Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence can come in various forms, from physical and sexual abuse to emotional and financial abuse. Although signs of physical abuse may appear obvious, it isn’t what comes first. Abuse slowly creeps up and becomes more evident as time goes on. The following blog post is an overview of the warning signs of domestic abuse. 

Physical Signs of Domestic Violence 

Physical abuse is generally associated with constant physical injuries from being punched, slapped, kicked, choked, shoved, or knocked down. Victims will likely have an inconsistent or weak explanation regarding these injuries or try to cover up their injuries with extra clothing or heavy makeup. 

Common signs of physical abuse include: 

  • Black eyes 

  • Busted lips 

  • Cuts and bruises in various stages of healing 

  • Purple or red marks on the neck 

  • Broken or fractured bones 

Emotional Signs of Domestic Violence 

Domestic abuse can also be emotionally damaging. Victims often feel helpless and hopeless about their situation because they do not believe they can never escape the abuser’s control. They may also be constantly alert or jumpy. 

Common signs of emotional abuse include: 

  • Anxiety 

  • Depression 

  • Low self-esteem 

  • Being afraid or nervous around certain people 

  • Extremely apologetic 

  • Suicidal thoughts 

  • Developing an alcohol or drug problem 

  • Changes in sleep habits 

  • Being emotionally agitated or upset 

  • Becoming distant or reserved 

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends 

  • Stop doing activities they used to enjoy 

  • Tardiness 

  • Refuses to speak about his/her personal life 

Signs of Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse means non-consensual or unwanted sexual contact. Common examples include rape, sexual assault, sodomy, unwanted touching, and coerced nudity. 

Common signs of sexual abuse include: 

  • Bruising around the breasts or genital area 

  • Ripped, stained, or bloody undergarments 

  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding 

  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections (STIs) 

  • A police report of a rape or sexual assault 

Signs of Financial Abuse 

Financial abuse involves restricting a victim’s access to their own money, forcing a victim to depend on the abuser for financial needs, or taking a victim’s money or assets. This type of abuse can make it difficult to leave a violent situation. 

Common signs of financial abuse include: 

  • Feeling entitled to the victim’s money or assets 

  • Using the victim’s assets for the abuser’s personal benefit 

  • Trying to control the victim’s use or access to the money he/she has earned or saved 

  • Borrowing money without repaying 

  • Running up victim’s credit limits and not paying the bills 

  • Asking the victim to pay their bills and other obligations 

  • Opening or intercepting the victim’s bank statements or financial records 

  • Limiting access to finances 

  • Hiding or taking funds and placing them in a private account 

  • Dictating where the victim can and cannot work or otherwise interfering with his/her job 

Signs of an Abuser 

The signs of domestic violence do not always appear immediately. Abusers tend to try to hide this part of themselves at first but can only keep up the façade for so long until the abuse becomes apparent. 

The following are common signs of an abuser: 

  • Possessiveness 

  • Extremely controlling behavior 

  • A bad temper 

  • Extreme jealousy 

  • A bad temper 

  • Verbal abuse 

  • Throw things and punch walls 

  • Keeps close tabs on where the victim goes and who he/she is with 

  • Demeans or embarrasses the victims in front of others 

  • Makes the victim ask for permission to see family and friends 

  • Extremely controlling behavior 

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Chicago, IL, and need legal assistance to protect yourself from your abuser, call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 or fill out our online contact form today to request a consultation. We have been serving the Chicagoland area since 2009! 

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