Are there warning signs that a romantic relationship will turn abusive? Emphatically YES!! Lovefraud has been saying this for years, and Dr. Dina McMillan, a social psychologist, agrees.
A Lovefraud reader sent me the above video of a TEDx Canberra presentation by Dr. McMillan. She says that about one in three teenage girls and women endure physical or sexual abuse from a romantic partner at least once in their lives. That adds up to 1.16 billion people. And it doesn’t count those who suffer emotional and psychological abuse, but no physical abuse.
Interestingly, Dr. McMillan refers to the perpetrators as “abusers,” but never mentions personality disorders. She says nothing about sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths or borderlines. Personally, I think it’s important to identify the abusers as being disordered. It’s important for people to know that there is something seriously wrong with anyone who abuses an intimate partner. They’re not just having a bad day.
Dr. McMillan identifies three warning signs that a male will start abusing a female (she does not discuss women abusing men).
- Too much — too many compliments, too many gifts, too much togetherness, too much talk about the future
- Too soon — calls you his girlfriend or future wife right away
- Transforming — he immediately starts trying to change you
I agree with these warning signs, but Lovefraud provides even more information. If you want to know more about the warning signs of an abusive relationship, I recommend the following webinars: