Intimate partner violence is a huge problem worldwide. In the US alone, nearly 36% of women and around 29% of men will experience some form of abuse at the hands of a romantic partner.
Worse yet, many of these cases go unreported, so we can’t be totally sure what the actual numbers are. Even when it is reported or noticed, most of us don’t know how to handle it.
Even noticing it can be difficult because most people aren’t taught what to look for. So what are some signs of domestic violence? We’ll talk about a few of them in this article.
The signs of physical abuse are the most obvious, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to notice. Victims will often lie and try to hide their injuries.
Take notice if the person seems to be wearing more makeup than usual or is still wearing heavy clothes despite warm weather. They may also make excuses for their injuries, saying they’re accident-prone or have taken up a dangerous hobby. These are some common signs of domestic violence.
They may also try to make excuses for their partner’s behavior. Unfortunately, the law’s also not too great at handling these situations. In much of the country, assault and battery are still misdemeanor offenses until certain conditions are met.
Physical abuse is awful, but it’s not the only type of cruelty. Emotional abuse leaves scars as well, but they’re harder to see.
Emotional abuse will show more in the personality of the abused. For instance, an abused person might exhibit signs of depression or self-loathing, even if they’ve never shown them in the past.
Domestic abuse fosters these types of negative feelings. A lowered self-esteem makes the abused person more likely to blame themselves or thing their abuser is justified.
You might also notice that you’re seeing the person less and less. This is because abusers are often controlling and will try to isolate their victims from their family, friends, and other personal connections. This makes it hard for their partner to seek help.
Sexual abuse is probably the most difficult to notice, especially since it corresponds to such a private aspect of life. However, there are things you might notice anyways.
One sign of sexual abuse is that the abused person starts dressing differently. For example, they may start wearing more provocative outfits because their partner insists on parading them around like a prize. On the other hand, they could also dress more modestly because their partner is controlling and insists that they hide their body from everyone else.
You should also watch out for unplanned pregnancies in women or STDs. Sexual abusers will often refuse to use birth control and may even purposely expose their partners to STDs.
This is especially true if the person you’re concerned about is a young adult because women under 35 make up most sex abuse victims.
Domestic Violence and How to Spot it
Domestic violence is never okay, and if you know anyone in an abusive relationship, go to the authorities and try to get them out of it as soon as possible.
Remember that abuse is self-perpetuating, and abusers often offend multiple times.
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