Signs of Intimate Partner Violence as YSL Beauty launches 'Abuse Is Not Love' Campaign

Image of man showering his partner with presents, which could be a sign of Intimate Partner Violence. (Getty Images)
Often the signs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are disguised as deep love, for example love bombing. (Getty Images)

YSL Beauty have released a new campaign to help highlight some of the warning signs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

The new digital series, Mistaken For Love, forms part of the wider Abuse Is Not Love programme and features spoken-word artists and survivors to raise awareness of the subject and help people understand and recognise nine key warning signs associated with IPV.

You might think you'd be able to tell if you're in an abusive relationship, but it isn’t always easy to notice. Many abusers' actions, as well as their coercion and manipulation tactics, can manifest slowly and inconspicuously, so much so that a victim might not even know it is happening to them.

And of course some of them are also dressed up as being a "natural" part of being in love.

Based on survivors’ testimonials, each episode has been rewritten by spoken-word artists, poets and activists, including British poet Dan Whitlam, Dutch artist Zoe Love Smith, survivor Widya Soraya, and Ynaee Benaben, co-founder of the French NGO En Avant Toute(s).

Through a series of nine impactful episodes, the campaign aims to emphasis how abusive behaviours are often disguised as demonstrations of deep love, which means the reality can go unnoticed, often leading to escalation of physical, emotional, and/or sexual violence.

Statistics, compiled by the campaign, reveal that almost one in three (32%) people in the UK have experienced behaviours that at the time they thought were love, but in the aftermath, realised were abuse (such as jealousy, control, manipulation, love bombing etc.)

Read more: Relationship red flags quiz launched by legal experts: Warning signs your partner could become toxic (Yahoo Life UK, 9-min read)

A woman pictured looking isolated. (Getty Images)
A new YSL Beauty campaign aims to highlight the signs of abuse including isolation. (Getty Images)

Further concerning figures reveal that almost a fifth (19%) of people in the UK have experienced the negative side of love bombing, rising to 22% of women, 21% of people in the UK have heard of ‘gaslighting’ but don’t know what it means.

But by sharing some of the often disguised signs of abuse we may be able to help those experiencing it recognise the reality sooner.

A fifth of people in the UK say hearing other people's stories of abuse, has made them more aware of behaviours in their own relationship and more likely to get help if needed.

Commenting on the campaign Juleah Love, global head of brand corporate engagement at YSL Beauty says: "We’ve created Mistaken For Love as a way to shed light on the subtleties of abuse, it can happen so easy and escalate quickly, and it can be very challenging to recognise if we don’t know what to look for.

"Our aim is to destigmatise talking about abuse and make getting help accessible for anyone who might need it. Abuse is not love, it should be as simple as that."

Read more: Love bombing: The manipulative relationship tactic you need to know about (8-min read)

Signs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Experts at the Abuse Not Love campaign have put together some of the signs you may be experiencing IPV.


When abusers use their anger as an opportunity to punish their partners by purposefully ignoring them.

This is targeted ignoring.

Ignoring could be a sign of abuse in an unhealthy relationship. (Getty Images)
Ignoring could be a sign of abuse in an unhealthy relationship. (Getty Images)


When abusers threaten you with leaving you or telling your secrets when you say no to something this is blackmailing.

It's ok to say "no" to uncomfortable situations. In a healthy relationship, blackmail is never used to threaten a partner to get what they want.

Read more: I suffered financial abuse – my husband would get angry if I even spent £1.50 (Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read)


When an abuser directs insults at their partners in order to make them feel bad about themselves, this is humiliation.

In a healthy relationship, partners can have disagreements. There is never a good reason to put someone down to make them feel sad or scared.


When an abuser purposefully sways their partner's emotions to get them to act or feel a certain way this is manipulation.

Relationships often include negotiation or persuasion but using tactics to control a partner's behaviours or feelings is abusive.

You and your partner should willingly make compromises to please each other.

Watch: ‘Dreadful and tragic’ murder shows need to tackle domestic abuse – Yousaf


When an abuser shows suspicion over everything their partner does or says and wants all of their attention this is jealousy.

In a healthy relationship, jealousy is a natural emotion that often accompanies relationships where partners are insecure, but in abusive relationships, abusers use it to incite fear, sadness or control.


In a healthy relationship wanting a partner's opinion on something is normal, but exerting control over a partner, particularly over where they go and how they dress is control.


When your partner asks to read your private messages, saying it is 'what people in relationships do' and you feel watched and scared, this is intrusion.

Sometimes partners will willingly share passwords, but an abusive partner can intrude into their partner's private space to control or intimidate them.

Read more: Expert shares the tell-tale signs of coercive control: What to do if you are experiencing it (Yahoo Life UK, 6-min read)

There are some potential red flags to look for in a relationship, which could indicate domestic abuse. (Getty Images)
There are some potential red flags to look for in a relationship, which could indicate domestic abuse. (Getty Images)


In a healthy relationship a partner is happy for you to spend time with friends and family, but if your partner wants you to cut all ties, this is isolation.

Being forced to cut off communication with parents or friends is abusive, even if your partner says "it's for love".


If a partner instills fear in you so you're always scared to stand up for yourself, this is intimidation.

Sometimes people feel intimidated by those who are larger, louder, or different from them. But an abusive partner uses intimidation to make their partner scared and controllable.

Where to go for help

If you recognise some of these warning signs you may be experiencing domestic abuse, free and confidential support is available from Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 and digital support via live chat Monday-Friday 3-10pm via

Anyone experiencing domestic abuse, including survivors of past abuse, can get help from Victim Support – regardless of whether or not it’s been reported to the police. Visit where you can get in touch via Live Chat or by calling the charity’s 24/7 support line on 08 08 16 89 111.

Women's Aid, with similar helplines available, also has information on how you can help your children, making a safety plan, and what to do if you're worried about someone else.

If you think you or someone else might be in danger, call the police immediately on 999. If it's hard to make contact for help, see this information page on what 'safe spaces' are.

Other places to go for help and advice: