Warning Signals



Possible Warning Signs of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking
Pay Attention to Warning Signs. While there is no perfect profile of someone who will engage in behaviors like sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking, there are some warning signs to pay attention to. The following warning signs are guidelines and cues to pay attention to, not judgments on the worth of another person. Visit our “active bystander” page for tips on how to intervene and get help if you notice these warning signs.
Possible Warning Signs of Sexual Violence
  •  Doesn't listen to others
    •   Ignores what others say, talk over others or pretends not to hear others
  • Disregards others feelings and desires
    • Feels their needs are more important than others’ needs
    • Does what they want regardless of what others want
    • Ignores refusals of any kind
    • Uses pressure for sexual contact
  • Exhibits domineering, overly controlling behavior and language 
    • Needs to be in control of the situation and the relationship
    • Needs to dominate other people in order to feel powerful and important
    • Acts possessive
    • Is untrusting, suspicious, and jealous
    • Prevents their partner from seeing or talking to her/his friends or family members
    • Isolates their partner from her/his support network
    • Uses hostile or possessive language: They may use words like bitch, whore, or stupid or other derogatory language. They may refer to their partner as their possession. 
  • Expresses anger or aggression frequently, especially toward potential partners
  • Believes that certain actions entitle one to sex
  • Intrudes into others’ personal space 
    • Ignores personal space boundaries
    • Stands or walks too close to others or touches others without permission
    • Touches others in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable 
  • Tries to make others feel guilty or accuse them of being uptight for resisting sexual advances
  • Expresses sexist attitudes and jokes
  • Drinks heavily
  • Pressures others to drink or use drugs
    • Encourages others to drink heavily or more than they normally would
    • Pushes others to drink beyond their tolerance level
    • Insists on buying others’ drinks 
    • Waits to make a sexual advance until the other person is extremely intoxicated
    • Remember, alcohol is the #1 date rape drug
  • Has low self-esteem and is threatened by others’ achievements and accomplishments
    • Feels insecure and inadequate
    • Has to constantly prove themselves or tear others down in order to make themselves look good
    • Blames others for their shortcomings and problems
    • Feels they are always right 
Possible Warning Signs of Dating Violence
The Red Flag Campaign has created a list of warning signs for potentially abusive relationships. To view the list, visit:


Possible Warning Signs of Stalking

  • Contacting someone excessively via phone (including hang-ups), email or text messaging, especially if it continues when the person has been asked to stop and especially if frequent questions are: where are you, what are you doing, who are you with
  • Showing up unexpectedly to check up on someone at work, home or school
  • Knowing things about someone’s life/scheduled which are not shared with them
  • Going through someone’s stuff, hacking into their computer, etc.
  • Damaging someone’s property to create fear
  • Sending unwanted gifts, cards, letters, etc.
  • Following someone