|| Sioux Falls Feminists Present
The Characteristics of Domestic Abuse
Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse, Signs of an Abusive Relationship, and Signs of a Healthy Relationship
by Dale Hemming, Sioux Falls Feminists
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dale Hemming is a 'card carrying' member of the NAASCA family and has appeared on our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio shows. We are proud to have his support He's an exceptionally engaged community member and activist.
According to Futures without Violence, while three-quarters of those who commit family violence are men, women make up 84 percent of spousal-abuse victims and women make up 86 percent of those abused by a romantic partner.
The following 4 pages list:
- PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT:
Comes on strong, claiming, "I've never felt loved like this by anyone."
Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because "you might meet someone."
Interrogates you intensely (especially if you're late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to do anything.
- UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:
Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his every need.
Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble."
- BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES:
It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong.
- MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS FEELINGS:
The abuser says, "You make me angry," instead of "I am angry," or says, "You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you."
Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he is really mad.
- CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND CHILDREN:
Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also, may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry.
- "PLAYFUL" USE OF FORCE DURING SEX:
Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex.
- VERBAL ABUSE:
Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names.
- RIGID ROLES:
Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.
- SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS:
Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.
- PAST BATTERING:
Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person "made" him do it.
- THREATS OF VIOLENCE:
Says things like, "I'll break your neck," or "I'll kill you," and then dismisses them with, "I didn't really mean it."
- PHYSICAL VIOLENCE:
Hitting, pushing, slapping, kicking, scratching, pinching, hair pulling, use of weapons.
- SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
Rape, use of force, humiliation, pain.
Threats, smashing things, destroying property, hurting pets, displaying weapons.
- EMOTIONAL ABUSE:
Name calling, mocking, sarcasm, humiliation, creating shame or guilt, mind games.
Controlling outside involvements and contacts, limiting conversations with others, prohibiting certain behaviors-demanding others.
- MINIMIZING, DENYING AND BLAMING:
Making light of abusive behavior, saying abuse didn't happen, saying others caused the abuse.
- PRIVILEGE AND CONTROL:
Making all the decisions, making others feel subservient, issuing orders and commands.
- ECONOMIC ABUSE:
Preventing self-sufficiency through holding a job, taking money away, controlling information about and access to money, giving "allowances."
- COERCION AND THREATS:
Threatening to leave, commit suicide, or take the children. Coercion to do something against one's will or judgment.
Show faith, belief, and confidence that someone has the character and ability to be truthful and act in the best interests of the relationship.
Show consideration and attention. Let your partner know you value their thoughts and feelings.
- SUPPORT AND AFFIRMATION:
Encourage and praise one another, give thanks, show you want the best for your partner.
Protect one another from harm, pain, and discomfort. Allow each other free expression. Offer compassion and understanding.
Be truthful and sincere. Be fair and straightforward. Stick to the facts. Share your true feelings.
- PARTNERSHIP AND COMMITMENT:
Cooperate with and help one another. Share responsibilities. Join together for work and play. Honor the bonds you share.
- INTIMACY AND OPEN COMMUNICATION:
Share your deepest feelings and your true nature. Accept one another without judgment or criticism. Trust that by sharing private matters you will strengthen your bond, not make yourself vulnerable.
- NEGOTIATION AND COMPROMISE:
Make decisions that will be satisfactory to both parties. Be clear about your needs and how your partner can help meet them. Be considerate of your partner's needs. Meet each other in the middle. Help meet your own needs.
Be responsible and dependable. Accept blame when you have done something wrong or hurt someone. Say you are sorry - show you are sorry. Keep your partner informed and connected. Keep your promises.
There are a lot of good and decent men out there, probably two thirds of them, but the other third leaves something to be desired.
To help reduce your risk of being in an abusive relationship, keep these points in mind when choosing a man:
14% think physically disciplining "your woman" is acceptable. 25% think wearing sexy or revealing clothing makes a woman partially responsible for rape. 35% admit they would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it. 43% admit forcing a woman to have sex by ignoring her protests and using physical aggression (in other words he forcibly raped her).
- 98.5 percent of mass murderers are men
- 96 percent of pedophiles are men
- 93% of murderers are men, 70% of those murder their romantic partner
- Men are 10 times more likely to commit murder
- 9 out 10 prison inmates are men
- Of women who are murdered, 95% are murdered by husbands, boyfriends or men they have left
- More than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day
- Homicide is the 4th leading cause of death of women between the ages of 15 and 35
- The leading cause of death of pregnant women is homicide
- More than 5,500 women are injured by their husbands or boyfriends every day
- 1 out of every 5 pregnant women is battered
- More than 12,500,000 men in the United States have bought sex with a child
- Every month over 225,000 men in the United States will buy sex with a child
- Given three escalated warnings 47% of callers looking to buy sex with a child are undeterred
- An abuser's primary motivation is power and control
- Men are more likely to abuse and abandon their children
- Men are more likely to not care for their aging parents
- Men score higher on measures of both physical and verbal aggression
- Men score higher on measures of cruelty, hostility, narcissism, self-indulgence and closed-mindedness
- Men score lower on measures of being friendly, being nice, being cooperative, and being agreeable
- Men are more casual about sex while women are more careful
- Attractiveness is more important to men. Wealth and ambition is more attractive to women.
- Men are more sexually attracted to women who look more sexually exploitable, in other words look immature, intoxicated, reckless, promiscuous, eager for attention, unintelligent and young. But men prefer more intelligent women as long term partners.
- 3 out 4 homeless people are men
- Men are more likely to end up at the low end of IQ scores
- Men are more likely to be mentally retarded
- Men die about 5 years earlier than women
The studies that measure the above differences between men and women find the differences to be pretty large.
All of these studies are fully documented by the lecture professors of The Great Courses lecture series The Neuroscience of Everyday Life and Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior by references in their transcripts and course guidebooks, and on the page Sexual Assault, Rape and Abuse Statistics.
Others of the differences are available from the FBI crime statistics and national medical statistics from organizations like the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine.
These are not the little boys in the school yard anymore. These are grown men who are still bullying the other children. They've decided they like the power to control others, to hurt others, and you will be their next victim if you get involved with them.
You don't want one of the above men as a partner in life no matter how exciting he may seem to be at the time. You will not be able to fix him with your love and he isn't worthy of it. You deserve much better and you'll be a lot safer and a lot less bruised choosing someone else. There are a lot of good men out there.
So it's Simply Good Advice to Choose Your Man Carefully! (This advice does not mean a woman is ever deserving or responsible for someone using abuse and violence against her, or of someone raping her. Rape is never justified, EVER! Use of violence is only justified in self-defense.
Even if a woman makes a poor choice she still NEVER deserves abuse and violence and she is not responsible for it.)
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Chose Your man Carefully is Really Good Advice. In fact both women and men should always choose their relationship partners carefully. Anything from a one night stand to a romantic relationship can have dire consequences if you choose the wrong person. He or she can seem like a lot fun and exciting to be with, but watch closely at how the person treats you.
If you see any of the warning signs of domestic abuse at all, find someone else! And if he or she uses any physical violence ever, leave even quicker! Those signs of an abusive person almost never get better with time unless the person gets professional help.
Almost always they get worse with time as the person works their way into your affection. Most of us are not qualified fix such persons.
Loving him or her will not fix the person, your love will be used against you, and only used as a means of power over you. Loving them doesn't fix them, it only empowers them.
That person doesn't love you no matter what the person says. That person loves their power over you, which is a whole different thing, and not something that will ever return any real love to you or bring you any happiness.