Signs of an Abusive Relationship
You might not get to see first hand how your friends and their
partners interact behind closed doors. But there are some things to
look out for if you suspect a friend might be in an abusive
relationship. Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms,
including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and
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Here are some warning signs of an abusive relationship that you
can look out for with your friends. If you see some of these
warning signs with your friends, we have some tips to help you
start a conversation about it. If you think your friend is in
danger, or you want more resources to bring to your friend, help is
available 24 hours a day from the National Domestic
Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY
People who are being abused may:
- Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner.
- Go along with everything their partner says and does.
- Check in often with their partner to report where they are and
what they're doing.
- Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their
- Talk about their partner's temper, jealousy, or
People who are being physically abused may:
- Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of "accidents."
- Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without
- Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g.
wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).
People who are being isolated by their abuser
- Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
- Rarely go out in public without their partner.
- Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.
People who are being emotionally abused
- Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be
- Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes
- Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
People who are being financially abused
- Have limited access to money or credit cards.
- Have their spending tightly monitored and restricted by their
- Worry excessively about how their partner will react to what
are commonly thought of as simple, everyday purchases.