With 1 in 4 women in Australia having experienced physical or sexual violence from their spouse, partner, boyfriend or date, we can’t be lax when looking out for signs of domestic violence and abuse.
What Are Some Signs Of An Abusive Relationship?
- Your friend is increasingly anxious, stressed, on-edge or afraid when it comes to their partner. They are cautious about displeasing them and try to prevent this occurring at all costs.
- Your friend is retreating from you and others. It seems ‘free time’ and independence from their partner is not ‘permitted’, and they keep all communication – including phone calls or catch-ups – short. If their partner is in the room, everything changes dramatically when it comes to their behavior or conversations. Even restricted and uneasy body language can be a telltale sign.
- Your friend tells you they have been hit, verbally abused, sexually intimidated, threatened or emotionally victimised at one point in her current relationship. Even if it was ‘only once’ or ‘ages ago’, one hit or push is never okay.
- Your friend’s partner is driving their finances, schedule or decisions. If your friend either has to go without – events, catch-ups – due to lack of control over his or her funds, something is wrong. This contributes to victim’s of domestic violence losing their confidence and independence.
- Your friend’s partner speaks to them in a way that is not loving or equal. There is a lack of respect and a definite hierarchy in the relationship when it comes to who is dominant. If language and dialogue is downright disrespectful and abusive – that is a major red flag.
- Evidence of physical abuse comes to your attention. Unexplained bruises, cuts, sprains, concussions and so on all ring alarm bells very loudly. Especially if your friend is trying to cover them up.
- Children involved in the relationship also show all of the above traits including fear, anxiety, visible evidence of abuse, when they are around the suspected perpetrator.
Should You Get Involved?
Silence can be deadly when it comes to domestic violence. Your support could save a life. Choose sensitivity when approaching your friend and prepare to be rebutted. This is a highly personal situation and they may fear retribution or the dissolution of the relationship and life they know.
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