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Look Out For Your Mate: Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse in Men

Identifying signs of abuse in men can be challenging. Here are some signs to look out for if you are concerned that someone you know may be experiencing domestic abuse.

1 in 3 victims of domestic abuse are men, and 21% of men in an abusive relationship won't tell someone about their situation.

Societal stigma can often cause men experiencing abuse to feel ashamed and embarrassed, reducing the likelihood that they will report their abuse or tell a friend how they’re feeling.

This means it’s even more essential to keep an eye on your friends, and be aware of the warning signs of domestic abuse. Here are some signs to look out for if you are concerned that someone you know may be experiencing domestic abuse:

Physical Injuries

Noticeable injuries such as bruises, cuts, or marks that your friend struggles to explain or dismisses with vague excuses may indicate physical abuse.

It’s essential to take any injury seriously, especially if they occur frequently or seem suspicious.

Isolation

If your friend suddenly withdraws from social activities or becomes increasingly isolated, it could be a sign of an abusive relationship. Abusers often try to control their victims by limiting their interactions with friends and family, making their partner feel isolated and dependent solely on them for support. If your friend frequently cancels plans at the last minute or makes excuses for why they can’t meet up, it could be a sign that they’re trying to avoid conflict with their partner.

Changes in Behaviour

Pay attention to any significant changes in your friend’s behaviour, such as increased anxiety, depression, or mood swings.

Those experiencing abuse may exhibit symptoms of trauma, including hyper-vigilance or fearfulness, even in seemingly safe environments.

Constant Criticism and Put-Downs

Emotional abuse is often subtle but can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

If your friend’s partner constantly criticises them, belittles their achievements, or humiliates them in public, it’s a clear indicator of an unhealthy relationship dynamic.

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a tactic used by abusers to make someone question their own memory or reality.

Your friend may start to think that they’re going mad, they’re misremembering their own version of events, or that they themselves are the one exhibiting problematic behaviour.

Financial Control

If your friend’s partner controls their finances or limits their access to money, it could indicate abusive behaviour.

Financial abuse is a tactic used by abusers to maintain power and control over their victims, making it difficult for them to leave the relationship.

Fear of Partner's Reaction

Pay attention to how your friend behaves around their partner. If they seem constantly on edge or fearful of their partner’s reaction to even minor issues, it could indicate an abusive relationship where the victim feels the need to constantly walk on eggshells in order to avoid an explosive reaction from their partner.

Controlling Behaviour

Notice if your friend’s partner exhibits controlling behaviour, such as monitoring their phone calls, texts, or social media accounts, or if they seem to be dictating who your friend can spend time with and when. These actions are clear indicators of an abusive relationship where one partner seeks to exert power over the other.

Self-Blame

Those experiencing abuse often blame themselves for their partner’s behaviour or make excuses for them.

If your friend minimises or justifies their partner’s actions, it may be a sign that they are in an abusive relationship but are struggling to recognise it.

Physical Intimidation

Threats of violence or physical intimidation, even if they haven’t escalated to actual violence, are serious warning signs of an abusive relationship.

No one should ever feel unsafe or threatened in their own home.

Parental Alienation

Pay attention to how your friend behaves around their partner. If they seem constantly on edge or fearful of their partner’s reaction to even minor issues, it could indicate an abusive relationship where the victim feels the need to constantly walk on eggshells in order to avoid an explosive reaction from their partner.

If you notice any of these signs in your friend, it’s time to step in and support them. 

Share our details with them:

Freeva Helpline: 0800 802 0028

We’re always here to listen, support and help with plans for a brighter future.

We are a registered charity who provide specialist support to anyone in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland who has experienced domestic violence, rape and/or sexual assault. If you’re concerned that your friend may be a victim of domestic abuse, step in and share our details today.

Looking for support? Call our helpline today.

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