Every relationship is different, and not every couple can get along perfectly all the time. It’s difficult to watch a loved one struggle in an unhappy relationship and let them work it out on their own. However, when disagreements escalate into domestic violence, the situation changes. Many victims of domestic violence need help to escape their abuser. In North Carolina, contacting a Raleigh Domestic Violence Attorney could give your loved one the insight they need to recognize the fact they are in a destructive relationship. Following are three common signs that a loved one might need intervention and help to escape from a domestic violent situation.
Isolation from family, friends, and other support systems
Domestic violence is a crime of isolation. The abuser needs to maintain complete control and power over the victim, and that isn’t possible if the victim has a support system in place. Slowly and subtly over time, many abusers cut their victims off from their family and friends until they reach a point where there is no one they can turn to. Isolation from friends and family keeps the victim dependent on their abuser emotionally, financially, and often physically. If your loved one has quit their job or schooling and slowly over time cut ties with everyone they were once close to, this may be a sign that there is domestic violence and the victim has reached the point where they are unable to reach out for help.
Loss of self-esteem and self-confidence
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Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence where constant belittling and criticism wears away at the victim’s self-esteem. Humiliation, name calling, and constant insults are all ways the abuser controls the victim and chips away at their self-confidence. Denying the abuse ever took place is another tactic the abuser uses to make the victim question their own sense of reality and whether they are being too sensitive or overly dramatic.
Abusers can shift the blame for the abuse back on to the victim. Abusers can make their victims feel responsible for their situation. They may be embarrassed and feel shame that they are not “good enough” to prevent their abuse. Many victims feel like they deserve the abuse or they instigated it. This also makes it hard for them to reach out for help when they feel like they could have prevented it if they could just be a better person.
Showing fear of their partner or the situation
No one should live in fear of their partner or their partner’s reaction. If your loved one is walking on eggshells around their partner for fear that they might say or do something that will set them off, this could be a clear sign that they are abused. Often victims do not know when or what will trigger their partner’s temper, so they live in constant fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Many abusers use intimidation to control their partners. Threats to hurt pets, children, or their victims are all ways to exert control. Abusers can even threaten to hurt themselves as a way to punish their victims and make them feel like everything is their fault.
Most relationships do not start out as abusive. The abuse starts slowly and builds over time to the point when often the victim doesn’t even recognize that they are being abused until it gets physical. If you suspect a loved one is in an abusive relationship, intervention could be their only hope.