Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. In addition, anyone can be an abuser, no matter their cultural or economic background.
Victims of abuse may not always be forthcoming about what they are going through, so being able to recognize abuse can be helpful to you and your loved ones.
Signs of a Victim
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) outlines some signs that victims might show:
- Depression, emotional withdrawal, and isolation
- Distancing themselves from their friends and families
- Distrust in others
- Bruises and injuries that they are hiding or being submissive about
It’s important to note that these signs will not always be present and may not always mean abuse is taking place.
What Does Abuse Look Like?
The NCADV also goes over the warning signs that you are in an abusive relationship. If your significant other…
- Is verbally or physically harming you;
- Forces sexual acts and/or disregards consent;
- Is extremely possessive and controlling;
- Abuses animals/pets;
- Blames everything on you; or
- Sabotages or stops you from being with friends and family
…you need to get out.
These behaviors may be exhibited either in private or in public. Public humiliation is also characterized as a sign of abuse. An abuser may not behave this way all the time. In fact, it is common for abusers to have a period of “nice” behavior in between periods of violence.
Why a Victim Might Stay in an Abusive Relationship
Victims of domestic violence do not always seek escape from the relationship. These situations are complex. Here are some reasons why people might stay in abusive relationships:
- Fear of worse outcomes if they try leaving their abusers
- Lack of support from others
- Lack of money or places of refuge
- Fear for the safety of their children
- Religious or cultural beliefs
- Societal gender norms
- Lack of support from police and/or lawyers
According to California law, domestic abusers can face criminal charges and penalties. Because of the complexities of these cases, it is essential to have an experienced lawyer who can properly assess the situation. At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we may be able to help. Call us at (888) 478-8999 if you feel that you may have a domestic violence case.