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How to Prevent Domestic Violence

Updated on November 10, 2011
Image Courtesy of publik - Flickr
Image Courtesy of publik - Flickr

The only real way to prevent domestic violence is not to get involved with a person who has an abusive personality. Abusive behavior is not an act of rage. It is also not caused by substance abuse. It is a personality disorder and the chances of stopping a person from resorting to violence is so slight. The only thing you can do to safeguard yourself is to end the relationship before it is too late.

These people rarely change. The fact that women in abusive relationships leave their partners an average of seven times before they eventually end the relationship is proof that abusers don't stop abusing their partners.

Unfortunately the last thing that we think of when entering into relationships is the potential of our newly found partner to become abusive. I say unfortunately because studies show that one in every four women will be physically abused by their partner at some time during their lifetime. That means that there is a 25% chance that the next relationship you enter could be with a potential batterer.

Many of these relationships could have been avoided if the women knew what the warning signs were and ended the relationship before the onset of the abuse.

Image courtesy of Nathalie_Renaud - Flickr
Image courtesy of Nathalie_Renaud - Flickr

Warning Signs - Battering Personalities

The following is a list of behaviors that should raise a red flag. The danger will of course increase with the number of these traits the person exhibits.

Shows lack of respect towards his mother or women in general: When a man shows a lack of respect to his mother it is usually a sign that he has been brought up believing that women are the weaker sex and that men have certain privileges. The chances are good that his mother is herself a victim of emotional abuse or she would not allow her child to treat her in this manner. Unfortunately children who grow up in emotional abuse surroundings are at a high risk of becoming emotional abusers themselves.

He has a history of abusing in the past: One thing to remember is that circumstances don't influence well-balanced adults into becoming abusers. Abusive behavior is a personality disorder and in time these men will resort to abusive behavior if the relationship lasts long enough. If you hear that the person has resorted to battering in a previous relationship take your money and run. And don't look back.

Abusive people never take the blame for anything. They will most definitely not take the blame for previous abuse. Physical abuse rarely starts at the beginning of a relationship. It could be months or even years before a person becomes abusive. As much as 30% of physical violence starts when a women becomes pregnant. That could be quite a time after the start of the relationship.

Hits and kicks objects when he is angry: If you see him slamming doors, kicking things he can not fix or hitting objects off a table be careful. The next time he lifts his hand could be to hit you. Normal people do not go around hitting objects - only in the movies. This is a sign that he shows no respect and is a means of instilling fear. He wants you to know what he is capable of when angered so that you make sure that you keep him happy.

Leads you to believe that you are inferior: The abusive person is self-centered and in an attempt to make you idolize them leads you to believe that you are unintelligent, inferior, only good for menial tasks such as caring for them. This is all emotional abuse and manipulation to make you feel that you are dependent on them for your very being.

Emotional abuse is the precursor to physical abuse: Physical abuse does not happen without a build up of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can on its own leave much deeper scars than physical abuse and if your partner starts abusing you emotionally the its time to get out of the relationship. Verbal abuse includes saying cruel things to you in order to degrade and belittle you. They become so obsessed with humiliating you that they often keep their partner from going to sleep or wake them up in order to abuse them verbally.

Threats of violence should never be seen to be idle threats: Normal people do not threaten to harm their partners irrespective of how angry they may be. Never see a threat to slap you, kick your teeth out or kill you or any similar threat as an idle threat. They will try to convince you it is just a manner of speech and that everybody talks like that. People don't - unless they have the potential to act out their threats.

Inability to accept responsibility for his failures: If your partner has difficulty in holding down a steady job and finding someone else to blame for this - see this as a big red flag. If your partner puts the blame squarely on your shoulders for everything that goes wrong in his life see this as a major clue to where this relationship is heading. Abusive partners can never admit that they are at fault about anything and tend to blame their partners. This is just one of the ways that they get to manipulate and brainwash their partners into believing they are indebted to the abuser, that they are terrible people and in so doing they slowly but surely gain power and control over their victims.

Jealousy: Jealousy is not a sign of love in fact it has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of lack of trust and an attempt to gain control over you. Abusers will always try to excuse themselves for being so insanely jealous by telling you their jealousy is a sign of how much they love you. Don't be fooled into believing this. Unless one of the partners has done something to betray the other's trust people in healthy relationships trust each other.

Pushing the relationship to move too fast
: Abusive people can be very charming at the beginning of a relationship. They tend to sweep women off their feet and before you know it he'll be asking you to move in with him. Beware if you feel that the relationship is moving too fast. Many victims of domestic violence report that they moved in with the abusive partners after only knowing them for a few months. Take your time and make sure that you know as much as possible about a person before taking your relationship to the next level.

Attempting to control your every move: Under the pretense of being concerned for your safety abusive partners try to control your every move. They will get upset if you take too long when you go shopping, get home a bit late from work and will not really believe you when you try to explain that the traffic was heavy or any other valid reason. They will eventually want to know who you spoke to;where you spoke to them and what you spoke about. This controlling behavior tends to worsen and the next thing you will realize that your partner is making all your personal decisions for you. He will tell you what clothes to wear, how to arrange the furniture and whether you should go to church or not. As time progresses these people take control of all the finances and will try to control you to the point where you will need to ask their permission to leave the house. Watch out for those first warning signs before it gets to this stage.

The partner tries to isolate you from your friends and family: In an attempt to cut you off from any outside resources the abusive person will try to keep you from having contact with the people that are close to you. He will criticize all your friends, in particular those that are supportive. He will label them as trouble-makers and try to prevent you from maintaining the friendship. He will find fault with all family members and make it so unpleasant that the abused partner will eventually refrain from visiting her family. They may even restrict your telephone calls under the pretense of saving money.

Blames you for how they feel: Abusers never take responsibility for their own feelings, despite the fact that they actually make a decision about how they feel or think. It will be your fault that they are angry or mad. They will use this to manipulate you and make you feel guilty. This is all part of emotional abuse which is the biggest predictor of physical abuse.

They feel sorry for themselves
: Abusers tend to feel sorry for themselves about things that other people just accept as part of ordinary living. They will feel that it is unfair that they need to actually get up and go to work, or stand in a queue, or help you with trivial things. They are hypersensitive and take everything personally.

Cruelty to animals and insensitivity to children:
People who abuse animals and resort to brutal punishment are high risk for domestic violence. If they are constantly criticizing other people's children or expecting them to be able to things beyond their capability consider this as a warning sign. These people will not easily accept children that you bring with you into the relationship. The abusive person tends to tease children until they cry. The abusive partner may try to prevent you from having contact with your children or may punish them to hurt you. Remember that almost sixty percent of partners that resort to physical violence abuse their children as well as their partners.

Little or no regards to your sexual needs: These people often have sexual fantasies and will expect you to act these out. They may even tell you that they get exited about the thought of raping someone. They will sulk or get angry if you do not satisfy their every sexual need as way to manipulate you. They are also known to start having sex with their sleeping partners and demand sex irrespective of your state of mind. They invariably use sex as a means of making up after a verbal or physical attack on you.

Warning Signs If You Suspect a Family Member or Friend is a Victim of Domestic Violence


Although this list is long and may not even include all the warning signs they all signify reasons for concern. Obviously the more of these signs you see in your partner the greater the risk of him being an abusive personality.

It may look as if I am describing half the men in the world and I would not be that far off. Unfortunately according to statistics one in every four women will be physically abused by their partners at some stage of her life.

That means that one in every four men are abusers!! That is why you really have to be extremely careful before getting emotionally and intimately involved in a relationship!

Watch for those warning signs and end a relationship you do not feel comfortable being in, before it's too late.


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