Many women never tell anyone that they are being abused because they are embarrassed and ashamed or fearful of repercussions. It is not always possible to know, but there are telltale signs that may indicate that abuse is going on. Look for any combination of the following:

  1. Changed behavior or demeanor. This person used to be happy, friendly, and confident, but is now apathetic, withdrawn, anxious, jumpy, apologetic, secretive, or fearful. She exhibits low self-esteem, doesn’t trust her own judgment, or is depressed.
  • Negative coping behavior. Excessive drinking, drug use, overeating, overconsumption of caffeine or sugar, or frequent shopping sprees are common coping mechanisms used by abuse victims.
  • Excessive contact and control. Her abuser texts or calls her frequently when she is in the company of others to see what she is doing and who she is with, keeping her on a very short leash. She answers his every call or text.
  • Isolating behavior. She no longer spends time with friends or family because of the controlling demands of her partner, who deliberately isolates her from needed support. She relents to please him and avoid conflict.
  • Unexplained bruises or accidents. The victim covers up her bruises with makeup or clothing and will make up excuses if she is confronted with suspicions because she is afraid and mortified.