Recognize the Signs

dv image 10RECOGNIZE that a colleague may be involved in an abusive relationship.

 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.

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