Woman's & Man's Guide of Signs To Look For In A Battering
Many women are
interested in ways that they can predict whether they are about to
become involved with someone who will be physically abusive. Usually
battering occurs between a man and a woman, but lesbians can be
Below is a list of
behaviors that are seen in people who beat their girlfriends or wives.
The last four signs listed are battering, but many women don't realize
this is the beginning of physical abuse.
If a person has
several of the other behaviors (say three or more) there is a strong
potential for physical violence -- the more signs a person has, the
more likely the person is a batterer. In some cases a batterer may have
only a couple of behaviors that the woman can recognize, but they are
very exaggerated: (e.g. will try to explain his/her behavior as signs
of his/her love and concern, and a woman may be flattered at first; but
as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate
and control the woman).
JEALOUSY: At the
beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say that jealousy is
a sign of love; jealousy has nothing to do with love. It's a sign of
possessiveness and a lack of trust. He/she will question the woman
about who she talks to, accuse her of flirting, or be jealous of the
time she spends with family, friends or children. As the jealousy
progresses, he/she may call her frequently during the day or drop by
unexpectedly. He/she may refuse to let her work, for fear she'll meet
someone else, or even do strange behaviors such as checking her car
mileage or asking friends to watch her.
BEHAVIOR: At first, the batterer will say this behavior is because
he/she's concerned for the woman's safety, her need to use her time
well, or her need to make good decisions. He/she will be angry if the
woman is "late" coming back from the store or an appointment, he/she
will question her closely about where she went, whom she talked to. As
this behavior gets worse, he/she may not let the woman make personal
decisions about the house, her clothing, going to church: he/she make
keep all the money or even make her ask permission to leave the house
Many battered women dated or knew their abuser for less than 6 months
before they were married, engaged, or living together. He/she comes on
like a whirlwind claiming "you're the only person I could ever talk
to," (and/or) "I've never felt loved like this by anyone." He/she will
pressure the woman to commit to the relationship in such a way that
later a woman may feel very guilty or that she's "letting him down" if
she wants to slow down involvement or break-off.
EXPECTATIONS: Abusive people will expect their partner to meet all
their needs: he/she expects the woman to be the perfect wife, mother,
lover, friend. He/she will say things like "if you love me, I'm all you
need... you're all I need." She is supposed to take care of everything
for him/her emotionally and in the home.
abusive person tries to cut the person off from all resources. If she
has men friends, she's a "whore," if she has women friends, she's a
lesbian, if she's close to family, she's "tied to the apron strings."
He/she accuses people who are the woman's support of "causing trouble."
He/she may want to live in the country without a phone; he/she may not
let here use a car (or have one that's reliable), or he/she may try to
keep the woman from working or going to school.
BLAMES OTHERS FOR
PROBLEMS: If he/she is chronically unemployed, someone is always doing
him/her wrong, out to get him/her. He/she may make mistakes and then
blame the woman for upsetting him/her and keeping him/her from
concentrating on the work. He/she will tell the woman she is at fault
for almost anything that goes wrong.
BLAMES OTHERS FOR
FEELINGS: He/she will tell the woman "you make me made," (and/or)
"you're hurting me by not doing what I want you to do," (and/or) "I
can't help being angry." He/she really makes the decisoin about what
he/she thinks or feels, but will use feelings to manipulate the woman.
Harder to catch are claims that "you make me happy," (and/or) "you
control how I feel."
An abuser is easily insulted, he/she claims their feelings are "hurt"
when really he's/she's very made or he/she takes the slightest setbacks
as personal attacks. He/she will "rant and rave" about the injustice of
things that have happened -- things that are really just part of living
like being asked to work overtime, getting a traffic ticket, being told
some behavior is annoying, being asked to help with chores.
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
OR CHILDREN: This is a person who punishes animals brutally or
insensitive to their pain or suffereing; he/she may expect thildren to
be capable of doing things beyond their control (whips a to yer old for
wetting a diaper) or he/she may tease children or young brothers and
sisters until they cry; (60% of men who beat the women they are with
also beat their children). He/she may not want children to eat at the
table or may expect to keep them in their room all evening while he/she
is at home.
"PLAYFUL" USE OF
FORCE IN SEX: This type of person may like to throw the woman down and
hold her down during sex, he/she may want to act out fantasies during
sex where the woman in helpless. He's/she's letting her know that the
idea of rape is exciting. He/she may show little concern about whether
the woman wants to have sex and uses sulking or anger to manipulate her
into compliance. He/she may start having sex with the woman while she
is sleeping, or demand sex when she is ill or tired.
VERBAL ABUSE: In
addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, this
can be seen when the abuser dgrades the woman, curses her, running down
any of her accomplishments. The abuser will tell the woman that she's
stupid and unable to function without him/her. This may involve waking
the woman up to verbally abuse her or not letting her go to sleep.
RIGID SEX ROLES:
The abuser expects the woman to serve them; he/she may say the woman
must stay at home, that she must obey in all things -- even things that
are criminal in nature. The 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: Many women are confused by their abuser's "sudden" changes in
mood -- they may think the abuser has some special mental problems
because one minute he's/she's nice and the next he's/she's exploding.
Explosiveness and moodiniess are typical of people who beat their
partners, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics like
This person may say he/she has hit women in the past, but they made
him/her do it. The woman may hear from relatives or
ex-spouses/girlfriends that the person is abusive. A batterer will beat
any woman they're with if the woman is with him/her long enough for the
violence to begin; situational circumstances do not make a person an
VIOLENCE: This could include any threat of physical force meant to
control the woman: "I'll slap your mouth off," (and/or) "I'll kill
you," (and/or) "I'll break your neck." Most people do not threaten
their mates, but a batterer will try to excuse threats by saying,
"everybody talks like that."
STRIKING OBJECTS: This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking loved
possessions) but is mostly used to terrorize the woman into submission.
The abuser may beat on the table with his/her fist, throw objects
around or near the woman. Again this is very remarkable behavior... not
only is this a sign of extreme emotional immaturity, but there's great
danger when someone thinks they have the "right" to punish or frighten
*ANY FORCE DURING
AN ARGUMENT: This may involve a batterer holding a woman down,
physically restraining her from leaving the room, any pushing or
shoving. They may hold the woman against the wall and say "you're going
to listen to me!"
Shawn Nelson, MSA
is a Motivational Speaker and Life Counselor who creates guides,
e-Courses and run several web sites that help people achieve their
relationship, personal, life and professional goals. To learn more
You can publish
this article on your web site, ezine and include it within an ebook as
long as it remains unchanged, the resource box above is included, and
you send it only to individuals that opted in to receive your emails.
To MrGoodMan's Relationship Advice Articles & News