Unfortunately, it’s possible for anyone to be an abuser and domestic violence comes in many forms. One of the ways to protect yourself and combat any potential abuse is to know what signs to look for. Domestic violence can come from all cultures, religions, groups, economic levels and backgrounds. If you find yourself in a situation and need legal representation, the Law Office of Joseph Cerino is happy to help you seek justice and navigate this sensitive experience.
The majority of domestic abusers are only violent with their current or past partners. They often hide their true behavior from friends and acquaintances. Oftentimes, they work hard to create the perfect image of themselves, making it hard for members of the community to believe that they could be potential abusers. About 90% of abusers do not have criminal records and abusers are normally law-abiding outside of the home.
“Warning Signs” of an Abuser to Look Out For
These don’t always signify that a person is an abuser, but they are often considered red flags and warning signs, especially if more than one trait is exhibited together:
- Extremely jealous or controlling behavior
- A bad temper
- Unpredictable actions
- Cruelty to animals
- Antiquated beliefs about gender roles in relationships
- Being treated like property or feeling used for sex
- Forced sex or a disregard for the partner’s unwillingness to have sex
- Refusal to honor birth control methods
- Obstruction or sabotage to attend school or go to work
- Being blamed for anything bad that happens
- Abuse of other family members, children or pets
- Having your finances controlled
- Controlling what the victim wears and/or how they act
- Being embarrassed, demeaned or humiliated in front of others, especially in public places
- Being stalked or harassed at work or school
What Are Some Common Traits of Abusers?
There aren’t one or two typical traits of a domestic violence abuser. However, here are some common characteristics to look out for:
- An abuser will often act and speak in such a way that they only see the victim as their property or sexual objects.
- An abuser externalizes the causes of their behavior. They blame their violence on circumstances such as stress, their partner’s behavior, a “bad day,” on drugs, a toxic work place, alcohol or other factors.
- An abuser usually displays low self-esteem behaviors and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. Note that they may appear to be successful, but internally, they feel something is missing.
- An abuser can often seem pleasant and charming between periods of violence. They can even seem regretful and are usually referred to as a “nice person” to others outside of the relationship.
- An abuser will deny the existence of or minimize the seriousness of the violence and how it impacts the victim and other family members.
It’s always important to know what potential signs to look for if something seems awry in your relationship or in that of someone you’re close to. If you need representation and are looking for a compassionate lawyer to walk you through your case, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today at 239-561-2820.
For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.