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Being Abused: What Puts You at Risk?

Topic Overview

Physical abuse can happen to anyone. But certain things can increase your risk of being abused.

Things you cannot control

The abuser:

  • Uses alcohol or drugs.
  • Has a history of extreme impulsiveness or an increase in risk-taking behaviors, such as:
    • Drinking and driving.
    • High-risk sexual behavior.
  • Has a strong interest in guns and access to a gun.
  • Has a history of suicide attempts.
  • Has a history of violent behavior.
  • Has recently been in jail.
  • Was abused as a child.
  • Has a medical or mental health problem, such as depression or personality disorder.

Unsafe situations you may be able to avoid

You may find yourself in an unsafe situation if you:

  • Abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Date many people at one time.
  • Accept any violent behavior in the dating relationship. There is no excuse for abuse.
  • Ignore feelings of discomfort or warning signs that someone is treating you badly.
  • Think your partner holds the power in a relationship.
  • Are alone in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Depend on your dating partner for transportation.
  • Feel that your dating partner is in control because he or she asked you out and paid for the date.
  • Are part of a group that has a higher risk for assault, such as:
    • The homeless.
    • Sex workers.
    • Substance abusers.
    • Teens.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised September 5, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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Being Abused: What Puts You at Risk?