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What does Domestic Abuse look like?

It is very difficult to create a definitive list of signs that domestic abuse is possibly happening because:

1.Perpetrators are very good at lying to hide their behaviour and victims of abuse will be very skilled at hiding whatever abuse is happening due to fear, shame and the desire to protect themselves and their children.

2. Domestic abuse can occur on many levels and at opposite extremes, for example, a woman may never be allowed to work or leave the house, or instead, may be forced to work long hours. A woman may never be allowed to leave the children alone, or she may never be allowed to touch the children or go near them.

Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

The warning signs below may suggest that domestic abuse is occurring but are not an exhaustive list.

1. A woman may never be seen alone, she is always accompanied by her partner

2.She may become more and more isolated, possibly moving a long way from family. She may not have any friends or may gradually stop seeing them. Her partner may talk over her or for her and she may be reluctant to speak. Her partner may appear controlling or may regularly make disparaging comments about her.

3.She may have unexplained injuries, however, most perpetrators are skilled in ensuring the injuries he inflicts on his partner are in places that are easily able to be covered up. When approached about any injuries she may make excuses about how they happened.

4.If her partner is behaving publicly in an inappropriate manner she may justify and excuse his behaviour

5.She may lose her job, have regular unexplained absences from work or often be late to work

6.She may appear to be very fearful, jumpy or over careful in her partner’s company

7.Her partner may contact her excessively, constantly texting and ringing her

8.She may have no access to money

9.She may not want people to visit her at home or may not be comfortable giving out her address or details

10.Her partner may be unsociable with her friends, family or colleagues, or he may be extremely charismatic and friendly to everyone

11.If she has children she may find it very difficult to control them and they may call her names and ignore her. Her children may be extremely clingy to her and not want to leave her.

12.Her partner may tell people she is abusing him and that he is a victim of domestic abuse

13.In a new relationship her new partner may constantly want to be with her and may ‘surprise’ her with visits when he knows she will be spending time with other people

14.She may move in with him/become engaged to him/become pregnant very quickly after first meeting him or starting a relationship with him

15.Her behaviour may start to change after meeting him/beginning a relationship with him

16.She may stop talking about her partner