About 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the US experience some sort of physical abuse in their relationships, so if you think you are dealing with a problem that is not too common or you know someone who is afraid to talk for the same reason, you should think again. There are so many signs of physical abuse for friends and family of the victim to recognize, that sometimes it’s simply unexplainable how severe injuries occur.
So, why so many people are quiet about it. The number one reason for this is fear.
That’s why we’re obligated to act and protect those in need, and encourage everyone who has this kind of problem to react and share their situation with a friend or a professional.
If you think you know someone who is physically abused, but you are not sure, here are some signs of physical abuse. They can be physical, behavioral or emotional.
Most common physical signs are bruises and cuts. If you see these things in a friend more common than usual, then there’s a great possibility that he or she is being abused.
What is usual? A normal person can cut himself, fall on the ground by mistake, but that might happen once or twice a year. If bruises and cuts appear once a month or once in two months, or maybe more often, and the person is always giving excuses for them which seem illogical, then chances are big that physical abuse is happening in that relationship.
Other physical signs include burns, black eyes, often unexplained trips to the hospital, etc. All people care about hurting themselves, so if injuries occur often it is a clear sign to raise the alarm about domestic violence.
Victims of physical abuse often try to hide the fact that they are being abused. They do that because of shame, fear, or simply because they are confused and don’t know how to act or ask for help.
Whatever the reason is, turning our heads the other way in these cases means that we are accomplices to such crimes.
Classic behavioral signs are constant confusion, amnesia, panic attacks, unexplained weight loss, use of drugs and alcohol, etc. People under physical abuse rarely admit they are being abused, but their behavior often speaks something else. They might look disoriented, confused, lost, go to work heavily medicated or drunk. All this is done to hide the abuse and cope with their difficult situation.
If there are no clear behavioral and physical signs, it doesn’t mean that a person is not going under a physical abuse of some kind. It might take longer, but emotional signs will inevitably occur. Physical abuse is frustrating and exhausting, so after a while, the person will start feeling depressed, or have no will to live. Fear, phobias, social isolation, withdrawal are also signs of abuse.
What to do
If a person close to you has some of these signs, try and talk to him or her about it. They’ll probably deny it, but sometimes talk is exactly what they need to open up and start resolving the problem.
If the abuse is obvious but the person is still denying it, a 911 call becomes a must. Their further instructions on such matters helps resolve the problem in most cases.