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New Study Reveals Warning Signs Of Domestic Violence

Research identifies key red flags predicting intimate partner violence, offering potential interventions

LONDON, Ontario — The warning signs of domestic violence have been revealed in a new study.

This new research identifies several “red flags” that preceded and predicted intimate partner violence.

The main possible warning signs to look out for include arrogance, acting entitled, reacting negatively to being told no, and disregarding a partner’s reasoning if it doesn’t agree with their own.

The researchers also demonstrated that the number of warning signs a person experiences, and how often they experience those signs, predicts abuse.

“Although future research is required to fully understand the associations between warning signs and abuse, these red flags could eventually be used in interventions to help people learn how to avoid abusive relationships or support loved ones who may be at risk for abuse,” said Dr. Nicolyn Charlot.

“Experiencing one or two warning signs on occasion may not be worrisome, but experiencing multiple warning signs repeatedly could be cause for concern,” she added.

Man Clenching Fist Near a Woman Covering Face While Sitting. There are key warning signs to observe such as arrogance, acting entitled, reacting negatively to being told no, in an abusive relationship. KAROLINA GRABOWSKA VIA PEXELS.

To get their results the team from Western University, Canada, presented 147 participants with a list of 200 abusive and non-abusive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors based on a review of existing research.


Participants then indicated how frequently each item had occurred since they started dating their partner.

In a second study with 355 participants, researchers identified warning signs that prospectively predicted violence six months later.

The results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, showed that possible warning signs of abuse may include a partner acting arrogant or entitled, reacting negatively when their partner said no to something they wanted, or disregarding a partner’s reasoning or logic because it did not agree with their own.

A clenched fist. Research identifies numerous “red flags”, which precede and predict intimate partner violence. PIXABAY VIA PEXELS.

Although these warning signs were shown to predict violence in the research, researchers say that it does not mean that all people who notice them will experience violence or that these indicators precede all violence.

“While this research is meant to help educate potential victims of abuse and those around them, that does not in any way mean that people who experience violence are responsible for their abuse,” added Dr. Charlot. 

“Similarly, if a person notices warning signs in someone else’s relationship, that does not mean they are responsible for any abuse that may occur.

“We hope that other researchers will seek to replicate our findings in different populations and eventually integrate robust warning signs into violence prevention programming,” she noted.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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