It can be hard to recognise the signs of domestic abuse, especially since many victims hide any physical evidence. There may be changes in their personality or behaviour that are out of character. Here are some signs that could suggest someone is being abused:
- Unexplained bruises or injuries.
- Frequent injuries.
- Feeling and looking very tired.
- Wearing different clothes, e.g.long sleeves.
- A general change in their appearance.
- Constantly receiving text messages or phone calls.
- No longer having a mobile phone.
- Going out less.
- Not going out unaccompanied.
- Not turning up for work.
- Changing plans and becoming less reliable.
- Not seeing friends and family.
- Being anxious and unable to relax.
- Not having any money.
- Apologising for or making excuses for someone’s behaviour.
- Drinking more alcohol than usual.
- Weight loss.
Please don't think that domestic abuse only happens to 'other people'. Domestic abuse or sexual violence can happen to anyone, of any age, background, ethnicity, sexual orientation or how they choose to identify. Those who experience it might live with it for years or even decades.
It may be difficult for someone from outside of the relationship or family to believe that the person causing the harm is actually behaving in a detrimental way. Because domestic abuse is about needing to be in control, they will be very good at controlling their own behaviour in front of other people. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse or sexual violence.