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Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Violence

June 13, 2024
Personal Injury

Red Flags of an Abusive Relationship

Many people assume that abuse only takes one form. They believe that it manifests in bruises or broken bones and that little can be done prior to a serious injury. The truth is that domestic violence encompasses a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental harm that can be damaging to yourself and your loved ones. 

It can be challenging to recognize that you are in an abusive relationship, mainly when the perpetrator is someone that you love and trust. Domestic violence signs are not always clear-cut, but even if you merely suspect that you are being abused, it should be investigated.

Early Signs of Abuse

Early signs of abuse are some of the most difficult to detect. Abusers may become adept at making their victims feel powerless or even like they deserve the treatment. Many times, abuse may not begin as physical violence. Instead, it may be psychological. 

Early signs of abuse in a relationship:

  • Controlling finances
  • Making all the decisions in a relationship
  • Frequent insults or shaming
  • Making threats 
  • Angry outbursts
  • Locking the victim inside a room
  • Destroying personal property

Abusers are often very controlling over their victims. They may prohibit them from seeing friends and family or limit their access to finances in an attempt to prevent them from leaving. An abusive relationship may also involve emotional abuse. Emotional abuse signs include constant criticism, isolating you from others, attempting to belittle or diminish your self-esteem, shaming, blaming, guilt-tripping, and purposeful humiliation.

Recognizing Signs From the Outside

Recognizing signs of an abusive relationship from the outside can be exceptionally hard. Many domestic violence survivors attempt to hide their abuse out of shame or fear of what may happen to their abuser.

From the outside, abuse may look like:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem
  • A loss of identity
  • Dependence in a relationship
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Extreme love bombing

Verbal abuse signs are less obvious than physical abuse signs or other forms of harm. Any form of abuse should be taken seriously. It is important to note, however, that your loved one may not be ready to step away from the abusive relationship. Providing love and support is often critical in these situations.

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?

Domestic violence is a serious offense in Florida. A person who is charged with domestic violence may face criminal and civil penalties.

According to the Florida Statutes, domestic violence refers to any:

  • Assault
  • aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • aggravated battery
  • sexual assault
  • sexual battery
  • Stalking
  • aggravated stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • false imprisonment
  • or any criminal offense resulting in the physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Survivors of domestic abuse are strongly encouraged to contact law enforcement and a personal injury attorney immediately if there is abuse or a threat of abuse.

What If It Only Happened Once?

Some people believe that if the abuse only happened once, it is not truly abuse. The truth is that any abuse, even if it only happened one time, is still abuse, and chances are it will not be an isolated event. If you are unsure whether you are in an abusive relationship, you can look out for traditional signs of abuse, such as manipulation, threats, and acts of violence, as well as financial abuse signs and sexual abuse signs. 

Your Safety is More Important

The most important thing is your safety. If there are abusive relationship signs, you need to seek help. There are resources for domestic violence victims to help you leave a dangerous situation and provide protection from future harm. Getting domestic violence help is not always easy, but it can save your life.

Steps to Getting Out of An Abusive Situation

There are several steps that you can take to get out of an abusive situation. First, however, you must recognize the signs of abuse. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to learn more about your rights and warning signs of abuse. The hotline provides resources and support for domestic violence survivors.

Additional Resources for Abusive Victims

The hotline can help you develop a safety plan. A safety plan can assist you in preparing to leave an abusive situation and establish what to do once you leave. It can also provide information on local shelters where you can go.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Attorney

Once you are safe, it is strongly recommended that you consider consulting with an attorney. An attorney can help provide guidance on your legal rights. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a civil suit against your abuser or another liable party. 

Call Mase Seitz Briggs for Compassionate Representation

At Mase Seitz Briggs, our lawyers are well-versed in handling domestic violence cases. We can help protect your rights and ensure you have the resources you need to move forward with your life. Contact us at (844) 627-3529 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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