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Thank you, Teri and Tamara, for teaching us the signs and the cycle of domestic abuse. Today I will be teaching you how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse in someone you love or are in a relationship with such as a co-worker, friend or family member.

People who are being abused may experience or show the following:

Seem worried about pleasing their partner or at times afraid if they don’t do so
Talk about their partner’s temper, over-possessiveness, or jealousy
Feel they must “check-in” with their partner to report their where-a bouts or what they are doing
Go along with everything their partners says or does for fear of conflict
Receives harassing phone calls, text messages, or emails from their partner

Physical Violence warning signs:

Frequent unexplained injuries
Dress in clothing that will hide marks (bruises, scratches, scars) Sometimes they wear long sleeves in summer to hide things
Missing work, school, or activities without explanation

Isolation warning signs:
Rarely going anywhere without their partner
Limited access to resources such as money, car, banking accounts
Being restricted from seeing friends and family

Psychological warning signs that someone is being abused:

Have very low self-esteem
Show major changes in their personality (someone who is normally an extrovert suddenly becomes an introvert)
Being depressed, anxious, or suicidal

It’s difficult to know what to do when you suspect that someone you care about is being abused. You may feel you are being intrusive, that it’s none of your business, or what if you’re wrong? It’s important to do your best to find out by asking the right questions and showing you care. There is a difference between showing you care and being intrusive. It is in how you approach the situation. Here is some help:

Things that can help:
Ask if anything is wrong
Express concern
Listen to them and validate their feelings
Offer assistance
Support them in their decision

Things that won’t help:
Judging or blaming
Pressuring him or her
Giving advice
Placing conditions on your support
Additionally, don’t wait for them to come to you for help.
(Adapted from NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence)

Remember that getting out of a domestic violence situation is very scary and difficult. Try to be there for that person and offer support the best that you can. They often feel isolated and alone, so it is important to show them ways you can and will be there for them thru this difficult time.

Tomorrow Joleen will be giving valuable resources for anyone who is being abused or knows someone they want to help. Thank you to www.helpguide.org for this valuable information.

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.

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