Is your partner making you feel unsafe?

Does your partner make you feel afraid, hurt you, or control or limit what you can do? Do they do it repeatedly? These are signs of abuse.

Signs you're in a relationship with someone that could harm you

These are some signs that you may be unsafe in your relationship.

Signs can vary a lot, and it’s impossible to make a complete list. But these signs are some of the most common.

Your partner may be caring and attentive at times, and hurtful and harmful only sometimes. This is still abuse. Wanting to stay with your partner doesn’t mean you’re choosing to be abused, it’s your partner’s responsibility to change their behaviour.

Your life is in serious danger if your partner is doing any of these things:

Your life is in serious danger if your partner is doing any of these things:

  • Strangles, chokes or cuts off your breathing (if you have been strangled/choked you may need medical help)
  • Threatens to kill you
  • Violence is getting worse, more frequent, or both

You have the right to be safe in your relationship.

Other signs that your life could be at risk:

Although the signs below aren’t physical, these behaviours can also be dangerous and life-threatening.

  • Controls what you do and who you can see
  • Shows intense jealousy or possessiveness
  • Intimidates you or uses others to intimidate you
  • Stalks you

You have the right to live without fear.


There's help if you want it

Read about how to plan for your safety.

Feeling scared, restricted, or threatened in a relationship is abusive

You deserve to live a life where you can make your own choices, nurture your kids and stay connected to people and places that matter to you.

Other signs your partner is controlling you could include things like: not letting you leave the house, not letting you choose your clothes, limiting who you can see, threatening your status in the community (this could include your visa status) and/or not keeping you and your whānau safe. It could also include controlling your money, for example monitoring all your spending and/or not giving you enough money for food and essentials.

Your partner frightening you or punishing you is also abuse.

You deserve to be cared for, respected, and valued by your partner. If you are worried, help and support is available for yourself, your kids and anyone who’s affected.

Find support services

Many services offer help for people experiencing family violence. You can reach out whenever you’re ready.

Find family violence services

Find other support for family violence