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Recognizing Abuse: Signs To Look For

Being able to recognize the signs of abuse in someone you love can be a slippery slope.  It may not always be apparent by one indication alone. However, if you do notice one or more of the most common signs of abuse, it could be a sign of something going on, which requires further investigation.

In many cases of abuse, the person being abused doesn’t tell anyone about what’s happening.  Therefore, it’s vital that the people who love them recognize the signs which may point to abuse so that they can encourage them to speak.

Although abuse can vary from person to person, take a look at some of the most common warning signs that someone is a victim of abuse

Physical Marks

Physical marks are some of the most obvious implications that abuse is going on.  They may have bruises or suspicious cuts. Often people who have physical marks as a result of abuse come up with less than credible excuses for how they got there.

Behavioral Changes In The Abusers Presence

If you think you know who the abuser is, try to take note of how your loved one acts in their presence.  Do they suddenly become more withdrawn when they come around? Do they act quieter or look at them for approval frequently?

How does the suspected abuser treat them?  If they belittle them or act controlling, then it’s a red flag that something may be going on. 

Low Self-Esteem

When a person is abused, they start to doubt their own self-worth.  Over time, the abuser’s words will start to take over, and any confidence the abused person once had may get lost under all of the pain. 

If you notice your loved one seems ashamed or afraid to be themselves, it’s usually an indication of something deeper. 

Makes Excuses For Abuser

The psychology behind abuse can be a grey area.  Even though the abuser is hurting the abused, the abused person may still love them.  As a result, they may make excuses for the person hurting them, or try to protect them.  Don’t be alarmed if this happens. 

If you do determine that someone is being abused, you may feel torn about what to do.  In some cases, the person being abused is too scared to take action. People handle traumatic experiences differently.  

If you do confront the person who you suspect is being abused and they continue to deny it, there isn’t much you can do but continue to be there for them.  Eventually, with enough support, they may feel comfortable enough to come forward one day and seek help.  Until then, unfortunately, you can’t force an adult to take action if they aren’t ready.