by Christina Hoag
Girl on the Brink: Recognizing Signs of an Abusive Relationship
My new YA novel Girl on the Brink relates the story of an abusive relationship. Abusers tend to follow a set pattern of behaviors, and when you’re familiar with what they are, they’re recognizable. When you’re not familiar with these red flags, you can misread them or dismiss them too easily. In my novel, the main character Chloe experiences all the following behaviors in her relationship with Kieran. In honor of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, here they are:
10 Key Signs You Are Dating an Abuser
1. Rushed relationship. He presses for an exclusive commitment almost immediately. He claims to have never loved anyone like this before.
2. Jealousy. He’s jealous of any guy you even speak to and says his jealousy shows how much he loves you. He’s possessive, calling constantly, dropping in out of the blue, and gives you little room to yourself.
3. Controlling. He checks up on you, interrogates you about where you went and who you were with, monitors your email and phone. He wants you to ask him permission to do anything.
4. Unrealistic expectations. He puts you on a pedestal, expecting you to be perfect and fulfill his every need, and will tear you off the pedestal when you aren’t perfect.
5. Isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends.
6. Blaming. He faults others for his own mistakes and makes others responsible for his feelings: “You make me mad,” not “I'm mad.”
7. Hypersensitive. He’s thin-skinned, taking minor slights as major insults and blowing them up into more than they’re worth.
8. Verbal abuse. He criticizes you, calls you names, embarrasses you, uses your vulnerabilities against you.
9. Mood swings. He goes from normal to raging almost instantly.
10. Minimizes. He minimizes the harm he’s done to you: “You’re making a big deal out of that?” He promises to never do it again or get help. He goes on a charm offensive with gifts after an abusive incident.
Christina Hoag is the author of Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishers, August 2016) and Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She lives in Los Angeles. For more information, see www.christinahoag.com.
AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
GIRL ON THE BRINK BLURB:
The summer before senior year, Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire, and Kieran turns violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge. Available from Fire & Ice, the YA imprint of Melange Books in ebook and paperback.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2aRFsVZ