Do you have an inkling that a loved one is suffering some sort of abuse? Here are a few domestic warning signs to keep in mind.
Domestic Warning Signs: Physical Signs
This is what most people think of when they hear the term domestic violence. Sometimes these signs are obvious to spot, other times they’re a bit more subtle.
A few things to look for include:
- Bruises on arms or legs
- Swollen or busted lips
- Black eyes
- Hurt wrists
- Marks on the person’s neck
Keep in mind that many times the victim will try to cover these injuries up. For example, they wear sunglasses even when they’re inside or it’s a cloudy day outside. Perhaps they’re wearing excessive clothing even though it’s hot outside.
Even if you don’t see any of these signs, there are others to watch out for.
Domestic Warning Signs: Emotional Signs
Not all domestic violence situations become physical. But you can almost always see some sort of emotional impact on the victim.
Here are some things to watch out for:
- Sleep habits change. Sometimes the victim will just want to sleep all the time, or complain about not getting enough sleep.
- Excessive substance use, such as drugs or alcohol
- Lower interest in daily activities such as work or social events
- Constant anxiety
- Easily agitated
- Lowered self-esteem, leading to being overly apologetic or acting meek
In a domestic violence situation, the abuser is trying to lift themself up and feel better by breaking down the victim. Whether it’s done verbally or physically, the end result is often the same. The victim experiences a roller coaster of emotions and it’s hard for them to cope. This leads to some of the warning signs above.
Domestic Abuse Warning Signs: The Abuser
So far we’ve mainly talked about what you may see happen to the victim. But another way to spot domestic abuse is by looking for certain behaviors in the abuser.
At a high level, remember that domestic abuse is about control. The abuser is expressing dominance over the victim, and it can show up a lot of different ways.
Jealousy – Does it seem like one partner tends to get overly jealous? This shows insecurity on their part, a common trait of abusers.
Quick temper – Is one partner always setting off the temper of the other, even with minor things?
Cruelty to kids or animals – Remember that the abuser wants control. Since kids and animals are more easily controlled than adults, abusers often show dominance by being cruel to those weaker than themselves.
Controlling the victim – Does one partner always have a say in what the other victim wears, says or does? That’s not normal, and is a common sign there’s a domestic abuse issue going on.
Demeaning toward the victim – Some abusers will regularly tear down their partner. They may not necessarily have a bad temper while doing so, but the constant verbal abuse is not normal and is a bad sign.
Domestic abuse warning signs aren’t always able to be seen. Sometimes the victim covers things up, or justifies the abuser’s behavior. But if you or someone you love is involved in a domestic violence situation, give us a call at 714.456.9118. We’ll help you through it.