How do you tell if domestic abuse is taking place?
I recently asked a 21-year old girl about an odd bruise on her arm (you could almost see the hand imprint on her arm). At first she said she didn’t want to talk about it, then she said it came from a friend who jokingly hit her in the arm and the friend had a large ring on at the time. It clearly did not look like that.
These situations are so sad. I would say look for other marks, signs of depression, a separation from others, changes in her behavior, fear of her partner (obviously), overly easy going in regards to her partner, or if she seems harassed (constant phone calls) when not around her partner.
I will be praying for her and hope it was only a joke like she says.
[quote="Didi, post:1, topic:247893"]
How do you tell if domestic abuse is taking place?
I recently asked a 21-year old girl about an odd bruise on her arm (you could almost see the hand imprint on her arm). At first she said she didn't want to talk about it, then she said it came from a friend who jokingly hit her in the arm and the friend had a large ring on at the time. It clearly did not look like that.
What other signs do I need to watch for?
Is she married? Living with someone? Or are you talking about domestic as in, she still lives with her parents?
What is your connection to her? You will be able to be more confrontive/frank with her if she is a relative or close friend.
Please be careful. I have seen many lives ruined because a child had lecumeia or a young woman had anemia. If she isnt showing any other “classic” signs (simply google domestic violence) please consider suggesting a regular dr visit.
I have seen parents loose homes, coaches loose jobs, boyfriends loose scholorships ALL because people jumped to conclusions. Im not saying domestic violence is not real. Just be very sure before you act.
Many? You’ve personally seen many people that you know to have had their lives ruined due to false accusations because of what turned out to be a diagnosable problem in the victim which lead to easy bruising from appropriate contact? These were cases in which the victim denied that the contact was inappropriate? Really?
What is more common is that “classic signs” lead to little or no discipline, not that false accusations lead to losses of the type you’re describing:
“In 1995, Southern Virginia University professor Jeff Benedict reviewed 30 Division I schools over three years. Although athletes made up only 3.3 percent of the male population, they accounted for 19 percent of the sexual-assault cases and 37 percent of the domestic-violence cases.”…
“For example, last fall two Michigan State basketball players were accused of sexual assault. One player essentially admitted it. The district attorney’s office didn’t press charges. Neither player was kept off the court by Michigan State.”…
If you think she’s lying to you, then you can say so. You might say, "Your story is changing, and it still doesn’t fit what my eyes are telling me. Look at your arm…those are several marks, like finger marks. You don’t get a bruise like that by a single accidental hit. Someone had to grab you, or something different than what you’re telling me, anyway.
“It makes me very uncomfortable to hear an injured person lie to me about how she got her injuries. You and I both know that is not good, because people with nothing to hide just tell the truth. Now, c’mon, you don’t have to be afraid of me. I’m not going to think worse of you. Level with me…what is up?”
The other thing I would do is to call a domestic violence hotline in your jurisdiction. You can’t run the life of a 21-year-old woman (she is not a girl), but they will be able to advise you on a course of action that is most likely to have a positive outcome.
Since i went to college near a major medical center, yes I did know several people affected. All of them after the fact.
Especally in impoverished areas diagnoses are anything but quick. And marks are not as easily distinguishable as you would thing. One step-father was arrested after the 6yo daughter came into the office with bruised arm (and yes a handprint) and they found brusing on her thighs and above. (he had pulled her up after a teeder todder accident) He was arrested and charged within 24 hours. The girl went to foster care and it took 6mo before they found the lucemia. In the mean time he lost his job, home, and custody of his two sons.
After he was exonerated (8mo after the initial accusation) the state gave him $25 and a bus pass. He lawyered up but only got about $15k…and when my school was voulenteering he was still in a men’s shelter waiting for a low income housing unit to open up because the only job he could find was fast food.
The difference is that was a child who could not talk, not an adult who could. In the case in this thread, we have an adult who is not the case where she seems to be telling a conceivable story, as was the father in your story–he didn’t grab me that hard, but I bruise VERY easily these days–but rather more than one story, neither of which matches her injuries. If you *worked *in a major medical center, you’d know that this is a question that needs answering.
The man did not get justice, but there are far far more children who die for the lack of intervention than there are children who bruise too easily. Was the real injustice that her father was falsely accused because he was impoverished, or that her leukemia diagnosis would be delayed because her family was of limited means? In either case, that bruised child in your example needed to have someone to step in and figure out where the bruising was coming from.
You make a very good point, though: If the OP’s friend is lying, maybe she is covering up abuse, yes. Maybe, though, she is covering up a medical problem that she doesn’t want to face. Either case is totally possible. An adult might lie in either case. In either case, it is likewise in her best interest that she be convinced to tell the whole truth.