Warning Signs Of Abuse

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You might not be able to see firsthand how your friends and their partners treat each other behind closed doors. But there are clues to watch out for if you suspect a friend might be in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms including physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Here are some warning signs of an abusive relationship that you can look out for with your friends.

If you see any of these warning signs with your friends, we have tips to help you start a conversation about it. If you think your friend is in danger, or you want more resources to bring to your friend, help is available 24 hours a day from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

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

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)

People who are being isolated by an abusive partner 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  •  Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)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

People who are being financially abused may:

  •  Have limited access to money or credit cards
  •  Have their spending tightly monitored and restricted by their partner
  •  Worry excessively about how their partner will react to what are commonly thought of as simple, everyday purchases