Domestic violence is a highly prevalent problem in the United States. On average, almost 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, women and men alike. Intimate partner violence also accounts for 15% of all violent crime. Unfortunately, some people are legally bound to their abuser through marriage, and their situation makes it all the harder to get away. If you think someone you love is being abused, look for these signs that something sinister may be happening behind closed doors.

Inexplicable Injuries

If your friend or family member is consistently bruised, cut, or has sustained sprains or broken bones, something strange is happening. Sometimes these bruises could look like they came from choking, punching, or being thrown down. Black eyes, marks on the neck, and sprained wrists are all common signs of being in a violent relationship. While some of these can be explained through intense exercise such as a martial art, many of these exercise programs attempt to keep you safe at all times while teaching you the basics. Sometimes those involved in violent relationships will try and hide bruises with makeup or long sleeves. Their excuses for the injuries might also be thin or nonsensical.


If you noticed your loved one has become withdrawn or isolated, this could be a sign their partner is controlling them. Abusive partners do their best to separate their spouse from a support system that could prevent the abuse from happening. It’s a sign of a controlling individual.


Because abusers tend to be controlling and afraid the control will not be enough to keep their spouse from leaving, they will do all they can to ensure a maximum hold on the abused. Some individuals will need to ask permission to go out, talk with certain people, or do things with friends or family. Likewise, they may need permission to take out money money or to use the car, because the abuser keeps their spouse’s means of leaving in a tight hold.

Changes in Behavior

If you notice your loved one is more depressed or has low self-esteem, this could be an indication they are being abused. Low self-esteem and an extremely apologetic or meek demeanor are usually signs that they do their best to remain out of their abuser’s radar in case they accidentally offend their spouse. Likewise, if they develop a drug or alcohol abuse problem, symptoms of depression, loss of interest in daily activities, or talks more about suicide, this is all indicative of a larger issue. While severe depression isn’t by itself indicative of spousal abuse, paired with other signs, it could be another potential result of domestic violence.

Fear of Conflict

Because conflict with their spouses usually results in abuse, a victim of abuse might experience anxiety or powerlessness in other relationships. Conflicts with friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors could lead to overly friendly behavior or easily acquiescing to someone else’s request out of a desire to avoid an argument.

If you think someone you know is being abused, take action to help. The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence has resources available to the victims of domestic abuse. Visit their website here. If you need help filing a restraining order or arranging a divorce, talk to one of our St. Charles divorce lawyers at Smith Law Offices, LLC. Our experienced attorneys have more than 20 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Talk to us about your situation in a case consultation.

Call us at (636) 400-1177 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today!

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