Both men and women may endure some type of domestic violence over the course of a relationship. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in four women and one in nine men experience this abuse in some form.

If you suspect someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, there are several warning signs you might watch for, some of which may increase with time.

Unexplained bruises

Sudden and unexplained bruises that show up on a friend’s arms, wrists or face may point to the beginnings of domestic violence. The injured individual may try to explain these bruises away by saying they tripped or ran into something or that they have become clumsy. Bruises may multiply as time goes on or appear in new areas as the abuse continues.

A change in personality

Individuals who suffer from domestic abuse may undergo a change in their behavior. If your friend was previously outgoing but now seems to act meek or timid, this may point to possible domestic violence as his or her partner seeks to gain control over most aspects of their relationship.

Social isolation

As domestic abuse increases, the person suffering the abuse may distance himself or herself from you, other friends and even family members. The abuse may embarrass the victim or the abuser may attempt to isolate him or her to gain complete control or to prevent the person being abused from seeking help or asylum.

Millions of people are abused by a domestic partner each year. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional or mental, it may have far-reaching negative effects that can change the life of a victim forever.

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