3 Signs Of Domestic Abuse And What To Do.

Abuse is a hard thing to talk about and a harder thing to break free of. Sometimes it is difficult to define and leaves us feeling powerless to know how we can help. But just knowing the signs of abuse is the first step to ending the cycle. Here is a helpful list in identifying unhealthy patterns in relationships that point towards abuse. It is never too late to offer someone support, or to take steps to reclaim your own life.

But first, what is domestic abuse? It is when someone you are in a relationship tries to dominate or control you, either physically or psychologically. We often think of domestic abuse being extreme cases of physical violence, but it can also be verbal and emotional. The important thing to know is that abuse can happen to anyone and you are not bad or shameful for getting caught in its cycle.

Here are some indications of abuse:

1.  Fear of your partner: 

People in abusive relationships feel afraid of rocking the boat, setting off their partner, or doing anything to trigger an outburst. They feel like they are walking on eggshells and having to always monitor their own behavior. This is often in response to being yelled at, criticized, blamed, or physically hurt. No one should live in fear of the people they are in relationship with, and it is never justifiable to use violence of any form.


2.  Feeling controlled: Abusers number one goal is to control you. This can be done through controlling the finances, preventing you from using the car, or withholding basic necessities. The abuser may require you to check in frequently, account for everywhere you go, or do everything together. Being controlled can also happen through isolating you from friendships, family, and community. If you feel like you can’t make your own decisions, have to always ask someone’s permission, or are prevented from having the things you need, you are in an abusive relationship.



3.  Self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation: 

Experiencing abuse leads to feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation. It makes you feel small, insignificant, incapable, and weak. Many people start feeling so beaten down that they feel like there is no way out of it. They may become depressed, anxious, and even suicidal. If you are struggling with these feelings, it is important to see if a relationship is the cause. A healthy relationship should allow you to have a life outside of your partner, promote happiness and wholeness, involve mutual decision-making, and deal with conflict in ways that breed intimacy. It is never too late to end a relationship that is causing you more harm than good.


If you identified with any of these indications it is essential that you reach out for support. Talk to a therapist, trusted friend, pastor, coworker, or teacher.  In more extreme cases, go to a local women’s shelter or call the Office of the Public Defender (Lagos) on  07080601080. Get practical tips on removing yourself from a situation that is putting you in danger, and ways to ensure your safety. Remember that you can’t break a cycle of abuse alone. Do whatever you can to involve other people and build up a support system. This is a difficult process, so be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy, and fill your mind with positivity. Know that your life is valuable and belongs to you, and freedom is within your reach as soon as you decide to take it.

If you know someone who is experiencing abuse don’t wait for her or him to come to you. This is one instance where it’s ok to butt-in to someone else’s business, because it is often too difficult for people to seek help on their own. When you see signs of abuse, speak up and express concern; it may save someone’s life.


Where to get help

Helplines: For information or help in Domestic Abuse Situations call the numbers below:

Federal Government of Nigeria Toll Free Numbers for violation of Girls And Women – 080072732255

CHELD Domestic Violence Helplines – 08107572829, 08131643208

If you are resident in Lagos, Nigeria you can call 08085744226 or 08102648463.  In addition, you can visit the Ministry of Women Affairs at Block 18, Alausa Lagos.

You can also call: 767 or 112 (Toll Free)

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2 Responses to “3 Signs Of Domestic Abuse And What To Do.”

  1. Great post!
    The truth is a lot of people make excuses for abuse;
    “he will change,its not his fault…blah,blah,blah”
    Most victims don’t even want to reach out for help because they think it’s their own fault in some way.
    It’s sad.
    Great write(s)

    If you like grt stories, check this blog out.

  2. The phone number is really helpful. Encourage people to retweet the post.

    If possible post once or twice a week.

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