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Domestic Violence

Profile of an Abuser

Is it possible to spot an abuser before you get involved?

Sometimes the hardest part about getting help when you are with an abuser is recognizing that you are with one to begin with.  Domestic violence is not just physical or sexual abuse – it is any form of power and control.

Most abusers are very clever, smart and extremely charming.  Most have a personality that draws people in because of their level of charm. This is part of their art to deceive and manipulate.

Predictive indicators of abuse

  • A history of abuse in one’s family or past
  • Being physically or sexually abused as a child
  • A lack of appropriate coping skills
  • Low self-esteem
  • Co-dependent behavior
  • Untreated mental Illness
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Socioeconomic pressures (studies show a higher incidence of abuse in lower income families)
  • A prior criminal arrest history

Things than make you go Hummmmmm…..

  • Self-righteous instead of humble
  • Quick to blame others instead of taking responsibilities for their actions
  • Apologetic without changing harmful behaviors
  • Lies
  • Pressures you to move fast in a relationship or pushes for immediate commitment
  • Been abusive in previous relationships
  • Is continuously jealous and possessive, may isolate you from your family and friends and push you to quit your job
  • Has a violent temper or quick mood swings
  • Is cruel or abusive to animals or children or insensitive to their suffering
  • Does not listen when you try and say “no” or assert your boundaries

It should be reinforced that just because someone has endured one or more of those factors, it does not guarantee they will become an abuser. However, abusers may try and use one or more of the above as excuses for their behavior.

Are you being abused or at risk for abuse?

Please review the questions below.  If you answer "YES" to three or more of these questions, you could be in danger in the future.  Without effective intervention, abuse can and usually does escalate in severity.  Sometimes abuse leads to homicide. If you believe you could be in danger, please call Hotline at 252-473-5121. We can guide you to the options that are right for you and your situation. 

  • Makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid?
  • Uses force during an argument?
  • Often put you down, humiliate you or make you feel worthless?
  • Constantly checks up on what you are doing or where you are going?
  • Tries to isolate you from your friends or family?
  • Is usually jealous or hypersensitive?
  • Blames others for their feelings?
  • Makes you feel afraid to disagree or say “no” to them?
  • Tells you how the household finances should be spent or stops you from having any money yourself?
  • Threatens to leave you and take your children away?
  • Makes all the decisions, tells you what to wear and who you can talk to?
  • Has shoved, pushed, pinched or bitten you?
  • Throws things, hits walls or breaks objects?
  • Uses force during sex or makes you to do sexual things that you don’t want to do?
  • Threatens to hurt you, your family, friends or pets?
  • Threatens to hurt themselves if you say you want to end the relationship?
  • Has a history of bad relationships?
  • Have your family or friends expressed concern for your safety?

Do these traits sound like your partner? If so, please beware. These indicate a strong potential for abuse in your relationship. 

Outer Banks Hotline can help. Call our 24/7 HELP LINE 252-473-3366. It is important to know that your call is confidential and you can choose to remain anonymous when speaking with an advocate.  To know what to expect when calling, read this article.

If you find yourself with an abusive partner, it is not uncommon to wonder:  Why are they choosing to behave and act as they do?

There is no excuse for domestic violence or abuse. Abuse is one partner exerting control and power over the other. But how can someone who says they love you abuse you?  What are some of the different control tactics?  Should you hold out any hope that an abuser can change? 

We have prepared a toolkit to help you understand why perpetrators abuse and the indicators of potential abuse.  You can download the toolkit here. Inside you will find helpful articles, checklists, relevant survey results, support communities and how to find help.