Domestic violence is a problem that has plagued women for 700 years before the birth of Christ. Only recently have women enjoyed the protection of the law against the abuse that men have had for centuries. Learning the early warning signs of domestic violence can sometimes help women to avoid relationships before they become too involved and to extricate themselves from a relationship before it becomes dangerous. Abusive behavior seldom goes away without the help of a professional. In most cases, women find that the abuse escalates over time. It is hard to detect someone in the family who may have indicators of an abusive behavior problem. So knowing how to recognize the signs may help identify a person at-risk, decrease the chances of permanent damage and perhaps even be lifesaving.
Women can learn to recognize domestic violence and its early signs in their relationships and families. Whether subtle or overt, warning signs of domestic violence usually exist. People who are likely to exhibit problems with domestic abuse also tend to use force or violence to solve their problems. They may have a quick temper or be cruel to animals. You may see them punch walls or throw things when they’re upset.
Research has shown that people who are substance abusers – alcohol or drugs – have a strong association with violent conduct. People who exhibit signs of jealousy toward relationships with other family members or strangers may also escalate to domestic violence. A potential abuser may keep tabs on your behavior and your whereabouts; the person may even prohibit you from relationships with specific people.
Some women find that they succumb to the wishes of an abusive family member to avoid angry outbursts. Women are fearful of offensive behaviors, and they try to placate the abuser. When they are raging, men may treat someone in the family roughly or physically force them to do what they want. For instance, you may be dating someone who gets his way with his brother through physical force, and he may not be physically harming you. However, the risk of such a person engaging in physical abuse later is heightened. Some people have personalities that swing between extreme highs that involve showing kindness and love to pronounced lows with cruelty and anger. They appear almost like two different people, and such behavior may indicate an increased risk of domestic violence during low phases.
Early warning signs of domestic violence may include access to weapons or guns in men who also show other behavioral signs of abusing others. Such persons may even talk about using these weapons against other people to seek revenge or ‘get even.’ Further, people who tend toward domestic abuse may also have strong ideas about family roles that must be adhered to. They may believe that a wife must stay home and follow the husband’s wishes or the children should be ‘seen and not heard.’ Another contributing factor to domestic violence and its early signs are men that grew up in a home where domestic violence was the norm for family members. Researchers have found that people who observe violence often turn to the same behavior when they are also angry.
One myth that men often use to explain their violent response is that they were ‘out of control.’ However, when the phone rings, someone is at the door, or the police are called the abuser will appear calm, cool and collected within seconds – leaving the abused woman looking hysterical and disheveled. These behaviors are learned, and like all other behaviors, they can be unlearned or changed. However, this must never be attempted alone or without professional help. People who find satisfaction in physical or psychological violence to meet their needs will require the assistance of a professional to change those behaviors. But there’s more – I need a favor from all the awesome readers! I understand, and I hope you also realize that not everybody learns the same way and that we all process information differently. So I’m reaching out to you – my community – for help because I want all of us to grow together. I want to hear what it takes for you to forgive and how forgiveness feels to you. So if you have any advice that you believe can help someone or have useful information to add, please do let us know in the comments section because each one of us is a teacher and an educator!