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Domestic Violence

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Signs of an Abusive Partner

 

There is no one typical, detectable personality of an abuser. However, they do often display common characteristics. (Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

  • An abuser often denies the existence or minimizes the seriousness of the violence and its effect on the victim and other family members.

  • An abuser objectifies the victim and often sees them as their property or sexual objects.

  • An abuser has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He or she may appear successful, but internally, they feel inadequate.

  • An abuser externalizes the causes of their behavior. They blame their violence on circumstances such as stress, their partner's behavior, a "bad day," on alcohol, drugs, or other factors.

  • An abuser may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence and is often seen as a "nice person" to others outside the relationship.

Do You Think You’re Being Abused?

 

Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts, or continually puts down the other person, it is abuse. (Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Does your partner ...

  • Embarrass or make fun of you in front of friends or family? Put down your accomplishments or goals?

  • Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions? Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

  • Tell you that you are nothing without them?

  • Treat you roughly -- grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you? Threaten or abuse your pets?

  • Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

  • Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

  • Blame you for how they feel or act?

  • Pressure you sexually for things you aren't ready for?

  • Make you feel like there "is no way out" of the relationship?

  • Prevent you from doing things you want, like spending time with your friends or family?

  • Try to keep you from leaving after a fight, or leave you somewhere after a fight to "teach you a lesson?"

Do you ...

  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

  • Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner's behavior?

  • Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

  • Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

  • Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

  • Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

  • Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?