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    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.

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

      Last Updated: September 05, 2013
      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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