15 Warning Signs of an
If your mate is displaying a combination of these behaviors, then you may
have a potential batterer on your hands.
1. A push for a quick involvement: Comes on very strong,
claiming, "Iíve never felt loved like this by anyone." An Abuser pressures
the woman for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
2. Jealousy: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits
unexpectedly: prevents you from going to work because Ďyou might meet
someone;" checks the mileage on your car.
3. Controlling: Interrogates you intensely (especially if youíre
late) about whom you talked to, and where you were; keeps all the money.
4. Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect woman
and meet his every need.
5. Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends;
accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble."
6. Blames others for problems and mistakes: The boss, itís always
someone elseís fault if anything goes wrong.
7. Makes everyone else responsible for his feelings: The abuser
says, "You make me angry instead of, "I am angryí or, "Youíre hurting me by
not doing what I tell you." Less obvious is the claim "You make me happy."
8. Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming that his
feelings are hurt when he is really mad. Heíll rant about the injustice of
things that are just part of life.
9. Cruelty to animals and to 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
10. "Playful" use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or
holding you down against your will during sex; says he &is the idea of rape
11. Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes you, or says blatantly
cruel, hurtful things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also
involve sleep deprivation, waking you up with relentless verbal abuse.
12. Rigid sex roles: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home
13. Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweetly loving to
explosively violent in a trotter of minutes or even more confusing, within
14. Past battering: Admits hitting women in the past, but says
they made him do it or the situation brought in on.
15. Threats of violence: Makes statements like, "Iíll break your
neck," or "Iíll kill you" and then dismisses them with, "Everybody talks
that way," or "I didnít really mean it." If he has come this far, it is time
to get help and get out!
Adapted from "Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality", from the
Project for Victims of Family Violence. Fayetteville. Ark.
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