Signs of Abuse in Adults

Domestic Violence

  • Withdrawal from others to appease abuser and/or hide abuse so become isolated
  • Shame or self-blame for the abuse
  • Lack of sense of identity – gets lost trying to appease and stay safe
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Fear of staying and fear of leaving (most dangerous time, fear of being alone)
  • Easily startled or agitated
  • Minimization – to make sense of their decision to stay, to feel more in control/safer
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Health issues (chronic brain, GI issues, migraines, traumatic brain injury)
  • Feeling stuck

Sexual Assault

  • Shame, self-blame
  • Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (ie, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, anxiety, etc.)
  • Physical pain
  • Fear of being alone
  • Numbing out
  • Feeling unclean
  • Fear of not being believed, blamed by others
  • Difficulty with sex as it may be triggering

Adults Abused as Children

  • Shame, self-blame, poor self-concept/worth
  • Chronic health issues
  • Symptoms of PTSD (sleep issues, anxiety, depression, hypervigilance)
  • Difficulty trusting self and/or others
  • Numbing out
  • Feeling unclean
  • Negative view of others, world, self
  • Self injury or harming behaviors
  • Difficulty with sex as it may be triggering

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