Leave Now! 5 Body Language Signs That Indicate Domestic Violence

Body language says it all. Know the signs and when to walk away.


No one gets along all the time. It's impossible to never get angry at your partner. In healthy relationships, there may be some yelling and heated words exchanged, but violence is never a part of the problem.

Unfortunately, there are many relationships where physical violence is a means to handling anger. I've worked with many coaching clients who've been in abusive relationships. The most frequently asked question is "Is there any way to know before my partner actually hits me?" The answer is yes, with a caveat. For the majority of people, certain body language signals can indicate when someone is getting ridiculously angry, which can lead to violence. However, there are surprise attacks where the person may not show any behavior indicators.


Take the following scenario:

Susie hated mornings; the unpredictably of the day reminded her of walking in a field of landmines. Not knowing where to step next could result in an explosion. David, her partner, hated mornings too, but for a different reason. Mornings at home reminded him of the job he no longer had and bills he couldn't pay. Susie knew David was extremely stressed about being unemployed. David's fuse was shorter these days and it seemed like any little disturbance could set him off. She tiptoed around the house, making sure not to disturb him while he was busy on his laptop.

While brewing a fresh pot of coffee one morning, she casually said, "Oh, I meant to tell you that I'm being considered for a promotion. I'll find out this week." Susie thought he'd feel relieved that they'd be able to pay some of the mounting bills. However, her news infuriated him. He stood up from the table and walked towards her. He said, "You really know how to make me feel like a failure." She noticed his brow line tighten and his hard stare penetrated her eyes. As he walked by her, he put his hand over her face and shoved her so hard that her head hit the wall as he walked out of the house.


5 Body Language Signs That Indicate Potential Violence

  1. Figure out their pre-violent "tell," which is a non-verbal anger sign that generally leads to a violent outburst—such as profuse facial sweating, jaw clenching or an intense glare.
  2. Pay close attention to any angry facial expressions such as lip tightening, eye brow tightening, or narrowing of the lips.
  3. When some people get angry, the whites of their eyes become prominent.
  4. Before a violent outburst, some people take a step back to give themselves more space before physically striking out.
  5. Watch for any facial blanching where the color seems to fade away from the face.

As you'd probably agree, violent partners generally seem like regular, everyday people. Violent partners can be attractive, charming and seemingly innocent. At first they create an illusion of protection, embodying a hero-type romanticism, but in time they turn into villains, driven by rage and instability.

A violent outburst is typically followed by guilt and excuses of the part of the violent partner. They tend to talk about changing their ways and controlling their tempers in the future. They usually don't take immediate action to get professional help to change their ways. As you know, they typically blame you by rationalizing that your behavior provoked the violence. If you didn't act, dress, or talk in a certain way, then your violent partner would never have lost their cool. As you also know, their rationalizations are stupid and senseless.

If one thing is for certain, it's that love is blind. For better or worse, people can be addicted to love, no matter how poisonous that love may be. If you are either emotionally or physically scared of your partner, then you need to bail out of the relationship, no matter how much your heart breaks. I haven't seen abusive relationships worth saving.


The allure of a violent partner is the false sense of security that they provide. You might under a false feeling of safety and protection. Violent partners usually handle their anger by hitting or slamming doors, or throwing objects. They are the first to step in during times of conflict by intimidating people. Don't mistake fear for respect.

Save yourself by leaving your violent partner. Yes, I know you think that your violent partner didn't mean to scare or hurt you, but they did. Yes, you probably think that you provoked violence by not listening to them, disrespecting them, talking back or whatever other excuse you come up with. You have to understand that you shouldn't shoulder the responsibility of your violent partner's behaviors. They chose to respond to you with violence, which isn't acceptable behavior. It's illegal behavior! You have the responsibility to yourself to show people how they should treat you. This means that you should pack your stuff, walk out the door and don't turn back.

Blanca Cobb, CEO of TruthBlazer, is a nationally recognized body language and lie detection expert who uses her behavior analysis expertise and psychology background to get to the truth. She is also a Senior Instructor at the Body Language Institute in Washington, DC. Blanca is an "in-demand" media guest, speaker and coach who breaks down the complexities of human behavior to help people succeed in life. She's been featured on HLN’s Dr. Drew On-Call, Good Morning America, CNN, USA Today, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC affiliates, as well as quoted in the New York Daily News, The Root, and Cosmopolitan magazines. Since deception can infiltrate all aspects of life, no topic is off-limits for Blanca.