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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

ISSI > Teen Dating Violence > Warning Signs Warning Signs

Some of the following signs are just a part of being a teen. But, when these changes happen suddenly, or without an explanation, they could signal abuse.

Warning signs of an abusive relationship:

  • Bruises, scratches, or other injuries
  • Failing grades
  • Dropping out of school activities
  • Avoiding friends and social events
  • Indecision
  • Changes in clothes or make–up
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Secrecy
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Crying spells or hysteria fits
  • Constant thoughts about the dating partner
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality
  • Fearfulness around the dating partner or when their name is mentioned

Warning signs of an abusive person:

  • Wants to get serious in the relationship quickly
  • Won't take no for an answer
  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Makes all the decisions
  • Dismisses other people's opinions and feelings
  • Wants to control a person's friends and activities
  • Puts constant pressure on someone
  • Demands to know where someone is all the time
  • Uses guilt trips - "If you really loved me, you would..."
  • Feels they deserve unconditional love and support
  • Has a history of bad relationships
  • Blames the person for their feelings and actions - "You asked for it" or "You made me mad"
  • Apologizes for violent behavior and promises not to do it again