The effects of domestic abuse vary from person to person depending on their circumstances. Abuse can come in many forms. Physical attributes, such as bruising, broken bones, scars and burns, can be very hard to deal with, and are the most obvious signs of abuse from a partner, friend, family member or anyone you have a relationship with. But what about the mental effects of domestic abuse? These are harder to spot, and worryingly, only around 40% of abuse survivors have the courage to speak to friends or family about their ordeal. If you know someone who has survived an abusive relationship, it’s important to understand that, although they can claim compensation for abuse, they will still need help moving on emotionally. Below are some common effects of domestic violence to look out for. You can learn how to spot them, offer help and be there for survivors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a stressful or traumatic event. When you have PSTD, you tend to relive your experiences in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from PTSD, then speak to them. Some symptoms include avoidance, alcohol misuse and more. PTSD can be treated thanks to therapy. The earlier someone sees a therapist, the earlier their PSTD can be treated.

Suicidal Tendencies

People with suicidal tendencies will usually not openly show any signs of their turmoil. However, if you suspect someone is depressed or suicidal, ensure that they cannot harm themselves with household objects, such as knives. Another way to keep them safe is by hiding any pills that can cause harm in large amounts.

Emotionally Numb

If you have noticed that your loved one has become socially detached, excusing themselves from social events, acting strange or not emotionally responding to certain events, then they may be showing signs of emotional numbing. This is a typical symptom of PTSD, depression and anxiety. They may not even know they’re excluding themselves emotionally. In order to open up a dialogue, mention that you’re concerned for their mental health, and that you will be there for them if they need to speak to a professional.

Anger

Not everyone is the same, and many people may lash out as a response to their emotional trauma. If you’re experiencing this, it may be a good idea to sit your loved one and down, and explain that although you are here for them as a friend or partner, you will not tolerate anger in your direction. Usually, anger is used a reaction by someone who cannot emotionally understand their trauma. Many therapists can address this.

Guest post by Gina Kay Daniel