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    Being Abused: What Puts You at Risk? - Topic Overview

    Physical abuse can happen to anyone. But certain things can increase your risk of being abused.

    Things you cannot control

    The abuser:

    • Uses alcohol or drugs.
    • Has a history of extreme impulsiveness or an increase in risk-taking behaviors, such as:
      • Drinking and driving.
      • High-risk sexual behavior.
    • Has a strong interest in guns and access to a gun.
    • Has a history of suicide attempts.
    • Has a history of violent behavior.
    • Has recently been in jail.
    • Was abused as a child.
    • Has a medical or mental health problem, such as depression or personality disorder.

    Unsafe situations you may be able to avoid

    You may find yourself in an unsafe situation if you:

    • Abuse alcohol or drugs.
    • Date many people at one time.
    • Accept any violent behavior in the dating relationship. There is no excuse for abuse.
    • Ignore feelings of discomfort or warning signs that someone is treating you badly.
    • Think your partner holds the power in a relationship.
    • Are alone in an unfamiliar environment.
    • Depend on your dating partner for transportation.
    • Feel that your dating partner is in control because he or she asked you out and paid for the date.
    • Are part of a group that has a higher risk for assault, such as:
      • The homeless.
      • Sex workers.
      • Substance abusers.
      • Teens.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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