Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If You Think Someone You Know Is Being Abused...


You may have a friend, family member, coworker or acquaintance that you suspect is being abused. Most likely, she won't come out and tell you if she is. There is so much shame, fear and embarrassment involved that most women do not speak about their being abused. Many even cover up for their abusers.

Following are some signs that you can look for if you suspect someone you know is being abused:

*Does she have visible injuries, such as black eyes, bruises or broken bones/ Do you tend not to press further about frequent "accidents" or "illnesses" that cause absences from work?

*Does her partner exert an unusual amount of control over her activities? Are you reluctant to discuss the partner's control over family finances, the way she dresses, and her contact, or lack thereof, with friends and family?

*Does her partner ridicule her publicly? Do you and others ignore this behavior? Do you already sense the volatile nature of these comments?

*Have you noticed changes in her or her children's behavior? Do they appear frightened, exhausted, or on edge? Do the children seem to be easily upset? Are they experiencing problems in school, work or other activities?

Your support and validation can be of tremendous value to her. You can ease the isolation and loss of control she may feel by listening, providing information and helping to explore options.

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