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How To Detect If Someone You Know Or Love Is In An Abusive Relationship

Image of young men begging his girlfriend to forgive him
A person who is in an abusive relationship, oftentimes, can’t openly seek help. There are a lot of ways abuse can psychologically manipulate a victim. As such, they might not be aware that what they are experiencing is already abuse. Often, the victim will first undergo major trauma before they start to realize that they have an abusive relationship. If allowed to continue, this may lead to irreversible psychological consequences. Additionally, a lot of abusers don’t really commit extreme acts of abuse. When this happens, a victim might get stuck in their relationship, not knowing they are being taken advantage of.

If you notice these in a friend or loved one’s attitude or behavior, be on the lookout. They might be victims of an abusive relationship:

  1. Changes in their moods, irritable, angry or sad; something is off or doesn’t seem right; not their self.
  2. You notice a change in weight or appearance (clothes, hair, maybe unkept or unusual).
  3. You feel like their hiding or avoiding you; they cancel or is a no show; pay attention length of time they stay away.
  4. Unexplained marks or bruises; the explanation doesn’t make sense or adds up.
  5. Unexplained trips to the ER or random illnesses; always sick.
  6. See if the person is always with their partner or if their partner talks for them.
  7. Partner shows up to events and family functions uninvited; partner monopolizes time or needs to speak in private; when partner shows up, their mood changes.
  8. Constantly checking phone afraid to miss their partners call.
  9. Unexplained or missing excessive amount of days from work or school.
  10. A drop in performance at work or school.
  11. Talks in code around partner; you witness their discomfort in interacting or talking to you.
  12. Always making excuses or defending their partner.

What to do once it’s confirmed:

  1. If there is a physical altercation, do not intervene; call the police
  2. If you are called are brought into the conflict remain as neutral as possible. Don’t openly take sides.
  3. If you hear or receive a call that a physical altercation happening, call the police.
  4. Don’t threaten or use ultimatums to get the love one to leave their partner.
  5. Do not post information about them without getting their permission. You could jeopardize their safety.
  6. Don’t make them chose you or their partner.
  7. Don’t take it personally if they lie to you about their situation.
  8. Don’t bash their abuser, they will shut you out.
  9. Don’t retaliate or have abuser beat up.
  10. Do encourage them to put a plan together and leave.
  11. Don’t tell them how you would handle the situation.
  12. Don’t judge them.
  13. If their partner knows where you live, do not have them come to your house as safe place.
  14. Find resources and programs to get her help.
  15. Do safety planning with them.
  16. If helping is taking a toll on, you take a step back.
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