12 Signs That Your Friend or Loved One Is Being Abused

It’s not always easy to ask for help. This is especially the case if an individual feels that their life may be in danger. That’s why it’s so important that you know what signs to look for if you feel that your friend or loved one is being abused. You need to know when it’s time to step in and offer your assistance. Here are a few signs that you’re dealing with a battered person. 

1. Physical Wounds

One of the most obvious signs that someone is being battered is physical wounds. While anyone can get cuts or bruises from time to time, if you notice that the individual has them frequently, it may be a red flag. This is especially the case if they offer explanations that don’t make sense. Or perhaps they claim that they don’t remember how they got them. In extreme cases, the individual may start to wear long sleeves or sunglasses to try to hide their bruises. 

2. Less Social

In some instances, you may notice a huge change in the person’s everyday interactions with others. Maybe they’re less social and outgoing than normal. This person may turn down every invitation that you offer. They may begin to miss out on family gatherings or regularly scheduled outings with friends. Perhaps they make plans with you but always cancel at the last minute. This is a sign that they’re abuser doesn’t want them to spend time with anyone else and is exhibiting controlling behavior.

3. Constant Checking In

Even if the person accepts your invitations to outings, they may be on their phone most of the time. They may feel the need to check in with their abuser every so often. There’s also a chance that their abuser may call and interrupt your meeting several times. The other person may even encourage your friend or loved one to remain on the phone with them. 

4. Less Confident

Have you noticed that your friend or loved one seems to be less confident? Perhaps they start to criticize their own looks or make negative comments about themselves. Maybe they used to be the life of the party, but are now shy and reserved due to how self-conscious they feel around others. This is a sign that the other person is insulting them and being verbally and mentally abusive. 

5. Avoids Discussing Relationship

Another common sign is that they avoid discussing their relationship with you. It’s not uncommon for people to keep certain details of their relationship to themselves, but if they don’t mention the other person at all, this is a problem. This may be a sign that they’re unhappy in the relationship and are afraid to share what’s happening. Perhaps the other person threatened to do them harm if they told someone what they were going through. 

6. Broken Relationships 

Does the individual seem to be experiencing breakdowns in their relationships with friends or family? Do they seem isolated? This could be as a result of their abuser intervening in these relationships. There’s a chance that the abuser has expressed their dislike of their immediate circle and has forced the individual to distance themselves.

7. Stressed

Your friend or loved one may appear extremely stressed out. Does it always seem as if they’ve been crying? Do they seem distracted or as if they’re always in a hurry? Do they look tired? If so, this could mean that they spend the majority of their relationship arguing with the other person or attempting to defend themselves. The stress may also be a result of fear and frustration. Please encourage your friend to seek legal advice from a trusted lawyer at the soonest possible time.

8. Change in Appearance

Everyone experiments with their personal style. However, if the way the individual takes care of themselves drastically changes overnight, this may be a red flag. This is especially the case if the style doesn’t match the individual’s personality or if they look particularly uncomfortable. This could mean that the other individual is controlling the way that they dress. Perhaps they’re starting to dress extremely provocatively, or they’ve stopped wearing makeup or doing their hair.

9. Nervous Behavior

Have you noticed your friend’s or loved one’s behavior change when the other person enters the room? Perhaps they become nervous or less talkative. Their smile may seem forced. If the other person hugs or touches them, they may appear tense and uncomfortable. This could mean that the person is afraid of the individual. They may want to be extra careful about the way that they behave to avoid possible confrontations later.

10. You’re Uncomfortable

Another sign of a possible domestic violence violation is that the other person makes you uncomfortable. Not only will your friend or loved one become nervous around the other person, but there’s a good chance that you will, too. You may have a gut feeling that this individual is dangerous and prone to violent behavior

11. History of Violent Behavior

In some instances, the other person’s past may indicate trouble. Perhaps your friend has mentioned that the other person has a criminal record, which includes battery. This may look like a pattern that they intend to repeat.

12. Always Apologizing

Sometimes the abuser’s behavior extends to friends and family. Maybe they’re rude or threatening. Perhaps they make inappropriate comments to you and other people who are close to the individual. In these scenarios, you may notice that the other person is always apologizing for them. They may make excuses for them. In fact, there’s a chance that the individual may blame themselves for their abuser’s behavior.


No relationship is perfect, but if you notice a domestic violence violation, then your friend or loved one may be in danger. You may be in a position to help them. But first, you need to be aware of the most common signs. If you notice one or more of the signs we discussed, reach out to the individual and offer your assistance.