Last week we looked at the warning signs to look for to identify if someone you find yourself involved with has the potential to become an abuser as the relationship develops. This week we look at potential signs to look for to identify whether someone you know is being abused.
If a family member, friend or coworker begins to exhibit any of the following signs, that person may be in an abusive relationship. Look for these “red flag” signs of abuse:
They have unexplained bruises or marks or repeated injuries that do not have a reasonable sounding explanation;
They appear to be increasingly isolated from family members, friends or coworkers;
They show bruises that look like they have been punched, choked, or restrained. Black eyes, swollen lips, or marks on the face or neck may appear. Bruises on the wrists, or forearms, or injuries like sprained wrists (from being grabbed or restrained) are common in violent relationships;
You notice them covering up bruises, or injuries, with makeup or clothing;
You learn they regularly do not have money available for basic necessities because the abuser is controlling their finances or even keeping their wages;
They appear to not have access to a vehicle that they own, or pay for;
They make disclosures of just how bad their partner’s temper is;
They offer explanations that injuries are a result of clumsiness, or inattention that is their fault;
They make excuses for the abuser, that their abuser is “under a lot of pressure,” or that their abuser is abusing drugs and/or alcohol or are therefore not responsible for their actions;
You notice that their self-esteem has dropped unexpectedly as they enter, or continue a new intimate relationship;
Their partner shows up unexpectedly, or constantly calls, or texts while that person attempts to work, attend school, run errands, or engage in social interaction with other people.
These are just a few of the warning signs that a family member, friend, or coworker may be involved in an abusive relationship. Watch the warning signs, and encourage them to not allow themselves to be a victim of the abuser by “calling out” the signs of abuse when you witness it yourself.
If a loved one is in an abusive relationship, encourage them to get help. Encourage them to talk to an attorney to find out what their options are to end the relationship. If someone you love is in an abusive relationship contact John J. Ready and Associates at 440-871-4000 to speak with one of our family law attorneys to find out how to legally stop the abuse.
Mr. Ready is a frequent lecturer on continuing legal education topics including domestic violence, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), guardian ad litem representation, parent coordinator practice and the examination of expert witnesses. His community activities include serving on the City of Lakewood Citizens Advisory Counsel and Board of Zoning Appeals. He served on Cleveland Catholic Diocese, Diocesan Pastoral Counsel and the St. Malachi Center Board of Trustees. Mr. Ready serves as a lector and lay minister at St. Malachi Church in Cleveland, and also serves as a lay minister at the hospice known as Malachi House.