At Power of Two Marriage we pride ourselves on teaching the skills to enable couples to build happy, healthy and SAFE marriage. However, we also know there are situations where the most important thing is to find a safe way to leave the relationship.
We’re super grateful to Trevor McDonald for sharing this awesome post on marriage and safety with us!
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Domestic Violence: How to Spot the Warning Signs
Domestic violence can be traumatic and hard to escape from. It can also be hard for family members of a victim to know if they really are involved in an abusive relationship. Often times the victim is afraid to come forward about their abuse. Victims may be afraid that if there is a lack of proof, their partner may punish them for trying to report them.
This is why it is so important to know the warning signs of domestic violence. The following are some things to look out for if you think a friend or loved one is involved in an abusive relationship:
Mood swings and out-of- character personality: Often those who have been a victim of abuse will begin to have low self-esteem. Depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping also are warning signs. Finally, pay attention if you notice an unusual tendency to become more angry, or to begin to isolate themselves from family functions.
Missing work or school unexpectedly: Victims of abuse may begin to miss work or school, sometimes without notice. This may be caused noticeable injuries, depression, or by force from their abusive partner.
Substance abuse: An abusive partner often is engaged in substance abuse. More than 25% of abusive men are addicted to drugs, and roughly 90% of men abused drugs the same day they abused their partner. Victims of domestic violence also commonly start abusing drugs. This may be a coping mechanism deal with trauma or depression.
Excuses for injuries: Victims of domestic violence will often come up with excuses for all of their injuries. This may be a sign if it is happening over and over (for instances falling down stairs, bumping their head, tripping or falling, etc). If a loved one is constantly getting injured it can definitely be a sign something more is going on.
Taking blame: It is a common symptom for those traumatized by abuse to take blame for almost everything, even when it is not logical. They may apologize too often or take the blame for events that happen to other people. This can be a sign of emotional and verbal abuse.
Remember, domestic violence is not just strictly physical abuse. In fact, domestic violence often includes verbal abuse, threats, stalking, or breaches of privacy. An abusive partner may read emails, look through their partner’s phone, threaten them to do things they do not want to do, threaten to harm themselves as leverage, or call their partner mean names like fat, ugly, stupid, or expletives. These can all cause psychological trauma and are not healthy in a normal relationship.
Sound like someone you know? Reach out for help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline — http://www.thehotline.org — is a GREAT place to start. Reach out for yourself or for someone you are worried about!