Ending Violence against Women

Take the time to learn the warning signs and indicators of abuse. Here are different types of indicators of abuse:

Indicators of Emotional/Psychological Abuse

  • She may minimize or deny the danger to herself and/or her children
  • She is hopeful or believes the abuse will not happen again
  • She blames herself for the abuse and feels she provokes the abuser
  • She depends on the approval of others, particularly other men
  • Her self-worth and esteem is dependent on the views, expectations and approval of others
  • She rationalizes or blames abuse on relationship problems or stresses
  • She is numb or emotionally flat
  • Her partner’s feelings and problems are more important than her own
  • She views herself as weak, and dependent of her partner
  • She is isolated and has no outside relationships
  • She is financially dependent on the abuser
  • She seeks approval and “permission” from the abuser
  • She always rationalizes and defends her behaviour to her abuser

 Indicators of Physical Abuse

  • Injuries, both visible and not visible, such as bruising, sprains, pulled muscles, burns, internal bleeding, cuts, broken bones, patches of hair missing, choke marks, black eyes, ect…
  • Old or untreated injuries, particularly injuries that do not match the explanation given by the woman.
  • Continual and repeated injuries like ones mentioned above which are explained as accidents or clumsiness.
  • Drug/alcohol abuse or noncompliance with medications
  • Prolonged use of drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants
  • Lack of support or isolation
  • Suicidal ideations/attempts
  • Hypersensitivity, anxiety, hopelessness, stress reactions such as tension, headaches, insomnia, pain in back, chest or stomach.

 Indicators of Verbal Abuse

  • Uneven interactions between the two partners
  • She is often insulted or put down by the abuser
  • She is often accused of bad behaviour by the abuser
  • She seems fearful, nervous, unsure or passive when the abuser is present
  • She is constantly telling her partner of her whereabouts, or who she is with

 Signs of Immediate Danger

  • She threatens self-harm, or abuser threatens to harm self, her or her children
  • She is forced into sexual intercourse
  • She has been hit or choked by the abuser, repeatedly
  • The abuser has direct access to weapons, particularly when battering her
  • She claims fear for her and/or children lives
  • She just left the relationship or plans on leaving
  • She is isolated geographically or socially