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Computer-generated image of a man yelling angrily at a crying women with her head down.

Violent relationships: the red flags

The pattern in violent intimate partner relationships is usually the same – a honeymoon period followed by an escalation of abuse.


In 2011, 19-year-old Maple Batalia was brutally murdered in public by a jealous ex-boyfriend. Her friend Benisha Aujla says it was only in hindsight that she saw the typical warning signs of a violent relationship.

Aujla decided to share those signs with RCMP Cpl. Samara Bilmer so they could help others see them before it's too late.

"Abuse can be more subtle than just a punch in the face," says Bilmer, who works in the Serious Crimes Unit in Chilliwack, B.C.

Read about what Bilmer says are the most common red flags of a violent relationship.


They show resentment or anger over their partner's friendships with others. They try to find out and control who their partner hangs out with.

Cyber stalking

They call or text excessively or stalk on social media. They don't stop until the person responds.


They control different aspects of their partner's life such as when and where they can go out.

Street stalking

They follow their partner in public, or have them followed by someone else. They watch over them all the time, especially when out with other friends.


They frequently humiliate their partner or make them feel unworthy. They criticize and belittle their partner or what's important to them.

Threatening suicide or violence

They threaten to hurt their partner or that person's friends. They threaten or try to commit suicide if their partner leaves them.

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