Signs of domestic violence. Free Domestic Violence Legal Aid

What Are the Signs of Domestic Violence? Free Domestic Violence Legal Aid. 

Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is the first step in identifying abuse and getting the help you need. Abuse isn’t always physical. It can also be verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and digital. With over 12 million individuals impacted annually, domestic violence remains a pervasive nationwide epidemic. Explore comprehensive insights into the signs of domestic violence below. North Suburban Legal Aid provides free legal aid services to survivors of domestic violence living in north suburban Cook County and Lake County. 

What is Domestic Violence? 

Domestic violence is not just physical violence. Domestic violence is any behavior that is physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual, used for the purpose of gaining power and control over a person whether it be a spouse, partner, or a family member.  

Who can be a victim of Domestic Violence?  

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, racial, socioeconomic, educational, or immigration status.  

What are the Signs of Domestic Violence 

Abuse can manifest in many ways, so it's important to understand the behaviors that define it. The signs below are examples of 'red flags' that may indicate an abusive relationship. If you recognize any of these signs and behaviors in your relationship, you could be experiencing domestic violence: 

  • Verbal abuse, such as name-calling, insults, humiliation, criticism, or degradation, whether in private or public.  
  • Physical violence, including hair-pulling, kicking, hitting, slapping or choking 
  • Using the silent treatment as a form of punishment 
  • Threatening or using violence to force compliance to their demands 
  • Excessive jealousy  
  • Refusal to trust you or constant accusations of flirting, cheating, and infidelity 
  • Controlling behavior and possessiveness, such as dictating who you can talk to or what you wear 
  • Short and explosive temper  
  • Destructive acts, like throwing objects, punching walls, or kicking doors  
  • Manipulation, coercion, or threats to engage in sexual activity against your will. 
  • Ignoring your feelings and boundaries regarding sex 
  • Isolation from your family and friends 
  • Blaming you for anything that goes wrong  
  • Preventing you from seeking medical help or calling the police  
  • Restricting your ability to work and controlling your finances 
  • Stealing money or denying you access to bank accounts 
  • Monitoring your activities through social media 
  • Monitoring your phone constantly, checking your texts, call log, and pictures 
  • Sending explicit pictures and/or videos, and demanding reciprocation  

Often, multiple forms of abuse can be present at the same time. However, it is crucial to recognize that not all these signs need to be present for a situation to be considered domestic violence. Even if one or two of these behaviors are present in your relationship, that may be a sign that abuse is present.  

If you have identified yourself with any of these signs, you are not alone, help is available. North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (NSLAC) provides free legal aid services to victims of domestic violence living in north suburban Cook County and Lake County.   

If you have questions or concerns about an abusive relationship, please reach out to NSLAC. Support is always available.   

Free Domestic Violence Legal Aid 

Looking for free domestic violence legal aid near you? North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (NSLAC) provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence, living in north suburban Cook County and Lake County, Illinois.  If this is an emergency, please call 911 immediately.   

NSLAC provides legal support and assistance with orders of protection (for people with a pre-existing relationship), civil no-contact orders (typically used in cases of sexual assault) or stalking no-contact orders (where there might not be a romantic or family relationship, but someone is still fearing for their safety and emotional well-being).   

If you or someone you know needs legal help or support, please contact NSLAC at 847-737-4042 or email NSLAC also provides free legal assistance in housing and immigration. Help is available regardless of immigration status. 

Together We Can Break the Cycle:   

It is important that we continue the conversation of domestic violence and healthy relationships. Please share this blog with your friends, and family, and on social media. Through collective awareness, we can continue to shed light on this prevalent issue that affects those around us. Together, we can break the silence and end the cycle of abuse. 

Additional Resources;  

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Find information on the different kinds of abuse as well as identifying warning signs. Hotlines are open 24/7. 

Love is Respect: Find resources on safety planning, how to talk to someone you think might be being abused, you can get individual support from experts on what to do. Hotlines are open 24/7.  

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic: Find additional resources, hotlines, and safety plans. 


National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Domestic Violence Statistics.” The Hotline, 2024, 

National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Types of Abuse.” The Hotline, 2020, 

National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Warning Signs of Abuse.” The Hotline, National Domestic Violence Hotline, 2020, 

The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed between NSLAC and the reader. NSLAC is not liable for any action taken or not taken based on this blog. Readers should contact an attorney with any questions regarding the content.
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