Why Is It Hard to Notice the First Signs of Abuse?
Start writing a post
Relationships

Why Is It Hard to Notice the First Signs of Abuse?

Keep an Eye Out for Those Red Flags

80
Woman Face Covered by Male Hand

As much as we'd like to believe that domestic abuse is a rare problem, statistics tell another story. The U.S. Bureau of Justice's report on domestic violence from 2003-2012 reveals that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have suffered from intimate partner abuse as adults.

Although many domestic violence cases involve physical abuse, others are centered on verbal, emotional, or even financial abuse. Many people who are in an abusive relationship don't want to talk about it because they feel scared or ashamed. Some people don't even realize that their partner's behavior constitutes abuse.

It can be very difficult to spot the early signs of abuse, especially if the abuse isn't physical. While social workers are trained to identify different types of abuse, we all need to become familiar with the danger signs within a relationship in order to protect others and ourselves. Here's why it's so hard to see the early warning signs—and what you can do if you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship.

Recognizing Red Flags

As humans, we notice red flags all the time, but we also have a tendency to brush them off, especially if they seem minor. Some red flags can even seem positive at the beginning of a relationship, like telling you you're perfect all the time. When you're swept up in a new relationship, someone who showers you with attention can feel amazing—even if it's unhealthy.

There are tons of red flags that could come up before a relationship gets abusive and toxic. These can include trying to get between you and your loved ones, not respecting your physical boundaries, name-calling, and severe mood swings. Another common red flag is asking for your passwords or trying to read your texts.

We should all learn to spot red flags in relationships. Abusers might seem sweet at first, but there are telltale signs that their attention could become toxic in the future. Learning not to brush off red flags as insignificant can be difficult, but it can prevent a lot of painful experiences in the future.

What is Love Bombing?

One of the most common reasons people stay with an abusive partner is that they love them! The abuser may have used a tactic called "love bombing" early on to win love and affection. Love bombing describes using compliments, gifts, attention, and other methods of "wooing" to build a relationship.

Without love bombing, most people wouldn't stay in a relationship very long. But since they've seen this sweet, charming, and romantic side of their partner, they desperately want it back. They might try even harder to "win back" their abusive partner's affection and "good side."

Spotting the "Honeymoon Period"

Love bombing usually occurs during the "honeymoon period" of a relationship. When everything is new and exciting, people are usually on their best behavior or are at their most manipulative. While some abusers might go through cycles of love bombing and toxic behavior, every situation is different.

It's so easy to ignore red flags during the honeymoon period, but it's important to stay aware of what is and isn't appropriate, even when you're caught up in the excitement of a new relationship. You can enjoy the honeymoon period, but you also need to be aware that things could change and those red flags will still be there after the honeymoon is over.

How to Seek Help

It can be hard to seek help for a friend in a domestic abuse situation and harder still to seek help for yourself. Strong feelings are involved and abusers can be incredibly manipulative, whether they're cutting off access to finances, making threats, or using charm to get what they want.

If you're seeing red flags of abuse, though, it's important to get help as soon as possible before things escalate. If you're a college student, you might be able to access resources for sexual violence and abuse on campus. There's also a confidential hotline anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse can call.

No one has to deal with an abusive relationship alone. Recognizing the problem is the first and most important step. After that, you just need to prioritize your own well-being and reach out for the support that's there for you.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

48690
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

121192
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments