The holidays are time of joyful festivities for many people; however, for people who are in abusive relationships, this season can be especially difficult. Some who are in an abusive relationship might chalk their partner’s behavior up to any number of external sources. The fact is that when there are signs of abuse, it is usually best for the person being abused to start making plans to leave — even if that seems difficult.

Domestic abuse is something that can affect people from all stations in life. The wealthy, those who live in poverty and everyone in between can suffer from domestic abuse. This means that everyone should be on the lookout for signs that something is amiss.

Obviously, physical abuse is fairly easy to spot since there are usually bruises and other visible marks that are left during the attacks. Other forms of domestic abuse won’t necessarily be as readily visible.

A spouse who is overly jealous, controlling or unpredictable might be abusive. This can include trying to control the victim’s actions by force, violence, threats or keeping them away from friends and family members.

The abusive spouse might also control the finances so that the other spouse doesn’t have any money or can’t spend without permission. Putting down the other person, either in public or private, is another sign of domestic abuse.

A person who is the victim of domestic violence might need to get a restraining order to give them some protection against their abuser if they opt to leave. Knowing how to do this is a crucial step if you are thinking about walking away.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Signs of an Abusive Partner,” accessed Dec. 02, 2016