Early warning signs

Perpetrators of abuse can be extremely clever at covering their tracks.  They are unlikely to be physically violent in public but there are other warning signs that can suggest someone may be experiencing domestic abuse.

These include:

  • If someone is extremely frightened
  • If they have become isolated from friends and family
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Significant changes in their personal appearance
  • If they have no access to money
  • Property and possessions getting damaged
  • The perpetrator constantly checks up on where they are, what they are doing, who they are with etc…
  • Developing depression or becoming suicidal
  • If they are pregnant – domestic abuse very often starts during pregnancy

Children may also:

  • Have unexplained absences from school
  • Have poor concentration
  • Play truant
  • Over-achievement – throwing themselves completely into their school work or other activities in order to take their minds off the abuse or to avoid going home
  • Run away

Additional early warning signs for forced marriages include:

  • If other siblings have been forced to marry
  • Siblings being reported as missing
  • Not being allowed out of the home
  • Prolonged periods of absence from school
  • Family disputes especially linked to issues of family ‘honour’
  • Excessive family restriction