Signs of Domestic Abuse

Most of the time, it’s nearly impossible to point an abuser out of the crowd.

That’s because in a lot of cases, they happen to be law-abiding citizens, with no past criminal history to look back on. An abuser could be just about anyone.

They come from all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and economic statuses.

Usually, they are the people that are in closest relationship with you. They could be your neighbor, relative, teacher, spouse, parent, co-worker, or even pastor.

There isn’t a typical personality that comes with domestic abuse, but there are a few characteristics that abusers do have in common.

Signs of Domestic Abuse

For the most part, it’s not easy to determine whether a person is a domestic abuser or not.

However, there are a few traits and characteristics that you need to watch out for, that are similar with most abusers.

  • Most of the time, the abuser will downplay or minimize the severity of the violence. Sometimes they will even say that it doesn’t exist, and in some cases, the victim believes them.
  • An abusive person also may struggle with low self-esteem. They are left feeling powerless and inadequate, even if they appear to have everything together.
  • Abusive people will oftentimes look at their victim like an object and not a person. They believe that the victim is their property or sexual object.
  • Abusive people usually won’t say that it’s an internal issue that’s going on inside of them, and we’ll argue that they are under a lot of stress and pressure, and blame their surrounding circumstances for their behavior. (Drugs, alcohol, etc.)
  • From the outside, an abuser may appear to be a charming and nice person to others. There may even be periods of when the individual seems to be a nice person to the victim, between the violent episodes that come out.

Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior

There are a number of warnings or red flags that you need to watch out for concerning abusive behavior.

Let’s take a look at a few of the following.

  • A terrible temper
  • Can be unpredictable with their emotions
  • Has total control of the finances
  • Is very demeaning of their victim, whether it’s done in private or out in the open
  • May act extremely embarrassed or humiliated of the victim in front of other people
  • Accuses the victim of going out and flirting with others, or cheating on them
  • Has control on what the victim wears and how they ought to act
  • Reveals extreme bouts of jealousy
  • Blames the victim for the bad things that seem to be happening
  • Unusually cruel to animals
  • Keeps their partner from a particular birth control method
  • Displays a possessive nature
  • They may verbally abuse their victims
  • Is extremely controlling towards their victims
  • Mixed-up view of women and men and the roles that they play in a relationship
  • They force themselves on their victims and have total disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex
  • Abuses other family members or pets
  • May go as far as harassing the victim while they are at work

Get Help

If you or someone you know needs help, or someone to simply talk to, don’t hesitate to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Your phone call will be both anonymous and confidential.