Warning Signs

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Domestic Violence and Abuse

It's impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness any warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.  Offer comfort and wise advice...recommend that they call a Shelter or a Counselor to help them through this rough time.  Also, be ready to offer the phone numbers to the National Hotline or local hotline too.

People who are being abused may:
Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
Go along with everything their partner says and does
Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

Warning signs of physical violence


  • People who are being physically abused may:
  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)

    Warning signs of isolation

    People who are being isolated by their abuser may:
    • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
    • Rarely go out in public without their partner
    • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car
    The psychological warning signs of abuse
    People who are being abused may:
    • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
    • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)
    • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal
    Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse
    If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.
    Do's and Don'ts
    Do:
    • Ask if something is wrong
    • Express concern
    • Listen and validate
    • Offer help
    • Support his or her decisions
    Don’t:
    • Wait for him or her to come to you
    • Judge or blame
    • Pressure him or her
    • Give advice
    • Place conditions on your support
    Adapted from: NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

    Talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that make you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he or she feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him or her know that you’ll help in any way you can.
    Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.
    Next Week we'll talk about…
    Getting out of an abusive relationship. Do you want to leave an abusive situation, but stay out of fear of what your partner might do? While leaving isn’t easy, there are things you can do to protect yourself. You’re not alone, and help is available.  Right now, if you need help, Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).  Be safe...and know I'm praying for each and every one of you.
    Jan Tanis
    Jan Tanis

    I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

    1 comment:

    1. How nice to meet you, Jan. This is a very important post. I found you through a comment you left on Brenda's blog and I look forward to more of your posts. xo Laura

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