Every minute, about 20 people in the United States get abused by an intimate partner. This means that over 10 million American citizens get abused per year. Domestic abuse happens more often than you may think. Luckily, there are ways you can identify domestic abuse and put a stop to it.
Read on to learn about the early signs of domestic abuse and how to stop them.
Table of Contents
- 1. Physical Marks
- 2. What Marks to Look for
- 3. Frequency of Marks
- 4. Hiding Injury Marks
- 5. Behavior Changes
- 6. Anxiety
- 7. Mental Illness Symptoms
- 8. Isolating Self
- 9. Partner Behaviors
- 10. Explosive Emotions
- 11. Controlling Behavior
- 12. Unrespected Boundaries
- 13.vVerbal Abuse
- How to Help After Seeing Signs of Domestic Abuse
- Our Other Articles Have More Useful Information For You
1. Physical Marks
Most of the time, physical injuries occur later on in the abusive relationship. However, that is not always the case. You should still be on the lookout for physical injury marks and some behaviors surrounding them.
2. What Marks to Look for
Physical abuse can cause a wide variety of injury marks. However, human hands are more likely to cause certain injury marks than accidents.
If you suspect abuse, look out for hand-caused injury marks. These can include choking marks on the neck, bruises around the arms, and so on.
3. Frequency of Marks
Do you see injury marks appear on a person frequently? If so, you may want to start keeping track of when these injuries appear. You should also check if they’ve been around their partner before the injuries appeared.
4. Hiding Injury Marks
People who are being abused tend to hide their injuries. Is a friend or family member making inappropriate clothing choices for a certain season (ie sweaters during summer)? If so, you may want to investigate their current relationship further.
5. Behavior Changes
People can change. However, the behavior changes that happen as a result of non-physical domestic abuse often occur suddenly and often seem unhealthy. They may also seem to happen for no discernable reason.
A person experiencing domestic abuse will likely become fearful of his or her partner. You may be able to see him or she become incredibly anxious when he or she is and/or isn’t around his or her partner. In addition, you may notice that the person will try overly hard to please his or her partner.
7. Mental Illness Symptoms
Oftentimes, physical and/or non-physical abuse can cause mental illness-type symptoms. An abused person may struggle to sleep, show up late to work, and develop a drug problem. In more extreme cases, a person may threaten suicide.
8. Isolating Self
Abusive partners will often become jealous and possessive of their partners. They will believe that their partners will leave them. This belief will cause them to try to keep their partners close to them at all times.
If an abuser succeeds in convincing the abused partner to stay close, he or she will start spending less to no time with his or her friends and family. He or she may also refuse to participate in activities he or she once enjoyed. If you notice this happening, be sure to check on the affected person.
9. Partner Behaviors
Don’t automatically suspect every person that comes into a friend or family member’s life of domestic abuse. This can make you suspect certain behaviors that are harmless and end up getting someone innocent in trouble. Unjustified claims can also strain your relationships.
When a new partner comes into a loved one’s life, observe the partner a little at first. You should only intensify your investigations once you’re very certain abuse is taking place.
10. Explosive Emotions
Abusers often use unpredictable and violent behavior changes to intimidate their partners. This will make the partners struggle to set boundaries and speak up for themselves.
An abuser may or may not act unpredictably and explosively in public. If you don’t notice public emotional behavior but suspect abuse, listen to anything the suspected abused person says about their partner. They may mention something about unpredictable emotions.
11. Controlling Behavior
Controlling behavior can stretch to more than just completely controlling a person’s movements. An abusive partner can also take control of a person’s finances and affairs until that person is helpless. This is a form of abuse known as financial abuse.
Also, even if an abuser does let a person go out, they may always call or text the person and demand to know where they are. The abused person may also need to ask for permission from the abuser to go anywhere.
12. Unrespected Boundaries
Most people have things in a relationship that they’re not comfortable with doing. For example, one person may not like it when their partner displays affection publicly. Another person might not be comfortable with their partner borrowing certain things.
An abuser is likely to ignore these requests and do certain behaviors anyway.
Putting someone down and/or calling them names are obvious examples of verbal abuse. Less obvious examples are situations where a person minimizes or dismisses a person’s feelings.
The abuser may insist that a person is overreacting and/or lying. They may even tell a person how they should feel and behave.
How to Help After Seeing Signs of Domestic Abuse
It might be difficult for you to get your loved one help, as many victims feel that getting out of the situation is hopeless. However, if you’re patient and keep reminding the person you can help them, they could eventually ask for your help.
The first thing that you need to do is make a safety plan. This is a plan that will help them leave the situation should it get too dangerous. They will need a place to go, a bag filled with essentials, and a reasonable excuse they can give their partner.
You can also connect your loved one with resources that can help. This can include giving them the domestic abuse hotline number and putting them in contact with domestic abuse shelters. They may also need a domestic violence lawyer.
Our Other Articles Have More Useful Information For You
Domestic abuse is common, but it is escapable. Keep an eye out for the signs of domestic abuse, and do what you can when you see them. You could save a life.
Also, if you have more time on your hands, consider checking out our other articles. We’ve got more articles about travel, food, beauty, and more.