Signs of Abuse
Look for these common warning signs
Spotting the signs of abuse in a relationship isn’t simple because there are many types of abuse that can affect anyone of any age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, or financial background. Abuse also has various effects on the children of victims and survivors of abuse.
However, there are some common characteristics among abusers that you can often spot, if you know what to look for.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, also called “intimate partner violence” or “domestic abuse,” is intentional intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, or other abusive actions that are part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. Domestic violence is not always physical.
Red Flags and Warning Signs of an Abuser
Many abusers are experts at hiding their behaviors from the world – whether those behaviors are physical, verbal, or emotional – which is why many survivors face doubt and skepticism when they try to come forward. Some people simply cannot believe that someone they know, who seems so friendly and charismatic, could be capable of such terrible acts.
Look for these common warning signs and characteristics to help you identify a potential abuser.
- Severe jealousy
- Name calling, insults or disparaging language (verbal abuse)
- Explosive temper
- Controlling and manipulative behavior
- Antiquated beliefs about gender roles in relationships
- Forced sex or disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex
- Sabotaging or refusing the use of birth control methods
- Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
- Obstructing the victim’s ability to work or attend school
- Controlling finances or limiting access to financial accounts
- Accusing the victim of flirting with others or having an affair
- Dictating what the victim wears and how they act
- Stalking, in person or online
- Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly
- Embarrassing or humiliating the victim in front of others
- Harassing the victim at work
- Abusing other family members, children, or pets
Common Characteristics of Abusers
- Abusers often deny the existence of any violence, or attempt to minimize the seriousness of their actions and the effects on the victim.
- Abusers may objectify their victims, treating them as nothing more than property or a sexual object.
- Abusers may have low self-esteem and seek to put others beneath them through physical or verbal abuse, rather than lifting themselves and others up.
- Abusers often do not take responsibility for their actions. They will blame their violence and abuse on their victims, or outside factors such as alcohol, financial restraints, or even a “bad day” at work.
- Abusers often may not show their true selves outside of the relationship, many times appearing kind or charming to others.
If you think that you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, contact our hotline for help or more information.