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The Epidemic We Don't Talk About: How to Spot the Subtle Signs of Domestic Violence and Seek Help.

Domestic violence might happen behind closed doors more often than not. But the damage and trauma that’s a consequence of this particular abuse lingers far behind a closed door.

According to statistics, more than 10 million people per year in the U.S. are abused by an intimate partner. When so many people are likely to experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime, it’s essential that we use Domestic Violence Awareness Month to raise awareness of this increasing issue.

Learning the signs of domestic violence could help you potentially save a loved one or yourself from further harm. So read on to learn how to recognize the signs of domestic violence and ways to seek support:

The Warning Signs of an Abuser

Few people willingly get involved with an abusive person, and understanding that anyone could be an abuser is a tough pill to swallow. But once you know this fact, use the following common characteristics to help you spot an abuser:

  • An abuser often objectifies the victim and often sees them as their property.

  • An abuser can appear charming and nice to others outside of the relationship.

  • An abuser blames their violence on external causes like work stress or their parent’s behavior.

  • An abuser has low self-esteem.

  • An abuser sees their violence as “not a big deal” and minimizes its effects on the victim.

Physical Signs of Abuse

If someone is consistently physically abused, they might try to cover up the bruises with makeup or make poor excuses for them. But if you look out for these signs of physical abuse, it might clue you into what’s really going on:

● Busted lips

● Black eyes

● Sprained wrists

● Bruises on the neck and limbs

When emotional abuse turns into physical violence, that’s when domestic abuse turns into domestic violence. People who are abused may seem anxious when away from their abuser, and they might even deem their abuser’s violence as an effect of “moodiness.”

But we both know that this is not the case, and domestic violence victims need help.

How to Seek Help From Domestic Violence

If you or someone you know are victims of domestic violence, it’s time to break the cycle of abuse. Creating an exit plan can help victims safely leave their abuser, but in the case of an emergency, here are some ways to seek help:

  • Contact someone you trust. A loved one can be there for you to offer support and accommodations.

  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE. Hotlines can help you in a time of crisis and connect you to local women’s shelters.

  • Visit a counselor or join a support group. Confiding in a professional and those who can understand can help victims find support and the resources they need to leave their abusers.

It's hard to recognize the signs of domestic violence or even admit that you’re in an abusive relationship yourself, but always remember that no one deserves to be abused—ever.

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