If you have never been in an abusive relationship, it’s easy to think: Why doesn’t the person just get out of it?

Well, think of these things:

An abuser knows exactly what emotional buttons to push in his or her partner.

The abuser is a master of finding that chink in the partner’s sense of self-worth and confidence.

An abuser has emotional radar for people who need to please, and who tend to doubt his or her feelings, thoughts, and actions.

An abuser slowly isolates the partner and keeps him or her away from social events, and family and friends who could provide the abused person feedback and a place to hide or live.

If the abuser “allows” the partner to work, the abuser does not permit the person to socialize with colleagues after work.

In addition, the abuser does not permit babysitters, house cleaners or any other service providers to be in the home.

Abusers also tend to commandeer credit cards and bank accounts so that the abused person cannot easily escape and become independent financially—even and, often surprisingly, when the abused person makes more money than the abuser!

Abusers also gather their power from knowing that the abused partner has too much to lose socially and would be terribly embarrassed to reveal the truth about the relationship.

What classic movie title perfectly describes this situation?

Do you recall a movie starring Ingrid Bergman called, “Gaslight?”

To “gaslight” someone is to fool the person into thinking he or she is slowly going crazy with self-doubt about his or her feelings and thoughts.

The statistics about the prevalence of abuse are a loud wakeup call about the problem.

Here are just a few facts from the Safe Horizon organization http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence–abuse-50.html

1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.

Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men.

1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered every year by her current or former partner.

Intimate partner abuse includes more than physical abuse. It also includes verbal, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse.

Some cultures teach that women are second class citizens.

We learn from the news about the death of women by stoning, for example, for cheating on her husband.

We in the United States—and probably people in other “civilized” countries, however, are not always so supportive of victims.

For example, corporations and organizations might protect abusers who are famous and public people such as athletes or leaders.

The result of this cultural “turning a blind eye” to abuse is that victims will also tend to increase their minimization or denial of their abuse.

So, what can you do if you think there might be even a small chance or inkling that you are being abused–or, if you suspect that your friend is being abused?

One of the first steps is to strengthen your intuitive feelings and thoughts about your or your friend’s situation.

Here is a brief guide to help you.

All these tips arouse connections between parts of your brain that help you recognize and manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

The goal is to increase the speed of your intuition and its correct assessments of you!

How to Boost Your Intuition about Domestic Violence

1. Ask yourself these questions, which can activate your more objective, cognitive ability:

What secrets am I keeping from my friends and family?

Would I recommend that my best friends be in a relationship like mine?

Would I want my child to be in a relationship like mine?

Would I want my local newspaper or television station to feature news about my love life with headlines such as:

Patient in Emergency Room Reveals Broken Jaw is No Accident

Cover Up of Years of Spousal Abuse in Prominent Victim Exposed After Neighbor Calls Police

2. Say to yourself at each mealtime:

No one deserves to be mistreated

No one “brings it on his or herself to be abused.

Abusive words “count” as abusive and disrespectful behavior.

3. Keep and hide a secret journal that includes your thoughts about:

Your feelings about your relationship

Your “magic wishes” about the changes you would like to make in your life

Your incidents of being hit, verbally abused, denied freedom to work or socialize

Don’t hide it under the bed!

Don’t put it in a file that can be identified on your computer.

Don’t keep changing the password on your phone—it will make your partner suspicious.

4. Don’t think that you are being mean or unloving if you think that you are “judging” your partner when his or her behavior is abusive.

Don’t fall for the belief that “Since I am not perfect, I shouldn’t think negatively about someone who needs my help and understanding.”

Balance your kindness and empathy for someone against your regard for your feelings, bodily harm, and role model for your children.

5. Develop a safety plan now—and do not reveal it.

Tell yourself: “All people should have emergency plans in case potential harm from anyone can happen.”

Call the abuse hotline or go to a women’s organization to learn about abusive relationships about the answers to key questions about relationships in general such as:

Do I announce that I am leaving—or let him or her know after I am safe?

How do I open a bank account or safety deposit box?

Learn what documents such as passports, birth certificates, and copies of credit cards to keep in it.

Do not sign up for email notifications since your partner will be checking your email and numbers that you called on your phone.

How can I learn about whom to contact in an emergency?

If you are a friend of someone who might be abused, boost your intuition by doing all or any of the following:

Observe if your friend is covering up his or her neck or arms even in warm weather. He or she might be covering up wounds and bruises.

Observe your friends moods of unhappiness.

Make note if your friend cancels or avoids time with you.

Become mindful of your worried feelings and thoughts about your friend after you’ve had contact with him or her.

Then do any or all of the following:

Tell your friend about a time you struggled to get out of an abusive relationship.

Tell your friend that you know how stressful and often scary some relationships can be.

Tell your friend that you sense he or she is in danger and that he or she can call you or come over any time of day or night.

If you are deeply worried, you can make an anonymous call to social services agencies and/or abuse hotlines or the police.

I hope these tips help.

To Learn More:

Thank you for stopping by. I hope these tips help. My mission is to help you stay smart, brave, sweet and intuitive about love, life, and work.

Want to be part of my next book about empowering your intuition about love, happiness, success, and other things?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized psychologist and licensed clinical social worker #7132, honored for her pioneering work with women’s issues in love, life, work and family. The National Association of Social Workers has named her as One of the Fifty who has contributed to the field. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’ Who’s Who publications. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie, the cartoon companion book where you can follow a year of Cookie’s love missteps and learn about yours! Discover more and check out her books by signing up on her website. Visit www.lovevictory.com