How to spot the signs of domestic violence

Are you worried that someone you care about may be in an abusive relationship? Find out how to spot the signs of domestic violence.

Domestic violence (DV) is all too common in the United States. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), nearly 20 people are physically abused by their intimate partners every minute.

That equates to over 10 million people annually.DV might be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to spot. However, awareness of the most common signs might help us notice it in others and take action sooner.

Unexplained physical injuries

Despite there being penalties for domestic violence in Florida and other states, many people still physically abuse their partners and leave visible marks. Injuries like cuts and bruises that appear once or frequently can sometimes be a symptom of domestic violence. Typically, these injuries are unexplained or don’t appear to make sense with the version of events you’ve been told. 

According to studies, the most common injury sites for domestic violence are the head, neck, and face. However, clothing can also cover injuries to the body, breasts, and other intimate areas. You may also notice that someone is wearing different clothes and more makeup to cover their injuries.

Emotional symptoms

Even in the absence of cuts, bruises, and other physical injuries, that doesn’t mean victims aren’t experiencing domestic violence. There can also be emotional symptoms that something isn’t quite right in someone’s home life. 

Both men and women can seem anxious, depressed, and scared. They can also seem withdrawn, have low self-esteem, and be noticeably submissive. If you notice a change in mood and behavior in someone you love, ask if they’re okay and whether they need help. 

Partner fear

Despite domestic violence victims often working hard to hide the signs of what’s going on at home, their fear of their partners can sometimes be apparent. They may seem comfortable one moment and on edge the next when their partners walk into the room.

Even simple anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere as soon as a partner comes home or gets close to them can sometimes be enough to make someone worry about possible DV. 

Isolation and control

People in healthy relationships don’t typically feel scared or unsafe to leave their homes alone to socialize with friends and family. Grocery shopping and everyday errands are also standard parts of everyday life that don’t require much thought or planning. 

However, quite the opposite can be true for many people in controlling relationships. Abusive partners don’t always make it easy for their spouses to enjoy their everyday lives. In fact, they can sometimes control who they see, what they do, and where they can go.

They may even control their ability to make money, so they’re financially dependent on their abusers. It can sometimes be evident that someone is a victim of DV when they are suddenly isolated from their support networks and don’t seem able to make decisions for themselves. 

Domestic violence can be present in various shapes and forms. It’s also not always obvious. However, take action if you notice any of these signs in people you love. Noticing and taking action may just save a life.