By Katie Foley
Life is full of unexpected changes and we often recognize those changes when it happens to those closest to us. What happens if you start noticing negative changes in a loved ones life? What are the signs of these changes?
Maybe you’ve noticed bruises on a friend or maybe they are constantly negative and showing you a significant change in their confidence. Maybe you’ve even noticed a change in their attitude or personality.
Their scarf collection is growing. They don’t laugh anymore. They are always checking their phone and letting their significant other know where they are.
While you thought they were always happy, you’re now beginning to question if something is wrong. Reality: domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. Sometimes, though, problems are pushed under the table or even denied.
Noticing the signs of an abusive relationship can be the first step to ending it. If you immediately think of someone in your life that relates to the points below then we encourage you to take the first step and reach out. There is available help and no one should ever live in fear.
Change in habits
When someone becomes obsessive about updating their partner on their location or daily activities this may be a sign that something is wrong. Other changes in daily routine and habits may bring light to something more going on behind closed doors. For example, your sister used to always put on makeup, get manicures, and workout. Now, all she does is sulk around and seems to have lost self-confidence. It is possible those changes are the result of domestic violence.
Constantly on edge
Do they fear their partner all of the time? Do they try everything in their power to never make their partner angry? Are they always complaining of never doing anything right? If answering “yes,” then it is time to step in and help them realize that they aren’t helpless, but that they are worthy of help.
Bruises. Scratches. Black Eyes. Jammed Fingers. Lacerations.
Above are “obvious” giveaways of physical abuse. Realize that abusers are smart, so these wounds could possibly be in hidden places. Take notice and start asking questions.
They’re not communicating
While this may seem superficial, it’s important to start noticing how they are communicating is it via text, phone calls, and social media. If they no longer are on social media or even less active – you may have your first sign. If you also notice that your loved one has a “phone manager” and isn’t texting you as often or maybe isn’t even allowed to talk to certain people, then it might be time to talk.
“You’ll never find someone else that will love you.”
The lie above is a sign that your loved one is being manipulated to stay in a bad situation. If you are noticing that they are forcing smiles and laughs – then it could be time to take action. The more they are faking and lying, the more they will be manipulated to a point of serious abuse.
If you or a loved one are a victim of feeling these emotions – it’s time to take back your life. At Beacon of Hope Crisis Center, we are committed to breaking the cycle while empowering victims and survivors to take back their life. From providing emotional support to safety planning, let us be your advocate.
For more information, contact our hotline at: (317) 731-6140.
By Savannah Tipton
Domestic violence is present in all communities regardless of age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality. Despite its prevalence we still have a hard time talking about it. We cannot begin addressing the problem if we cannot have a conversation about it. What can you do? It’s simple, you can start by learning more about domestic violence today.
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of power and control in any intimate relationship. Abuse can be physical, emotional/psychological, verbal, financial, spiritual, or sexual. There may be no physical marks that someone is abused and each situation is unique. Since the effects of domestic violence can be hidden, we need to stand together and speak up against domestic violence.
The cycle of abuse helps us to understand the patterns of domestic violence. It starts with tension building, a period that might include verbal abuse as the abuser becomes agitated or critical. That is followed by a violent outburst. After the outburst, the abuser is very apologetic and may ask for forgiveness. The cycle is not set on any designated time frame and can change over the course of a relationship. Understanding the cycle of abuse can help victims along with their families and friends identify abuse.
Victim Advocates at Beacon of Hope Crisis Center are here to help. If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault Contact Us today to get help. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 9-1-1 immediately.
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About this blog
This blog is about our domestic and sexual violence crisis center, Beacon of Hope. We hope you find it full of helpful information, motivation, creativity, serious facts and positivity. We hope that it will help you know what is happening in our center, in our community and with our events. We hope you follow our blog in support of our organization and our mission.