Women in abusive relationships become very good at hiding all physical symptoms of their beatings. They become excellent with makeup, long-sleeved clothing or styling their hair to hide any bruises which may draw attention. The last thing these women want is attention, because if others discover they are abused, they will feel terrible shame and terror. But abused women also give off other signs that they are suffering rather than physical marks.
Abusers want total control over their victims. Many times abusive men will also become increasingly jealous, even when he has no reason to be jealous. Therefore, he will do all he can to pressure the woman to cancel all engagements, appointments and social activities so she can stay home under his watchful eye.
A woman in an abusive relationship will come up with more and more excuses as to why she has to stay at home. The woman will then stop taking phone calls or writing letters, because even these can be monitored by a jealous husband.
Women in abusive relationships often will not have any money for themselves because it has been all taken away from them. Even rich women in abusive relationships will find that she does not have any money for herself because the man has gradually taken control of the finances. He will have ground her down enough so that she feels humiliated wanting to have money when she really “should” only want to prove how much she loves her man by trusting him with money.
A woman may have to borrow money often, wear the same old clothes over and over again, suddenly stop going out with friends because she “can’t afford it” or even goes without food when she is clearly hungry. Taking control of money is another way to control the victim.
No one can make sound decisions and concentrate clearly if they have been deprived of sleep for long periods of time. This is why abusers will make sure that their victims never get a full night’s sleep. They will get up in the middle of the night and argue with the woman over anything. They will insist that the woman has to sleep in the same room with them – but without any blankets, mattress or sheets. If they happen to be away from home, they may also call the woman every hour throughout the night to be sure she isn’t cheating.
Over a long period of time, a sleep deprived woman cannot see that she is being abused. She just wants to do anything she can so she can be rewarded with a nap.