Prior to discussing what the main identifiers of domestic abuse are, it is important to highlight that many victims will try to hide or justify such signs out of fear and shame.
Domestic abuse is one of the darkest sides in relationships and can destroy people’s lives. It can happen to anyone irrespective of their financial, social or educational background. To define it simply, domestic abuse occurs when one party in a relationship attempts to take control and dominate the other, leaving the suffering party in a vulnerable state. In most domestic abuse cases, it is first likely to start off with verbal, psychological and emotional abuse, then extending to domestic violence. In this article, we discuss some of the signs of domestic abuse and how you can identify it easier.
Physical injuries and bruises
Someone who is physically abused will have marks such as bruises and other apparent injuries. When asked about these evident injuries, most will reply with a weak, uncomfortable and inconsistent explanation. Some common injuries which are clear signs of domestic violence include black eyes, busted lips and neck marks. These are the results of being punched, knocked down and choked. Attempts to cover such marks may be made with makeup and clothes.
People who are abused may decide to withdraw from conversations and fall in a state of thoughtful silence, which may be interpreted as sadness. People who are very talkative and sociable who end up in ruts of prolonged silence may signal domestic abuse. Such behaviour may also extend to dropping out on plans to go out and enjoy themselves. Abused people may also decide to conceal certain aspects of their private life or spouse.
People who are abused may exhibit signs of anxiety, uncertainty and general fear when they are away from the abuser. They are constantly worried that their actions may displease their partner, hence leading to further abuse. This fear may also extend to the couple’s children, as they become extremely well-behaved when the abuser is around. The fear of over-stepping boundaries with the abuser may extend at trying to undermine the level of abuse which is taking place, simply dubbing it as a heated argument and that the partner is bad-tempered. When the level of fear is high, it paralyses the victim against any form of action at trying to solve this terrible predicament, turning down any help offered by family and friends.
Victims of domestic abuse may portray signs of hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration and low self-esteem. They practically never relax as they are constantly alert and fearing the worst. This does not only influence their personal life but also their professional one.
Victims of abuse may tend to feel that they live in unpredictable circumstances, where they constantly need to justify their actions. If it is a call they will need to explain who called, if it is a text, they will need to describe who and why it was sent. They will also resort to gaining permission for basic activities such as going out with friends.
Domestic abuse is more common than we think. No one should lead a life of abuse. Extend a helping hand to anyone who may be going through such a negative period in their life.