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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I tell if a someone is being physically abused?

    I have seen bruises on a classmate's body before and after asking about them, she says she doesn't know how they got there or she had a fall. How do I know if this is the truth or if I should try to investigate further and help?
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  • 1

    Agree

    Mariela Occelli

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Mariela Occelli is a Clinical Psychologist with well over 20 years experience in the assessment and treatment of clinical disorders. She has worked in private … View Profile

    I can understand your care and your concern about your classmate. However, there can be many reasons for her nondisclosure ranging from fear of the perpetrator and possible repercussions, to attachment and protective feelings towards the perpetrator. As her friend you can focus on communicating care and concern whilst at the same time exercising patience and understanding. Her situation may be much more complex emotionally and physically than you might imagine. Your willingness to care about her and to support her without judgment may pay off in the long term.

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