It can be very hard to spot domestic abuse and see when it is happening. It’s important to recognise the signs, whether the abuse is coming from a partner, an ex-partner or the family.
Decline in engagement
They’re not seeing or talking to friends and family as much as they normally do.
They’ve suddenly started dressing differently.
Bruises or signs of injury
They’ve got bruises or signs of injury that don’t seem to match what they say happened to them.
Changes in work behaviour
There have been some sudden changes in how they are at work – for example, they might have stopped or started socialising with the team, or they avoid going for promotion.
Frequently called or visited at work
Someone calls them a lot at work or comes to the office.
Changes in social media
How they use social media has changed – for example, they are posting less than they used to on Instagram, or only talk about certain things on Facebook.
Constantly checking in with someone
Constantly telling someone where they are or what they are doing – for example, they are on their phone a lot, either texting or calling their abuser with updates.
They have lost confidence
They have lost confidence in themselves and can’t make decisions easily – for example, they might check with their abuser if they’re allowed to do something.
Their partner speaks for them
Their partner or someone stops them from talking freely or answers for them.
Stopped doing things they like
They have stopped doing thigns they like to do, such as exercise or going to the cinema.
They make excuses
You’ve noticed they make excuses for not paying for things or can’t afford to go out with you.
You see their abuser’s mood swings
You see or hear of their abuser’s sudden and unpredictable mood swings.
You hear shouting or loud noises
You hear shouting or loud noises coming from their home.
Do any of these signs sound familiar to you?
It may be that the person you are worried for is experiencing domestic abuse. Supporting this person is the first step to getting them out of an abusive situation.
If you’re still unsure, and you need further advice on how to recognise abuse, call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.
In an emergency…
If you hear or see an assault, or think that someone is in an emergency situation, call 999 and report it to the police.