Signs a Loved One May be a Victim of Domestic Violence

3.5 min read|691 words|Categories: Mental Health, Relationships|

Many people equate signs of domestic violence solely with physical injuries, but the effects of domestic violence can manifest in a variety of ways.

Domestic violence is an umbrella term that encompasses abuse in all of its forms, including physical abuse, but also emotional abuse, mental abuse (also called psychological), sexual abuse and more.

It can often be difficult for people outside of the relationship to realize how much and what kind of abuse happening because of the different signs of domestic violence that can manifest in a variety of ways. 

Being aware of the signs of domestic violence, not only the common and obvious, but the lesser known and more subtle, very well might save your loved one’s or even someone else’s life.

That’s why we’re going to share with you the top six warning signs of domestic violence.

Defining domestic violence

Domestic violence can also be referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), relationship abuse, marriage abuse or dating abuse. It’s a pattern of unhealthy, toxic or harmful behaviors used by one person in a relationship in an attempt to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.

Abuse doesn’t discriminate, and people of any age, race, gender, religion, education or economic level can be a victim (or perpetrator) of domestic violence. 

It’s common for multiple forms of domestic violence to be present in an abusive situation, which is why it’s important to be able to know the different ways that symptoms of domestic violence can be exhibited.

In this article, we’re going to take a magnifying glass to domestic violence and share with you the top warning signs to look out for so you can not only help yourself, but better support your loved ones who are experiencing abuse.

Signs of domestic violence

When a new relationship first begins, abuse is not always present. Sometimes there are warning signs, and sometimes even the warning signs are subtle. Since every relationship is different and domestic violence doesn’t always look the same, it can be challenging for an individual within the relationship to recognize the harm, let alone people on the outside.

Even so, fear, chemical bonds (such as those that come from sex) and even love can blind us to behaviors we shouldn’t be ignoring, or cause us to downplay or justify them.

To truly understand the effects of domestic violence, you have to understand that domestic violence is not restricted to only causing physical harm. While this is the most common sign people look for in situations where they suspect abuse may be present, it is not the only one.

In addition to being injured physically, there are many other ways that domestic violence can affect and impact an individual, including emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially.

Physical injuries are the most common sign of domestic violence. If you notice sprained wrists, bruises, black eyes or other injuries that are brushed off as an “accident” or rooted in excuses that don’t make sense, it may be a sign your loved one is being abused.

Other signs of domestic violence include:

  • Seeming or acting timid and afraid
  • Going along with everything their partner says or does
  • Frequent harassing phone calls, voicemails and messages
  • Regular mentions of their partner’s temper, jealousy, obsessiveness or controlling behaviors
  • “Having” to check in with a partner to report things like where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Rarely going out in public (unless the partner is with them)
  • Major personality changes (like a highly social and charismatic person suddenly becoming withdrawn and quiet)
  • Becoming uncharacteristically depressed, anxious, paranoid or suicidal

If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, call 911.

Contact us for additional support

If you suspect that you or someone you love may be suffering from domestic violence in any or several of its forms, send us a message today.

Pyramid is a confidential online counseling platform that is designed to meet you where you are, and support you on your journey to where you want to go.

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