A victim may exhibit the following signs:
- Obvious injuries such as bruises, black eyes, broken bones and hearing loss, often attributed to “falls,” “being clumsy,” or “accidents.”
- Clothing that is inappropriate for the season, such as long sleeves and turtlenecks, as well as wearing sunglasses and heavy makeup.
- Uncharacteristic absenteeism or lateness for work.
- Change in job performance, including poor concentration, errors, slowness, and inconsistent work quality.
- Uncharacteristic signs of anxiety and fear.
- Requests for special accommodations, such as leaving early.
- Isolation, unusual quietness, or keeping away from others.
- Emotional distress, tearfulness, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
- Minimization and denial of harassment or injuries.
- An unusual number of phone calls, faxes or emails from a current or former partner, strong reactions to those calls, and reluctance to converse or respond to phone messages.
- Insensitive or insulting messages taken by others.
- Sensitivity about home life or hints of trouble at home. Comments may include references to bad moods, anger, tempers, and alcohol or drug abuse.
- Disruptive personal visits to the workplace by present or former partner.
- Irrational or unfounded fear about losing his/her job.
- The appearance of gifts and flowers after what appears to be an argument between the couple, which may include physical violence.
An abuser may exhibit the following behavior:
- Be abusive or bully others at work.
- Blame others for problems, especially the victim.
- Deny problems.
- Show “defensive injuries” such as scratch marks.
- May or may not demonstrate violence at work.
- Is knowledgeable about the legal and social service systems and uses it to his/her advantage so it appears that he/she is the victim.
- Is absent or late related to his/her actions toward the victim or for court or jail time.
- Call victim repeatedly during work.
An abuser may be “invisible” due to exemplary job performance.