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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Domestic Violence > What To Do If You Suspect A Friend Or Family Member Is Experiencing Domestic Violence

What To Do If You Suspect A Friend Or Family Member Is Experiencing Domestic Violence


Domestic violence in Fort Lauderdale is an unfortunately common problem. It can happen to people of any age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, or socio-economic status. Victims often feel ashamed of the situation and confused by their abuser’s behavior. They may be reluctant to take action in reporting it for fear of reprisals or not being believed. For family and friends who suspect domestic violence, it is important to be aware of the often subtle warning signs and what you can do to help.

Warning Signs Of Domestic Violence

Due to the shroud of secrecy surrounding domestic violence, most people are unaware of how often it happens. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it impacts more than 12 million people each year. Victims often hide what is happening, not wanting to worry or involve their family and friends while their abusive partner may have gotten extremely good at presenting the ‘perfect’ appearance in public as a disguise for their actions.

Despite these efforts, you may have developed suspicions that someone close to you is suffering from domestic abuse. In this situation, warning signs to be alert for include:

  • Increased isolation and not wanting to participate in social events;
  • Not inviting people to their home;
  • Having to get approval from their spouse before making plans;
  • Having to quit their job or abandon their education;
  • Unexplained damages to their personal property;
  • Unexplained bruises or other injuries;
  • A pervasive fear of their spouse or how they are likely to react in certain situations.

What To Do If You Suspect Abuse

If you suspect a friend or family member is suffering from domestic abuse, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. One of the most important things is to let them know you are there to help and will not judge them in any way. Refrain from bringing up your concerns if the alleged abuser is nearby. Not only will this make it uncomfortable for the victim, but it could also put them in danger.

Information you can provide that can help them acknowledge the problem and get the help they need includes:

  • Statistics on how common domestic violence is and how it can happen to anyone;
  • Common types of abuse, including physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial;
  • Resources available both online and in the community to support victims;
  • How to make emergency plans if they need to make a hasty exit from the home.

If they admit abuse is happening, offer to go with them to report it to police. Encourage them to contact our Fort Lauderdale attorney to discuss how to obtain an Injunction for Protection From Domestic Violence, otherwise known as a restraining order.

Let Us Help You Today

At the law office of Vanessa L. Prieto, we provide the caring support and professional legal representation you need to protect yourself or someone you love from domestic violence. To request a confidential consultation, reach out and call or contact our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney online today.

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