It’s unfortunate to report this, but the least reported crime is domestic violence because of the fear of the abuser coming back after them. The abuser has a strong mental control over their victim that the fear stops them from reporting it. If someone doesn’t report it, the victim has to rely on someone else recognizing the signs of abuse in hopes of being saved.
When it comes to recognizing the signs of abuse, it’s important, and I mean important, to make sure what you’re witnessing is abuse. Falsely accusing someone is a serious thing that could create problems in your friendship. Reporting abuse because of a “felling” your have with zero evidence can create a lot of problems for the parties involved.
Go online to find the number to a domestic abuse hotline. Many states offer toll-free numbers that you can call anonymously.
Bruises will be the most common sign of abuse. If you see any bruises around the eyes or throat, that’s a huge sign of domestic abuse. Other areas would include the arms, abs and thighs. If the bruises are in different shades, this means there’s been more than one occasion of abuse. Contact the police immediately if you see this because it’s a huge sign of abuse.
Once you’ve noticed the bruises, ask the person how the bruises got there. Don’t directly ask if they’re being abused because they could be in denial or get really nervous. The most used excuse abuse victims will use is that it was an “accident” or they “fell.”
Notice any changes in their personality? If they go from calm to defensive, that’s a big sign they’re being abused. Victims will also stop hanging around with friends and completely isolate themselves to only hanging out with their boyfriend.
If you’re sure your friend is being abused and you have proof, report it to police right away.