Physical, verbal, mental… abuse is abuse and it should never be tolerated. It isn’t always easy seeing the warning signs of a friend, loved one, or even yourself in an abusive relationship, but the signs are there if you look. Know the warning signs of abuse and when to tell yourself or a loved one that it’s time to get out.
Warning signs can be very small or extremely abusive behaviors. Simple things like constant name-calling or derogatory comments can be warnings of an abusive relationship. Obvious warning signs like physical altercations including shoving, hitting, pushing, smacking, biting, or using objects to inflict pain are obvious signs of abuse.
But warning signs can also be slight and hidden from the outside world. Those in an abusive relationship often credit themselves with the fault of why they are being hurt, and therefore, they hide their bruises, scars, and emotions from the world. Less obvious signs that may indicate that a loved one is being abused are constant bruises, hiding certain body parts, an obvious physical reaction of distress upon seeing violence or loud noises, being timid around men bigger than them, and an overall apprehension of people that didn’t use to previously exist.
It isn’t always easy to get out of an abusive relationship. Often the person inflicting the violence, pain, or emotional damage is a loved one who close to the victim, like a husband, parent, or boyfriend. Those abused often don’t feel as if they have a way to exit the relationship without destroying other facets of their lives, no matter how bad other factors are. There is sometimes the financial burden of trying to leave someone abusive without the fear of ending up in debt or homeless.
The greatest thing a friend and ally can do for the person being abused is to acknowledge the abuse with them, try to help them solve the problem, and get out of the relationship. Victims feel powerless most of the time and knowing they have a friend in their corner can make all the difference in the world. From there, help your friend or loved one access the resources they need. They’re probably going to require a new place to live, therapy, and emotional help getting through and overcoming the posttraumatic stress disorder. Friends, family members, and allies play an important role in helping the victim get the help needed and plenty of love and reinforcement.