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Domestic abuse – recognising the signs

Woman In Kitchen Looking Outisde

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. It’s not just physical, it can take the form of psychological and emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, or controlling and coercive behaviour. 

Published: 04/12/2023

If you’re worried about a friend, neighbour or your own relationship here are some examples of domestic abuse, potential signs and how to respond if you think someone is in an abusive relationship.  

 Recognising the signs

  • Do they appear frightened or intimidated by a partner, ex-partner or family member or does someone else seem to always do the talking?   
  • Have you spotted any physical signs of abuse, such as bruising, scratches or burns?  
  • Have they suddenly withdrawn or become more introverted?    
  • Do they use language indicating they have to ask for permission to carry out regular, daily tasks?   
  • Have you noticed sudden and unexplained changes in behaviour and appearance, such as excessive clothing on hot days or changes in the amount of make-up they wear?   
  • Have you noticed an unexplained or increased level of sickness or other short-notice absences?   
  • Have they stopped socialising with you and other friends, neighbours?    

Responding to the signs  

If you're concerned about a neighbour, raising your concerns is always better.      

Please use our raise a concern online form or call us on 0300 123 3456. One of our resident safety specialists will assess the risk and open a case with the local community safety team if needed. They'll also ensure the resident's Neighbourhood Manager is aware of the case.   

Learn more 

Visit, domestic abuse to learn more about the support we offer. 

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