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What are the Signs of Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence is the usage of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse to establish control over a close relationship such as marriage, romantic or blood relation, or co-parents. However, while women are the most common victims, both men and women can be subject to domestic violence. Sadly, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience some form of violence in their lifetime.

Each person is affected differently by domestic violence, but the physical or psychological impact remains the same. It could take years to recover from low self-esteem and trauma. Fortunately, there is always time to save yourself before it gets extreme by taking a cue from several early signs of domestic abuse.

Putting You Down

Your partner constantly tries to demean or insult you in whichever way possible. “You are not intelligent enough.” “My friend is better looking than you.” You might want to let it go, but in a healthy relationship, partners uplift each other and try to make each other feel good. If your partner is overly critical of your appearance and behavior, it is time to make a call.

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a type of psychological abuse where a person is forced to have doubts about their sanity, memories, and reality. Your abuser may accuse you of being oversensitive or overreacting when your concerns might be completely rational. They might try to avoid queries by questioning your credibility or pretending not to understand something.

Gaslighting is quite common in unhealthy relationships but difficult to spot. However, the constant occurrence of such events should not be ignored. The abuser might go to the extent of calling someone “crazy” or “irrational” for seeking help for abuse.

Reproval

Every couple has their disagreements, but being accused of always being wrong is a critical sign of an unhealthy relationship. Good partners try to take responsibility for their actions rather than constantly blaming the other. If things do not always go well, it is not necessarily your fault. Perhaps your partner no longer seeks your opinion or approval for things that affect both of you, but instead, you will be blamed and criticized for circumstances beyond your control.

Jealousy

Jealousy is one of the most prominent signs of an unhealthy relationship. A tad bit of jealousy is acceptable, but when a person is overly protective or possessive over a partner, it is a sure sign to be wary of them. They will constantly try to keep an eye on you and watch you even when you are not noticing. An abuser might blame their past relationships for their irrational behavior. A jealous partner might try to take control over your social media, browsing history, and even GPS tracking.

They might restrict you to have limited relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. By trying to isolate you, they try to gain more control over your movements and make you more dependent on them.

Fear

As a result of constant abuse, you become fearful of everything around you. There is a prevailing fear of the consequences of any action, or of something that you might do wrong. You are walking on eggshells. There is an apprehension in any decision you make, and you are even scared to start a conversation with your partner. This fear leads to depression, and you start blaming yourself.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is obvious; bruises, scratches, or broken bones are all signs of extreme abuse. If either you or anyone you know is experiencing physical violence, it should be immediately reported.

Are You Trying to Leave an Abusive Relationship?

A healthy relationship will always require effort from both partners. If the signs mentioned above persist in your relationship and your partner is unwilling to change, you can do something about it. Victims can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and ask for help. Under California law, victims can also seek restraining orders.

It is also important to speak to a trusted attorney to help you navigate the difficult process of leaving an abusive relationship. We here at SAC Attorneys LLP can help you take the first steps of leaving your abusive partner. To learn more, please contact our compassionate team of family law attorneys today.

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