Domestic violence and abuse happens more often than you may think. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the U.S. Every day, domestic violence hotlines answer 20,000 calls from around the country. This adds up to at least 10 million men and women suffering domestic abuse each year; many more incidents go unreported.
It can be difficult to see the signs of domestic violence. Since education and awareness are instrumental in preventing domestic violence, we’ve compiled a list of domestic violence indicators.
Signs of Physical Domestic Abuse
A loved one may be victim of physical domestic violence if they have been:
- Given bruises, scars, black eyes, broken bones, etc.
- Hit, kicked, choked, punched, or slapped
- Threatened or harmed with a weapon
- Told what to eat, when to sleep, and where to go or not go
- Forced to use drugs or alcohol
- Not allowed to seek medical treatment or call the police
- Abandoned in an unfamiliar place or bad situation
- Subjected to reckless or aggressive driving while in the car
Signs of Emotional Domestic Abuse
Your loved one may be the victim of emotional domestic violence if they have been:
- Demeaned or belittled
- Called names
- Humiliated in public
- Accused of being unfaithful
- Cheated on
- Lied to
- Isolated from family or friends
- Followed or stalked by their partner
- Confined to their home against their will
- Subjected to property damage
- Told they deserve abuse
- Required by their partner to look or dress a certain way
- Blamed for the abuse
Signs of Sexual Domestic Abuse
Your loved one may be suffering sexual domestic violence if they have been:
- Forced to dress in a sexual manner
- Forced to have sex when they don’t want to
- Forced to perform sexual acts they aren’t comfortable with
- Intentionally hurt during sex
- Forced to watch or make pornography
- Insulted sexually
- Intentionally given an STD
- Forced to have sex after being physically abused
- Forced to have sex with others or had others involved in their sexual activities against their will
How to Know if You’re a Victim
You may have experienced one of more of the above signs in your own relationship. A one-off instance of one of these actions doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a victim of domestic violence. That said, if you can answer yes to even some of the below questions, you might be a victim of abuse:
- Does your partner tease, insult, or humiliate you in public?
- Does your partner “check up on you” with the intent of knowing your every move?
- Does your partner blame you for the abuse, their problems, or their mood?
- Does your partner get angry easily?
- Does your partner threaten or do things to scare you?
- Does your partner abuse drugs or alcohol and insist you do it with them?
- Does your partner control who you talk to, see, or interact with, including your own family?
- Does your partner keep money or financial issues from you?
- Does your partner keep you in debt or take your money?
- Has your partner caused you to get fired or lose out on a potential job?
- Does your partner force sex on you?
- Does your partner threaten to harm themselves or leave?
- Does your partner act one way in public and differently at home?
- Does your partner deny abusing you?
- Has your partner threatened to kill you?
If the above situations sound familiar to you, do not hesitate to reach out. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, or call The National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 800-799-7233.
DrugRehab.com, a web-based resource funded by Advanced Recovery Systems, also offers support for victims of domestic violence. For immediate assistance 24/7, please call 855-977-5891.
If your partner has been charged with domestic violence, it is important that your voice is heard at the courthouse. If you feel like nobody is listening or your story isn’t being represented accurately, we can help. Call the attorneys at Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.