Nothing can change a woman's personality faster than a relationship with an abuser. The earlier that loved ones see the warning signs, the easier it can be to successfully intervene. While not every battered woman has the same personality or similar circumstances, there are some common characteristics visible to others. The victim:
- Suddenly changes her dress/appearance
- Avoids contact with friends or family
- Suddenly changes her behavior; stops doing things she once enjoyed
- Spends all of her free time with him
- Cries a lot over insignificant things; has trouble focusing on normal tasks
- Complains about her abuser but gets very defensive whenever someone else complains about him
- Is very stressed, often with physical symptoms
Advice for Victims
- Decide that any abuse is too much abuse.
- Break the silence and tell someone that you are being abused.
- Document your injuries with pictures.
- Let good people help you.
- Avoid being alone for long periods of time after you leave.
- Look to the future and set goals for yourself.
- Find a good counselor.
- Be patient with yourself as you heal.
- Remember that you are NOT alone.
- Create a Personalized Safety Plan.