Is someone you know being victim of abuse?

Here are some signs that someone you know is being a victim of abuse and a few ways in which you could help her.

Woman holding her face in dark room.

Woman holding her face in dark room. / Photo: Unsplash - Reference image

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

Escucha este artículo

Leer en español: ¿Alguien que conoces es víctima de abuso?

As read on Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV), an abusive relationship can be identified because one partner is trying to dominate the other through sexual pressure, physical harm, threats, psychological pressure, and demands. 

Abuse can happen in every relationship but it is usually directed to women. According to UN Women, it is estimated that 35% of women all over the world have suffered from domestic or sexual violence by a stranger and 70% have been abused by their own partners. In 2017, globally, 87000 women were murdered and 50% of them, 50000, were killed by their own couples.

Also read: This is how Colombian women took the streets

It is important to remember that abuse in a relationship can never be justified: it is never caused by the victim and it doesn´t happen because the abuser is under substances or is stressed. Abuse happens when someone wants to manipulate and control their partner and it can be reported to the police.

So yes, it is very possible that someone you know is being a victim of abuse and there are some clear signs that, according to Very Well Mind you have to look out for: 

•    Black eyes
•    Red or purple marks on the neck
•    Bruises on the arms
•    Low self-esteem

•    Fearful 
•    Substance abuse
•    Symptoms of depression
•    Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities and hobbies
•    Anxiety
•    Isolation from friends and family
•    Drops out of activities they would usually enjoy
•    Changes in sleep habits (sleeping too much or not enough)
•    Talking about or attempting suicide

These are just some of the signs that you could watch out for if you suspect someone you know is being victim of abuse. Even though you might feel clueless about the best way to help a victim of abuse, there are several things you can do to help her find her way out of an abusive relationship according to DVRCV:

•    Listen to what she has to say and do not judge her
•    Believe in her no matter what because talking is a huge step. Abuse is different in every relationship and the way to handle it may vary as well. 
•    Don´t underestimate the danger she may be in
•    Help her recognize the importance of what is happening and the way it is impacting her life
•    Help her be confident
•    Let her know that it is not her fault and that the abuser is the only one to blame
•    Help her find solutions: lookout for helplines or support centers that treat abused women. 
•    Respect her own decisions, even though you may not understand why a person stays in an abusive relationship, let her know that you will be there for her when she decides to talk. 
•    Find out legal information on what she can do and give it to her 
•    Keep supporting her after she has left the relationship