The following is a list of personality traits that may indicate a potential abuser. It is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of these characteristics is an abuser or potential abuser.
At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealousy with love. He will question the victim about who she talks to, accuse her of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others.
In the beginning, an abuser will attribute his controlling behaviour to concern for his partner (for example, his partner's safety or decision-making skills). As this behaviour progresses the situation will worsen. He may assume all control of finances or prevent his partner from coming and going as she wishes.
An abused woman often has known or dated her abuser for less than 6 months before getting married, or engaged, or living together. He will pressure his partner to commit to the relationship. Later, a victim may feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.
An abuser will attempt to isolate his victim by severing her ties to outside support and resources. The abuser will accuse others, such as the victim's friends and family of being "trouble makers". He may block his partner's access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home.
Blames others for problems
An abuser will blame others for his shortcomings. Someone is always out to get him or is an obstacle to his achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything that goes wrong.
Blames others for feelings
An abuser will use 'feelings' to manipulate his victim. Common phrases to look for: You're hurting me by not doing as I want". "You control how I feel".
An abused person is easily insulted. He perceives 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. He may expect children to perform beyond their capability (for example smacking a 2-year old for wetting a nappy, or teasing children until they cry).
"Playful" use of force in sex
This behaviour includes restraining partners against their will during sex; acting out fantasies in which the partner is helpless; initiating sex when the partner is asleep; or demanding sex when the partner is ill or tired. He may show little concern for his partner's wishes and will use sulking and anger to manipulate compliance.
This behaviour involves saying things that are intended to be cruel and hurtful, cursing or degrading the partner, or putting down his partner's accomplishments.
Rigid sex roles
The victim, almost always a woman, will be expected to serve. For instance, 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.
"Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" - Explosive behaviour and moodiness, which can shift quickly to congeniality are typical of people who beat their partners.
An abuser will victimise any partner he is with if the individual is involved with him long enough for the cycle of abuse to begin; circumstances do not make a person an abusive personality.
Threats of violence
This consists of any threat of physical force meant to control the partner. Most people do not threaten their mates but an abuser will excuse this behaviour by claiming "everyone talks like that".
Breaking or striking objects
This behaviour is used as punishment (breaking sentimental possessions) or to terrorise the victim into submission.
Any force during an Argument
This may involve an abuser holding down his partner, physically restraining his partner, or pushing and shoving. Holding someone back in order to make demands, such as shouting "You will listen", is also a show of force.
This document was downloaded from: http://www.basildonwa.org