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By Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC, CSAT
Did you know that most women remain with a partner who has been physically abusive to them in a relationship? If you have never been physically abused in a romantic relationship, you may wonder why women would stay in a relationship where abuse occurs. The statistics bring the hard truth, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
This statistic includes higher income women. They also face the same torturous decision over whether to leave their partners and if so, how to do it. Women from upper incomes may feel they have a lot to lose – money, power, respect, along with feelings of deep shame and embarrassment. Their colleagues may not know it since there aren’t always tell-tale signs like bruises.
If you are concerned that someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, there are some signs that you may want to consider. They may exhibit the following signs. However, these signs don’t necessarily mean they are in an abusive relationship.
Six Signs of Domestic Abuse
1. Unusually Anxious – It is a regular part of life for people to experience anxiety occasionally. However, this kind of stress appears very restless or wound-up or on-edge. You may also notice a difficulty concentrating and it may seem that her mind goes blank.
2. Strange Bruises – or signs of old injuries that are usually healing on the arms.
3. Limited Access to friends, family, transportation or finances – they appear to not be close to their family or seem to have little friends. They also insinuate having limited funds despite their high level of income earning. They also at times can get dropped off at work despite having their own personal transportation.
4. Excessive clothing or accessories – to hide signs of physical abuse. They cover up even when it is not consistent with weather conditions.
5. Inconsistent attendance at work or social activities – they make repetitive excuses to not participate in social outings or work functions scheduled outside of the regular working hours.
6. Checking in with partner frequently – to outline daily activities or conflict prior plans. They will keep their personal phones near them at all times even during otherwise inappropriate times such as work meetings.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied when it is a successful and smart woman who is in a leadership position. Many people hesitate because you may be telling yourself that it’s none of your business, but you might be wrong, or that the person might not want to talk about it. Therefore, if you recognize any or all of the above signs, you want to address it by letting them know you are concerned. This will let them know that you care, and it may even save her life.
Resource: National Domestic Violence Hotline – Call: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). A crisis intervention and referral phone line for domestic violence. (National Domestic Violence Hotline)
About the Author: Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC, CSAT is a licensed psychotherapist who owns and operates a private practice in Maitland, Florida where she facilities individual & intensive group therapy. She has appeared as a psychological expert on hundreds of radio and television shows. She hosts local events and is a popular professional speaker on topics such as toxic love relationships, how to make relationships work and taming the monster within. She facilitates an intensive therapy group called Women Redeemed, which is for women who want to address core wounds driving self-sabotaging behaviors and who have a history of toxic romantic relationships.