Warning Signs of Abuse

Adults who are being abused may:

  • stop attending events or participating in activities they used to enjoy
  • withdraw from family and friends
  • show a change in personality
  • show signs of depression or anxiety
  • have mood swings
  • hint about abuse
  • talk about their partner's substance use or abuse and express concern about what the children are seeing when the other parent is using substances
  • have bruises or other physical injuries that do not match up with how they say they got them
  • not want to make even simple decisions without their partner
  • have limited access to money
  • spend little time with friends and family outside the relationship
  • begin to use or abuse drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. 

Children who are being neglected or abused may:

  • often be hungry, dirty or not dressed for the weather
  • dress provocatively or inappropriately
  • be left alone frequently
  • try to take on adult responsibilities, such as taking care of younger brothers and sisters, doing household tasks or trying to look after a parent
  • withdraw from others, lack energy or act passively
  • act aggressively towards others
  • be extremely watchful or fearful of parents' reactions
  • have problems at school or with their grades
  • have unexplained bruises or injuries
  • know more about sex than is normal for their age
  • start smoking or using drugs or alcohol to cope
  • run away from home repeatedly.

Youth who are being neglected or abused may:

  • have mood swings
  • change their style of clothing, makeup or hair
  • skip or drop out of school, or have falling or failing grades
  • overreact to things that seem small or unimportant
  • seem to lose confidence in themselves
  • withdraw from friends or family
  • stop attending events or activities they used to attend
  • start smoking, or using or abusing drugs or alcohol as a way to cope
  • start hanging out with different people
  • have bruises, sores, scratches or broken bones especially if the injuries do not match up with how they say they got them
  • run away from home repeatedly.

Older adults who are being abused may:

  • seem frightened, withdrawn or depressed
  • seem groggy all the time, possibly due to over-medicating
  • show signs of depression or anxiety
  • lose weight or seem too thin
  • wear dirty clothing or clothing not suitable for the season
  • not have their glasses, dentures, hearing or other assistive aid(s)
  • have bruises, sores or broken bones
  • be isolated from others
  • have items missing from their homes
  • have someone cashing their pension cheques or withdrawing money from their bank accounts
  • have their medication taken from them.
     
Created:
Modified: 2012-12-11
PID: 15685