happen to anyone.

Provide a list of resources for your followers who may be seeking help, including hotlines, counseling services, and local shelters.


The Jed Foundation →

Learn more about abuse on JED’s Mental Health Resource Center

Love Is Respect →

Visit Love is Respect to learn more about relationship abuse, including the warning signs and how to get help.

National Domestic Violence Hotline →

Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor.

Dial 988 Hotline →

Dial 988 or text HOME to 741-741 for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.

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