Characteristics of an Abuser

  • Jealousy
  • Controlling behavior
  • Quick involvement
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Isolation of victim
  • Blames others for his problems
  • Cruelty to animals or children
  • “Playful” use of force during sex
  • Verbal abuse
  • Rigid sex roles
  • Jekyll and Hyde type personality
  • History of past battering
  • Threats of violence
  • Breaking or striking objects
  • Objectification of women
  • Tight control over finances
  • Minimization of the violence
  • Manipulation through guilt

People who batter: minimize the seriousness of their violence, deny the abuse, blame the victim, need to control people and situations and mostly express feelings as anger.


The batterer is responsible for every act of abuse he/she chooses to commit. Most batterers are male, but most men are NOT batterers. Battering does occur in same sex relationships. Battering also occurs in an estimated range of 3-7% of heterosexual relationships with a female batterer.
ACADV: Empowering Victims through Emphathy, Advocacy and Partnership, 2012