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In domestic violence relationships, red flags are present but we miss them. For me, I mistook them for love.

I thought my abuser cared so deeply for me because he wanted to know my whereabouts all the time. I felt he was concerned because he would call all the time, non-stop.

He made it easy for me to talk to him about everything. He would listen, but I didn't  know he was just taking notes to use against me later.

He became everything I needed him to be, so that I would be codependent on him. He became the friend I felt I was missing and the voice of reason. But he made me chase away the friends I had. The voice of reason was only a ploy to keep me from seeing who he really was.

He isolated me from my family and friends and told me he would hurt me and my family if I told that was hurting me.

So I missed all the red flags in the beginning. The things I felt I was lacking in others I found in him, and he became all that I needed and more.

It was easy for me to trust him because in the beginning he put up a façade - a mask he put on and took off in the presence of his friends. But behind closed doors he was the enemy. He abused me and used objects to beat me very badly.

I had to call him at his residence to let him know where I was, where I was going, and when I made it back to my own house.

It became scary. I isolated myself from my family and friends, in fear he would hurt me if he found out they knew.

What I learned is that red flags are hard to detect when you’re not sure if they are signs of abuse or love.

I know many victims are wondering if they are mistaken about the abusive behaviors of their partner. It can be hard to recognize red flags when you are in a violent crisis, because your whole focus is on survival.

Watch out for signs if you suspect you or someone else is being abused.

Do you recognize the red flags of abuse?

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No More Silent Tears "To expose hidden secrets behind closed doors of abuse, and bring awareness to end violence that happens every second for the victims and their families."

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