Providing support to people whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse

Signs of Domestic Abuse can often go unnoticed. Listed below are 16 signs that may indicate that someone is affected by abuse:


These often leave the person feeling more dependant on the abuser, keeping them from realising their own self-worth and making it increasingly difficult to leave.

Injuries – bruising, cuts or injuries occurring frequently, or in areas that can be hidden by clothing, or perhaps is walking stiffly or appears sore. Sometimes gives explanations for injuries that don’t fit with the description.

Excuses – minimises or excuses injuries, perhaps saying they are clumsy or gives the same explanation each time.

Stress – displays physical symptoms related to stress, other anxiety disorders or depression, such as panic attacks, feelings of isolation and an inability to cope. May even talk about suicide attempts or self-harming.

Absent from work – often off work, takes time off without notice or is frequently late.

Personality changes – you may notice personality changes when around their partner or they appear to ‘walk on eggshells’ when in their company. They may be jumpy or show nervous mannerisms.

Low self-esteem – has low self-esteem when talking about relationships or their life in general and may seem sad, cry or be depressed.

Lack of opportunity to communicate independently – perhaps their partner talks over them, or for them, and they may be reluctant to speak. Their partner can appear controlling or make disparaging remarks to them.

Self blame – may take the blame for anything that happens, whether it’s at work, with the kids or with friends. May blame themselves for the abuse.

Lack of money – perhaps they never seem to have any money on them or forgets their purse/wallet because their partner is withholding money to control them.

Stops socialising – may make excuses for not going out with friends, or suddenly pulls out of social meets at the last minute.

Their partner displays irrational behaviour – may say that their partner is jealous, irrational/possessive, or you can pick up that they behave this way. Their partner may accuse them of having affairs, check phone or constantly phone to check up on them.

Unwanted pregnancy/termination – pregnancy often triggers the start of domestic abuse. She may be unhappy at being pregnant, not wish to continue with the pregnancy, or be forced into having a termination.

Substance abuse – may use alcohol or drugs to cope or even prescribed drugs such as tranquillisers or anti-depressants.

Lack of assertiveness – perhaps they can’t make decisions, stick up for themselves, give their own opinion or displays a lack of interest.

Damage to property – damage may be observed in the home or even harm to pets.

Unwilling to give out personal details – may not give friends and colleagues their address or telephone number. May insist that they contact you, so that you don’t turn up on their doorstep.

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If you need urgent help, call 999 immediately

If you are unsure and need advice, please call 0113 222 4202

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