Domestic Abuse - Signs of abuse

Question How would I know if a friend was being abused?

AnswerIt can be hard to know if someone is being abused. Often you might notice a number of things that would make you concerned. It might be something in the way someone looks or behaves, in the way they interact with other people or if they seem withdrawn. These are some of the things that might alert you to abuse.


Physical SignsHow would I know if a friend was being abused? class=

  • Injuries such as bruises or broken bones
  • Self-harm
  • Eating difficulties
  • Having to leave home, friends, possessions
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

Emotional Signs

  • Anger towards abuser, other parent or siblings
  • Introversion, withdrawal
  • Fear, tension, stress
  • Sadness, depression
  • Mood swings, irrational behaviour

Behavioural Signs

  • Acting out anger, aggression
  • Being protective, trying to stop the violence - putting themselves at risk
  • Trying to protect siblings
  • Running away from home
  • ‘mitching' from school
  • Sudden change is school results/performance

Social Signs

  • Social isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Poor social skills
  • Being bullied
  • Aggression towards others
  • Violence in dating or intimate relationships

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