Behavior Patterns of Abusers

Below, find some of the more common signs of potential abusers.

If you or someone you know are involved in a relationship with a potential drug or physical abuser, please seek help from a counselor, family member, friend, co-worker, clergy or your local domestic violence agency or if in immediate danger, dial 911.

  1. Pushes for quick involvement:
    Comes on strong, claiming, "I've never felt loved like this by anyone." An abuser presses for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

  2. Jealous:
    Excessively possessive; prevents you from going to work because "you might meet someone"; checks the mileage on your car.

  3. Controlling: 
    Interrogates you intensely (especially if you're late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

  4. Unrealistic Expectations:
    Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.

  5. Isolation:
    Tries to cut you off from family and friends;  accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble." The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car, or try to prevent you from holding a job.

  6. Blames others for problems or mistakes: 
    It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong.

  7. Makes others responsible for his or her feelings:
    The abuser says, "You make me angry," or "You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you."

  8. Hypersensitivity:
    Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad.  Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.

  9. Cruelty to animals or children:
    Kills or punishes animals brutally.  Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry.  65% (sixty-five percent) of abusers who beat their partner will also abuse children.

  10. "Playful" use of force during sex:
    Enjoys throwing you down or holding you against your will during sex;  finds the idea of rape exciting.

  11. Verbal abuse:
    Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names.  This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you with relentless verbal abuse.

  12. Rigid gender roles:
    Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.

  13. Sudden mood swings:
    Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.

  14. Past battering:
    Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person "made" him (or her) do it.

  15. Threats of violence:
    Says things like, "I'll break your neck", or "I'll kill you", then dismiss them with "Everybody talks that way" or "I didn't really mean it".



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