IF YOU or someone you know needs help, call our 24-hour confidential crisis line:
843-744-3242 or Toll Free 800-273-HOPE


Profile of an Abuser

  • Pushes for quick involvement. Claims “love at first sight,” and pressures for committment.
  • If male, believes in stereotyped gender roles and male supremacy. Dominates partner, requires conformity to traditional roles.
  • Blames victim for “provoking” abuse.
  • Abusive in past relationships. Abuse is not situational, it carries over from one relationship to the next.
  • Very jealous and possessive. Isolates victim from friends and family. Accuses victim of flirting, infidelity. May refuse to let victim work.
  • Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Others see abuser as a good partner and parent; behind closed doors, abuser is angry and aggressive.
  • Experiences most emotions in the form of anger. Difficulty in communicating other emotions. Expresses anger with aggression.
  • Violent temper, may include hitting or throwing objects.
  • Uses sex as a form of aggression. Sex is imposed rather than mutual.
  • Dependent on victim for all emotional needs, blames others for own feelings. Unrealistic expectations of relationship.
  • Easily insulted, takes small setbacks as personal attacks. Hypersensitive. Is always right.
  • Cruel to animals and/or children. Punishes them brutally, has unrealistic expectations of their abilities, insensitive to their suffering.
  • Quickly changing moods. Charming one minute, abusive the next. Depressed.
  • Checks up on victim’s whereabouts, activities, spending, etc. Claims to be concerned for victim’s safety, but intent is to monitor behavior and control decisions.
  • Minimizes the seriousness of abuse.

Learned Responses of the Victim

  • Doesn’t like herself; tries to justify the batterer’s behavior. Low self-esteem, places little importance on her own feelings and needs.
  • Difficult to set limits for herself, feels that she needs to be “Superwoman” to keep abuser happy.
  • Believes abuser will change; is controlled by the abuser.
  • Blames self for abuser’s actions; attempts to change own actions to control the violence. Feels responsible for abuse. Guilt.
  • Isolated and kept away from friends and family, or resources for help. May also withdraw from people because of feelings of shame or embarrassment.
  • Denies the extent of the problem in order to survive; generally suppresses anger because it is too dangerous.
  • Helplessness. This feeling is reinforced if victim tries to leave abuser and fails.
  • Learned that society condones violence against women either in childhood home or in later attempts to get help.


IF YOU or someone you know needs help, call our 24-hour confidential crisis line:
843-744-3242 or Toll Free 800-273-HOPE