Abuse can take many forms including physical, sexual, financial, spiritual and/or psychological. If you are concerned for a loved one, there are ways to help. If you are concerned for your own safety, we can assist you.
At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question their partner about who they talk to, accuse them of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call them frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch them.
In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for their partner (for example, their safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent their partner from coming and going freely.
The partner has often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure them to commit to the relationship. The partner may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.
An abuser expects their partner to meet all of the abuser’s needs, to take care of everything, emotionally and domestically.
An abuser will attempt to isolate their partner by severing their ties to outside support and resources. They will accuse their partners friends and family of being “trouble makers.” The abuser may block their access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone.
Blames others for problems
An abuser will often blame others for all problems or for the abuser’s own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser’s achievements. Their partner will be blamed for almost anything.
Blames others for feelings
An abuser will use feelings to manipulate their partner. Common phrases to look for: “You’re hurting me by not doing what I want.” “You control how I feel.”
An abusive person is easily insulted, perceiving the slightest setbacks as personal attacks.
Cruelty to animals or children
This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain. The abuser may expect children to perform beyond their capability (for example whipping a two-year-old for wetting a diaper or teasing children or siblings until they cry).
This behavior includes restraining partners against their will during sex, acting out fantasies in which the partner is helpless, or demanding sex when the partner is ill or tired. The abuser may show little concern for his partner’s wishes and will use sulking and anger to manipulate compliance.
This behavior involves saying things that are intended to be cruel and hurtful, cursing or degrading their partner, or putting down their accomplishments.
Rigid gender roles
A male abuser will see women as inferior to men, responsible for menial tasks, stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.
Dual personality “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
Explosive behavior and moodiness, which can shift quickly to congeniality, are typical of people who beat their partners.
An abuser will beat any partner if the individual is involved with the abuser long enough for the cycle of abuse to begin. Circumstances do not make a person an abuser.
Threats of violence
This consists of any threat of physical force meant to control the partner.
Breaking or striking objects
This behavior is used as punishment (breaking sentimental possessions) or to terrorize their partner into submission.
Courtesy of New Hope for Women