Subtle Signs of Domestic Violence

Subtle Signs Domestic Violence

Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is not as simple as noticing physical markings on the body. Many abusers are cognizant of how people will react to seeing bruises on the face, neck or arms so they will ensure that their marks are easily covered with more conservative clothing. Even when abusers think they have covered their tracks, there are still many signs that a victim can present if they’re experiencing domestic violence. Sometimes the signs are subtle, so it’s important to look for multiple clues and piece them together.

Watch for sprained or broken wrist that is attributed to a far-fetched story where they The Subtle Signs of Domestic Violence laugh off their own clumsiness.
When you know the person well enough, you can recognize when the story doesn’t fit their typical way of living. These same victims may show up to summer gatherings in long sleeves, pants and scarves.

Watch for abrupt anxiety and frequent apologies
Victims of emotional or controlling domestic violence typically present signs of abuse that can be mistaken for common anxiety. The distinction is when the victim does not have a history of anxiety and the new behavior comes on quickly. Other quick changes in behavior may be becoming more apologetic and meek.

More subtle signs:

Each of these signs, alone, could be the symptom of something else – but when connected to one another, it’s likely there is domestic violence.

Once the signs have become clear, addressing it is a delicate situation. The temptation to tell the person to just leave is going to be strong, but that doesn’t typically work.

Instead, make time for the person so they know they have someone to turn to when they’re ready, and they don’t feel isolated. Offer an invitation to talk about the situation, but do not push. If they do choose to tell their story, listen without judgement and make it known that you believe them. The next steps involve making safety plans, following through with requests they may, and calling 911 if the danger is happening at the moment.

It can be extremely difficult to watch someone you care about stay in a situation that’s hurting them, but it will not help to push them to change immediately. It’s up to us to support them with the safety and security that they need, when they’re ready.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 816-321-7050 OR 800-491-1114.