What Are the Early Signs of Domestic Violence?

domestic violence

What is domestic violence and how can you detect the early signs of it? Domestic violence is abuse that happens between a partnership or inside a home. There are early signs of domestic violence that you should know. 

Domestic violence is not only physical abuse. Domestic violence is any abuse that gives one partner control over the other person. This can be physical abuse, but it can also be emotional abuse, financial control, threats, and more. 

Are you or someone you know suffering from domestic violence? If you’re not sure but are wanting answers, then continue reading below. In this guide, there are several early warning signs of domestic violence that you should know about. 

By educating yourself on all the signs of this type of abuse, you can hopefully stop it or seek help before the situation becomes worse. Here’s what you need to know!

Excuses for New Injuries

Is your loved one constantly making excuses for several new injuries? If you believe someone is the victim of domestic violence, then you want to be on the lookout for new injuries that appear each time you see them. These injuries can be as minor as a scratch or bruise or something more major such as a broken bone or black eye.

When you ask the person what happened to them, make sure you take note of their response. Does their reasoning for the injury seem likely? Do they have a new excuse each time you see them?

Most victims won’t admit they’re being abused due to the fear of being embarrassed or due to their abuser finding out they’ve told someone. 

Keeping Distance From Loved Ones

When someone is the victim of domestic abuse, you might notice them avoiding social outings or get-togethers. Victims tend to distance themselves from their loved ones when being abused by a partner because of the same reasons they hide their injuries. 

They’re embarrassed, don’t think anyone will believe them, and they’re scared of their abuser. Their abuser might also be keeping them from their loved ones and social life. This is because many abusers are controlling or jealous and won’t want their victims to spend time with other people. 

Unexpected Low Self-Esteem 

If someone normally suffers from low self-esteem, then you might not notice a decrease in their confidence level. However, this is still something you need to look out for. Try to notice a significant decrease in their confidence. 

If someone normally has high self-esteem but now has low self-esteem, then this is another sign of domestic abuse. An abusive partner can lower their victim’s self-esteem by making them feel unwanted, unloved, unimportant, and very low. This will show when the victim is out in public and around other people, not only when they’re around their partner. 

If you do have the chance to be around them while they’re with their partner, then try your best to notice any signs of a significant drop in confidence while around the partner. 

Increase in Anxious Behavior

A victim of domestic abuse can also become more anxious than before. This might happen due to the victim becoming more fearful than before and nervous. When you live with someone who’s abusive or are constantly being abused either physically, mentally, or emotionally, you begin to expect this behavior on a regular basis.

For example, if you and the victim are out for drinks at a coffee shop and a loud noise causes them to jump and enter a defense mode, then this could be a sign of abuse. Keep in mind, anxiety could be caused by many other reasons as well. If you notice anxious behavior, try to pair it with some of the other signs. 

Changes in Sleeping Routine

A victim of domestic abuse might have difficulty sleeping at night. This might be due to fear or anxiety. If they’re not comfortable in the house they live in, then it can be difficult to feel at ease enough to get a good night’s rest. 

Although you aren’t there to see if they’re sleeping or not, there are other ways to know someone isn’t getting sleep at night. If you feel comfortable enough, then you can ask them yourself. Otherwise, look for all the normal signs of someone not getting sleep. This might be bags under their eyes, or the person is much more tired than normal. 

A Controlling and Jealous Partner

Some abusers do a great job of hiding their dark side just as victims do a great job hiding their abuse. Some abusers aren’t so great at hiding their abusive traits. Either way, you should keep an eye out for controlling or jealous behaviors in the person you believe might be abusive. 

Do they make comments to the victim under their breath. Does the victim seem to stay close by the abuser rather than venture off and mingle with other people? Does the victim refuse to talk to people of the opposite sex? 

These might all be signs of a controlling, jealous, and abusive partner. 

Refusal to Discuss the Signs

A victim of domestic abuse might refuse to discuss the signs as well. If you notice a few of these signs and proceed to ask the person about them, pay attention to how they respond. They might not be willing to speak about the signs due to fear or embarrassment. 

Someone dealing with family assault might have a more difficult time admitting their abuse. Have patience with them, and let them know you’re there to listen and help when they need it. 

Know the Early Signs of Domestic Violence to Stop It Now

Once you know the early signs of domestic violence, you can catch it before it’s too late. If you believe someone is the victim of domestic abuse, be sure to contact an organization that specializes in helping domestic abuse victims.

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