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Bruises and cuts are easy to cover, but it's the bone-twisting anxiety that might give you away. If your friends haven't noticed an absent smile or tear-stained cheeks, they're not doing their job. Or maybe you're better at masking the signs and symptoms of domestic violence than most. By understanding abuse, those who have experienced it can stop the cycle while friends and family speak up on your behalf.

Physical Abuse

Studies show that there is rarely one incident of physical abuse in a relationship. Rather, it continues and becomes a pattern.

Here's a list of signs:

  • A woman experiencing abuse may create frequent excuses for injuries caused by her partner. For example if there is a mark on her leg, she might say she fell. If there are bruises on her arms, she might say it was an accident at the gym.
  • A woman experiencing abuse might try to cover up physical signs with long sleeves, sunglasses, and scarves even when the weather is warm.
  • A woman experiencing abuse might miss social events for no reason with short or no notice.

Financial Abuse

In a partnership, financial abuse begins subtly and progresses over time. Rather than managing money from a mutual perspective, the abuser will often provide an “allowance” as an attempt to gain control.

Here's a list of signs:

  • The abusive partner may control how money is spent.
  • He or she may forbid the abused partner to work.
  • He or she may force you to cash bad checks or file fraudulent tax returns.
  • He or she may hide assets, receipts or credit cards from you.
  • The abusive partner may collect large amounts of debt under joint credit cards.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Unlike physical abuse, many people don't even know emotional or psychological abuse is going on in a relationship until they experience it themselves. Emotional abuse is often more harmful than physical abuse because it undermines the way a women perceives or feels about herself.

Here's a list of signs:

  • The abused partner is often belittled, laughed at or not taken seriously.
  • The abused partner is often isolated and led to believe she is alone and incapable of receiving love.
  • As a result, an emotionally abused woman will develop signs of depression or anxiety.

Learn the signs and symptoms of abuse and work to stop it. By spotting negative trends in relationships, we can understand abuse and prevent it from happening to the women we love.  

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