10 Signs Your Friend Is In An Abusive Relationship And Might Need Your Help

Submitted by on Jan 13, 2018
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

1. Her Partner Doesn’t Like It When She Spends Time With You

1. Her Partner Doesn't Like It When She Spends Time With You

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Spending less time with your friend when she enters a new relationship is normal.

However, there is a point where it can become excessive and signal that something isn’t quite right.

The NCADV lists, “showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends and time spent away,” as an abusive tendency that could just be the beginning of bigger problems.

2. She Started Dressing Drastically Different

2. She Started Dressing Drastically Different

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Jealously is often the root of the problem in most abusive relationships. It may be unfounded, but the abusive partner might often accuse the victim of cheating, according to NCADV.

The way we dress can communicate a lot about how we’re feeling. If your friend has started to dress more conservatively, it may be to convince her partner that she’s not flaunting herself to others.

However, it’s not just limited to provocative clothing. Your friend might also dress down or up to please their partner, or because they’re down in the dumps.

3. She Started Abruptly Canceling Plans

3. She Started Abruptly Canceling Plans

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

It’s always a little disappointing when a friend has to cancel their plans. However, things come up from time to time and we understand the predicament.

That being said, if your cancelling plans is out of character for your friend, and you have a feeling that her partner has something to do with it, you might be onto something.


4. She’s Noticeably Unhappy More Often

4. She's Noticeably Unhappy More Often

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

We can all understand being invested in a relationship and letting the inevitable ups and downs affect our behavior and mood from time to time.

However, have you noticed that your friend is especially sad lately? Abusive partners have a habit of breaking down their victims emotionally by discouraging, or shaming them.

If you have a feeling that your friend might be on the receiving end of this, you might want to ask her if she’s okay.

5. You’re Uncomfortable With Her Partner

5. You're Uncomfortable With Her Partner

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If the friend you’re worried about is close to you, you’ve probably met her partner at least once.

Did you get a bad feeling when you met them? If so, you should probably trust your instincts.

It’s important not to jump to conclusions, but if you noticed any hints of abusive behavior with your own eyes, you should probably keep a close eye on your friend too.

6. She Has Frequent Cuts Or Bruises

6. She Has Frequent Cuts Or Bruises

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

This seems fairly obvious, but if your friend seems battered or bruised, and doesn’t do activities or work in a profession which may cause little accidents, it’s a very bad sign.

Since physical violence is serious, this could warrant a conversation with her about what’s really going on, or for you to get her the help she needs.

7. He Often Uses Rough Language With Her

7. He Often Uses Rough Language With Her

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

This may also go without saying, but the way your friend’s partner speaks to her can be very telling of what might happen behind closed doors.

Does he use a lot of curse words or speak down to her? If he’s doing it in front of you, he’s almost definitely doing it without you there.

Make sure you let your friend know that she doesn’t deserve to be spoken to in such rough language if its the case.

8. She Puts His Needs Before Her Own

8. She Puts His Needs Before Her Own

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If someone becomes abusive in their relationship and victimizes their partner, they expect the victim to submit.

Abuse in a relationship can often happen slowly, which makes it hard for the victim to identify that their behavior is wrong, or unusual.

A subtle way your friend might be oblivious to their relationship issues is that they put their partner’s happiness above their own, and make their own sacrifices to please him.

9. Her Partner Has A History Of This Kind Of Behavior

9. Her Partner Has A History Of This Kind Of Behavior

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Chances are, you don’t have access to your friend’s partner’s full history. However, you may know people who have more information about how they acted in past relationships.

History does repeat itself, and chances are, your friend isn’t the first one who has been abused.

10. She’s Clearly Afraid To Admit There’s A Problem

10. She's Clearly Afraid To Admit There's A Problem

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

No one likes to admit that they are being treated poorly, especially by someone they might love.

According to NCADV, abusers will go to great lengths to make their victims think that there is nothing wrong with the relationship, or that the issues are caused by the victim themselves.

For which reason, your friend might not be ready to volunteer that there is a problem, or in extreme cases, might not even be aware.

Of course, you hope that she is right and means it when she says there’s nothing wrong, but that isn’t always a safe assumption.

Be sure to SHARE this information with anyone you know who might find it helpful!

Please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you or anyone you know is experiencing abuse.

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