How to Identify if a Loved One is the Victim of an Abusive Relationship

signs of an abusive relationshipSometimes, domestic abuse can have obvious signs, such as bruises and other physical marks. However, in other cases, someone experiencing domestic violence or abuse may show signs that are less obvious, such as bailing on plans or being difficult to get a hold of. Domestic abuse affects victims differently, and usually, people experiencing domestic abuse will show a variety of signs. It’s good to know the signs of domestic abuse so that you can identify individuals at risk. While red flags alone aren’t always proof that someone is experiencing domestic violence, they are important to know, as they can signal abuse is occurring. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing an abusive relationship, it’s essential to know your legal rights. Consulting a skilled domestic abuse lawyer is a great resource for seeking the legal protections you deserve. Here are some helpful tips on identifying victims in abusive relationships. 

What Are the Physical Signs of Domestic Abuse?

Physical abuse is the easiest kind of abuse to identify, as it is visually evident. Individuals experiencing physical abuse are likely to have frequent bruises, scars, or marks that are a result of being hit, punched, choked, or pushed. These may be apparent in the form of black eyes, red or purple bruises on the arms or necks, or busted lips. Additionally, victims will tend to have explanations for these marks that seem far stretched or inconsistent. It’s common for victims of abuse to try to cover these physical signs with clothing or makeup. For example, you may notice a friend sporting uneven coverup around their neck, wearing sunglasses inside, or dressing in long sleeves despite hot temperatures. 

What Are the Emotional and Psychological Signs of Domestic Abuse?

In addition to physical abuse, victims of domestic abuse experience emotional and psychological effects in the form of helplessness, hopelessness, despair, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, people in emotionally abusive relationships tend to remain in a constant state of alertness, as they are always aware and predicting the next time they may be abused. Some signs that emotional abuse is occurring include:

  • Constant anxiety or apprehension
  • Developing a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Overly apologetic behavior and low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in activities 

These are just a few behaviors that could signal abuse. However, these symptoms can also be caused by a number of other factors. 

Abuse Normally Causes Behavior Changes in Victims

Another signal that abuse may be present is abnormal behavior changes that are out of character with someone’s normal behaviors. For example, if you have a close friend or family member that has traditionally been very social and happy but has gradually become withdrawn and depressed, it could signal that domestic abuse is taking place. There are patterns of behavior changes associated with individuals experiencing domestic abuse, such as gradual isolation, becoming reserved and distant, and avoiding activities that were once hobbies. Additionally, victims of domestic abuse tend to have other behaviors, such as being overly anxious to make their partner happy or feeling abnormally nervous when they are separated from their abuser.  

Identifying Controlling Behaviors 

Being able to identify that domestic abuse is occurring is not only about observing signs in the victim. It is equally important to identify controlling behaviors in your loved one’s partners that tend to signal abuse. Perpetrators of domestic abuse are hungry for control. If you notice a close friend or family member is being controlled or manipulated, it could signal abuse is taking place. Some controlling behaviors that could be signs of abuse include:

  • A person who is constantly calling or tracking their partner’s whereabouts
  • A person who requires their partner to ask permission to socialize with other people
  • A person who limits their partner’s access to money

Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, it’s essential to take legal action. At The Umansky Law Firm, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you get the protection you deserve. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the skills and expertise to fight for your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 228-3838 or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.