20 Signs Your Best Friend Might Be Struggling With An Emotionally Abusive Partner

When we talk about abusive relationships we often imagine physical violence. Because of its ability to be visibly recognized it’s easy for us to discern that physical violence is not okay under any circumstance. It’s abuse. But what about other kinds of violence and abuse? Not all of its so visual or easy to notice. Emotional abuse constitutes the minimization and humiliation of a partner. They may have never laid a hand on you, but they’re always making you feel like trash.

Your partner might have never laid a hand on you but their words can make you feel like you’re an incompatible partner, inadequate person and in worst case scenarios like you’re complete trash.

1. They make you feel like you don’t understand anything or that you are always wrong.

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It doesn’t have to be in an argument. Signs that your partner might be emotionally abusive can pop up in normal conversations and be subtle. They might not say direct things like “that’s a dumb thing to say” but if they give off the impression that you never say anything intelligent and that you are always  wrong no matter what can be a sign of emotional abuse. 

2. They start to call you things like “crazy.”

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Has your partner made you start to feel like everything is in your head? Perhaps like your feelings aren’t valid, because you’re “overreacting,” “thinking too much,” or “behaving crazy.” Gaslighting is a very real thing and its a sort of emotional abuse that your partner can use to make you start to believe that what you know to be true isn’t real or question your own perception of reality.

3. They want constant control over your life.

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It can start off with little things, like wanting to know when you’ll be home or asking you to wear a certain clothing. They might tell you to stop wearing your red lipstick and hoops because it makes you look “slutty” or demand that you cut off communication with certain friends, exes, and co-workers.  Perhaps they start wanting to control what you spend and where. Having a partner who begins to control your life in ways that truly do not concern them based of off Jealousy, possessiveness is unhealthy and abusive.

4. They don’t respect or listen to you when you say “no.”

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You don’t want to have sex tonight but they complain and gripe and even cry until you give up. They make you finally give in after constant nagging despite the fact that you’ve outlined your comfort zone. Sexual assault is very real and it can happen in relationships. Whether it’s making you feel guilty or as if it’s your responsibility to satisfy them. 

5. They don’t hit you, but somehow you have physical bruises.

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Physical abuse doesn’t just occur at a slap, hit, shove, or punch. You can have a partner that pinches you or holds onto you to tight whether you’re or arguing, wanting to leave an argument or just talking. 

6. They try to make you believe that you’re unlovable.

Only they can love you, want you, be good to you. Somehow your partner tries to convince or tell you that no one in the whole entire world could accept you for who you are but them. They also use this and your love for them as leverage to get what they want. “If you don’t do this or you do do it, I’ll never speak to you again” or “If you do this I’ll never love you again” can be part of this.

7. They never give you support when you deserve it.

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Ever question why it is that any time something good happens to you, whether it’s a promotion a salary raise, your birthday, the birth of a niece, that somehow they always end up picking a fight with you? Even in your highest of times and achievements they end up making you question whether or not you deserve what you’ve gotten and your self-worth. That’s an abuser.

8. They don’t like when you talk to other people.

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They don’t like to hear anyone else’s opinion but they’re own and they want you to feel the same. Their efforts to isolate you from others like family and friends who could help you get out of the abusive relationship is a major red flag.

9. You’re always to blame.

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Somehow you’re always doing something to make your partner upset. They raise their voice, punch a whole in the wall, throw a plate and you are somehow the one that made them do it. They are never to blame for their actions and you are the one “asking for it.

This is a huge problem and a major sign that you are in an abusive relationship.

10. They make you doubt your feelings.

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It’s hard to understand how to question someone’s motives when you should be able to trust them. If you have a hard time describing your situation to friends and constantly call into question whether your friend is truly getting understanding “of both sides of the story” in order to justify your partners behavior you might want to consider what parts of your relationship might make you do this and whether they are signs of abuse. 

11. They don’t want other people interfering.

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They just want things to be “between you and them.” They don’t think your problems are other people’s problems and that your friends should “stay out” of your business. 

12. They express their aggressiveness by hitting and throwing objects.

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Everyone takes it out on a door every once and a while, but if your partner starts throwing, hitting and destroying objects to demonstrate their strength you should definitely consider this a threat that suggests you could be next.

13. They yell.

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Raised voices happen, but consider how excessive yelling gets in your relationships. Are you and your partner raising your voices to be heard or is your partner yelling AT you. Constant yelling and screaming in a relationship can be a sign of escalation that leads to violence.

14. They hit you.

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This is abuse. GET OUT.

15. They promise they won’t do it anymore.

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Your partner is repentant and sorry that they’ve treated you like a punching bag or louded into you with their loud voice, criticisms and name calling. It doesn’t matter how expensive the gifts they send you are or how nicely written their notes are you must come to terms that you are in a relatinoship with an abusive partner and you must get out. 

16. You’ve started to believe it’s all your fault. / Instagram
After all the arguments your partner has started to make you believe that you deserve the abuse. This is your abusive partners effort to make you feel like what they are doing is justified.

17. They make you nervous.

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Partners should make you feel secure and love. Not as if they are going to break up with you for decisions you’ve made, something you’ve worn or how you cooked dinner.

18. They make you feel like you are not enough.

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They cheat on you because you don’t like to do certain things in bed or aren’t up for having sex as often as they are. They tell you that it’s your fault, “if only you would __“. It’s caca girl. Walk away.

19. You are constantly fighting to make them happy.

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Nothing’s wrong with wanting to keep your partner happy. But once you find yourself constantly doing things to make them love you and feel happy you need to know that you’ve got problems. If you find yourself keeping quiet about something they’ve done to bother you to keep the peace, avoid going out with your friends to avoid a fight there’s a problem.

20. Get help.

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Talk to someone you trust, or get support at the National Domestic Violence Hotline via their live chat option or at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), which is available 24/7.

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Migrants Are Dying In US Immigration Custody And Here’s What You Need To Know About The Victims

Things That Matter

Migrants Are Dying In US Immigration Custody And Here’s What You Need To Know About The Victims

Jose Cabezas / Reuters

The deaths of migrants in US government custody have sparked outrage and cast a spotlight on the treatment of immigrants detained by authorities. But, despite the outrage and grief, little seems to be being done to improve the conditions immigrants are being held in. 

In fact, recent reports indicate that the Trump administration is actually moving to make life for migrants even more miserable (and dangerous) while in  government custody. From not providing for basic sanitary needs to withholding critical vaccinations and even deporting migrants in need of life-saving medical care, this administration is putting countless lives at risk. 

Given the administration’s contempt of migrants coming to the US to seek asylum or simply better opportunities, the deaths of migrants are not at all surprising. Although they’re largely an avoidable tragedy — until Trump took office deaths of migrants in US custody were exceedingly rare — the situation in detention centers is likely to get worse before it improves. 

At least eight people have died in ICE custody at adult detention centers this year, according to information released by ICE and compiled by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Here are those who we’ve lost since January 2019:

Abel Reyes-Clemente, 54, Mexico

While in ICE custody at an Arizona corrections center, Reyes-Clemente displayed signs of the flu and was “placed into medical observation” on April 1, ICE said. Two days later, facility personnel found him around 6 a.m., unresponsive and not breathing.

This case is a particular reminder of the cruelty of the administration’s policies. Reyes-Clemente likely died of complications related to the flu yet it was just recently announced that the government will not provide flu vaccines to migrants for the upcoming flu season.

Simratpal Singh, 21, India

The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner listed suicide as the manner of death and hanging as the primary cause of death on its website. Autopsy results have not yet been released. 

Unidentified Man, 40, Mexico

The man died at Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being apprehended by CBP agents for illegal re-entry early Sunday morning, according to a CBP news release. Hours after being apprehended, the unnamed man was evaluated by medical personnel at the Border Patrol’s processing facility near Paso Del Norte Port of Entry.

CBP said the man was transported to the medical center after being diagnosed with flu-like symptoms, liver failure and renal failure. He died later that day.

Johana Medina Leon, 25, El Salvador


The cause of death for Medina Leon, the asylum seeker who died on June 1, remains unclear. Like Roxana Hernandez, a transgender woman who died in ICE custody last summer, Medina Leon was diagnosed with HIV while she was detained.

Medina Leon, known to her friends as “Joa,” became ill while detained at the Otero County Processing Center, a private detention center in New Mexico where the ACLU and the Santa Fe Dreamer Project recently alleged poor treatment of, and “unconscionable conditions,” for LGBTQ immigrants.

Unidentified Woman, 40, Honduras

The woman, who was not identified, died shortly after being apprehended after crossing the border.

The woman, who crossed the border without authorization in Eagle Pass, Texas, at about 6:20 a.m., collapsed about 25 minutes later at the Eagle Pass South Station. In a statement, Border Patrol said agents and officers administered medical care until emergency medical services arrived at 6:55 a.m. She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The tragedy marked the second time in less than 36 hours that a person had died immediately following their perilous migration from their home in Central America, through Mexico and across the southwest border.

Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, 30, Honduras

Balderramos-Torres had previously been apprehended by immigration officials in El Paso, Texas, on May 17, according to a statement released by ICE. The man was accompanied by his son when he was encountered by Border Patrol on May 17, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Balderramos-Torres had been sent back to Mexico under a Trump administration program that requires Central American immigrants to wait outside the US as their asylum cases make their way through the immigration courts. On May 27, Balderramos-Torres again crossed the border without authorization and was picked up by local police in the US during a traffic stop.

On June 30, Balderramos-Torres was found “unresponsive,” and medical officials at the facility were unable to revive him. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning. A cause of death is pending as officials conduct an autopsy.

Pedro Arriago-Santoya, 44, Mexico

Pedro Arriago-Santoya was awaiting deportation at the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin prior to his death at an area hospital.

Medical staff at a hospital in Columbus determined the man’s preliminary cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest, followed by multi-organ system failure; endocarditis, an infection in the heart’s inner lining; dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease; and respiratory failure, ICE said in a statement

In custody since April, Arriago-Santoya told immigration authorities he felt stomach pain on July 20, leading a nurse practitioner to send him via ambulance to a hospital in Cuthbert. Medical staff suspected he had gall bladder disease, ICE said, and, the next day, sent him to the hospital where he died waiting for surgery consultation.

Marvin Antonio González, 32, El Salvador

Credit: Jose Cabezas / Reuters

Like many Salvadoran migrants before them, Marvin Gonzalez and his eight-year-old daughter Joselyn set off from their farm surrounded by corn and sugarcane one morning in early July with dreams of better lives in the United States. 

Gonzalez, 32, planned to reunite the girl with her mother in North Carolina, and later send for his current wife from El Salvador. 

The two made it across the U.S. border in late July. Then their luck turned. After they were detained in El Paso, Gonzalez died from heart-related causes that seemed to have flared up suddenly.

Norma Palacios, 23, the wife of the younger Gonzalez, said she had planned to eventually join her husband in the United States, bringing along their daughter Tifany, but had changed her mind.

“Our dream was to be together there, but now with what happened, I don’t have the courage to go alone,” she said in an interview with Reuters.

Roberto Rodriguez-Espinoza, 37, Mexico

Staff at the jail saw Rodriguez-Espinoza “acting confused” on Sept. 7 and transferred him to Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital in Woodstock for evaluation, ICE said. He was transferred to Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital the next day, where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage.

He was transferred to Central DuPage for a neurosurgery consultation and became unresponsive during a neurological exam, ICE said.

Many of these deaths were likely preventable. Human Rights Watch asked for an independent medical analysis of 15 recent deaths in immigration detention; in eight cases, subpar medical care contributed or led to the fatalities. The same is true for 23 of the 52 deaths in immigration detention for which we have such analysis since 2010.

ICE has dramatically expanded the number of people in its dangerous system, including particularly vulnerable people like children and pregnant women. 

By locking up people who aren’t a flight risk or a threat to public safety, the US guarantees a ballooning, abusive, and expensive system, despite the existence of more cost-effective and humane alternatives to detention. 

Eight Women Opened Up About Their Sexual Assault Experiences And How They Survived


Eight Women Opened Up About Their Sexual Assault Experiences And How They Survived

Content Warning — The following stories share details of physical and sexual abuse that could be triggering to some readers. Discretion is advised.

If you’re a woman, there’s a certain amount of extra care you have to take in our world. That’s why we go to the bathroom in groups and buy things like mace and self dense tools just in case we find ourselves the targets of attack. The numbers tell us this is a very possible situation. Statistically, 1 in 6 women are victims of an attempted or completed rape. Additionally, 1 in 4 women are the victims of domestic abuse by a significant other.  

Whether physical or sexual assault, assault completed by a stranger or a loved one, the suffering caused by these actions are very real and can lead to a lifetime of pain. We can do a lot to prevent these attacks but one of the most important things we can do for survivors after the fact is to talk about it. Addressing this pain and celebrating the strength needed to continue on afterwards helps with the difficult healing process. 

With this in mind, we asked our FIERCE readers to open up to us and talk about these traumatic experiences. What they shared spoke of the strength and perseverance of the corazón femenino. Here’s what they had to say. 

1. Healing but stronger than ever!

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“My stepfather’s granddad molested me from 3-5 years old. He would tell me that if I told my parents they would be angry at me, so I kept it silent until 1st grade when a school nurse briefly explained what inappropriate touching was. I told her everything [and] my parents/police were called. The next morning my abuser was on a flight back to his country. My family who was supposed to protect me, instead protected him. I am still healing but stronger than ever! I refuse to let that hurt inner child shape my life.” — @rosyyaret

2. Your abuse does not define you. 

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“I was 4 and it was my older brother. I became incredibly depressed and suicidal in high school due to the fact that I was silenced. I dropped out as soon as I turned 18. It’s taken many years of removing toxic people from my life, self love and healing. I am now a mother of two beautiful girls, I graduated high school last year at the age of 25 and I am now set to graduate from college spring 2020 with a degree in Spanish, behavioral science and sociology. I’m currently working on all my UC applications and my life is mine, I reclaimed it.

I hope that these words help someone, anyone. Your abuse does not define you or dictate your life. It gets better and you’ve got a group of hermanas and hermanos out here rooting for you. My inbox is open to anyone in need of a listening ear.” — @lichalopez__

3. We can overcome anything.

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“4-5 year old me playing at the yard and my grandma’s ahijado abused me. A friend (6 year old boy) saw what was going on and started knocking and kicking the door until he opened it and I could run away. Had to look at this guy for years nobody knew nothing until last year that I told my husband. I’m a proud Daughter of God, a mama bear and blessed wife. We girls can overcome anything 💪🏻💪🏻” — @yulia2401

4. You aren’t the one who should feel ashamed. 

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“In 4th grade, I was sexually molested by 3 class mates of mine. They pinned me up against a wall lifted my skirt and touched me inappropriately. They got 1 week of ISS (In School Suspension), because they were “just being kids.” meaning I still had to see them every day. I couldn’t attend school for nearly a month after. I felt so ashamed and dirty, kids looked at me funny because the rumors had started after.” — @kisssinpink

5. Ridding your life of toxicity is self care.

Instagram / @sexualabuserecovery

“I was 9 years old and it was my Godfather, we were at a barbecue at their house. I told my Mom immediately after it happened, she walked me over to her sister (his wife), and asked me to tell her what I just told her. She then picked me up, called my Dad over and told him we had to go. She didn’t tell him til we got home, she was afraid of his reaction as a father. They called the police and pressed charges, during the police report the officers asked my Mom, “what was she wearing?”

My Dad said, “excuse me?! she’s 9!” “I have to ask”, the officer replied…

My parents never doubted me, and supported me, our entire family turned their backs on us for “calling the cops on family”. My parents decided to move far away from their toxicity and it’s been just us ever since. I hold a lot of resentment towards him and them, that day I lost my primos, tias, tios.” — @goddess_divine_515

6. Find your voice and use it.

Instagram / @sexualabuserecovery

“I was molested by my mom’s brother from 3-7 years old and felt dirty and carried shame all throughout my childhood. At 21 I was raped in college and it felt as if my whole world came crumbling down. I could no longer try and push down what happened. I got therapy and through it I found my voice. I now have a PhD, did my dissertation on the post traumatic growth of Chicana/Latina survivors of sexual assault, and am a psychologist that has supported other survivors. If you’re reading this and you’re a survivor too, know that it is never your fault. Find a therapist or tell someone you trust. It gets better, I promise. 💕”  — @biancayesss

7. Addressing what happened with yourself and others will be healing.


“I was molested from age 5-9 by a family member. To this date I can’t even say who or speak his name but he passed away when I was 13. Up until a couple of years ago I thought I was stronger than what happened to me and I wouldn’t let that part of my life define me. And the fact that if I said anything, my whole family would fall apart, I couldn’t bare the thought of doing that to them. That’s what I repeated to myself over and over. Until I started losing grip on my emotions and realizing I couldn’t keep a healthy relationship. Girls seek help. I’m finally not too afraid to not do so.”

8. Learn what abuse means and no it’s not your fault.

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It took me nearly two years to say anything. I considered him a friend in high school and completely trusted him. I blamed myself for being alone with him, for “putting myself” in that situation. Sex was never the same after, but I thought it was just me, trying to be more “godly”.. Years later, I was in a sexual abuse prevention training and learned the different meanings of sexual abuse. No means No. Abuse is abuse. Please remember it was NEVER your fault, no matter what anyone else says.