This topic strikes a very strong cord for me, I was physically, emotionally, and mentally abused as a child, and earlier this year I was raped. I have seen my family be abused, I have seen friend’s, classmates, teachers be abused and felt helpless to stop it.
Today I want to spread Dear Abby’s “15 warning signs of an abuser” in the hope that it can help other’s spot it, and either get out of it, or help other’s escape, before it is too late.
(1) The first sign is that the abuser pushes for quick involvement, pressing for immediate and exclusive commitment.
(2) The abuser is often jealous, excessively possessive, checking your phone, e-mails, keeping you isolated.
(3) The abuser will be controlling, keeping your money, making you ask permission to leave the house.
(4) He/she will expect you to be the perfect everything, meet their every need.
(5) The isolation will become internal and external, with the abuser accusing those who may try to help as “causing trouble.” Even going as far as to take away your phone, car, computer.
(6) He/she will always blame someone else for what goes wrong, they are never at fault.
(7) He/she will make you responsible for their feelings, saying you make them angry or hurt them for disobeying.
(8) He/she is extremely sensitive, constantly complains about the little things, is easily insulted.
(9) The abuser will show an extreme cruelty and/or disregard for animals and children.
(10) He/she gets off on violent sex, finding the idea of rape exciting.
(11) He/she will be verbally abusive, degrading you constantly, turning triumphs into downfalls, cursing, calling you names.
(12) He/she will expect you to serve, obey, and remain at home so they always know where to find you and so you are always at their beck and call.
(13) They can, and often do, switch emotional states on a dime. Sweet talking one second then explosive and violent the next.
(14) They will admit to hitting past partners, but insist it was their fault.
(15) The abuser will make violent threats to you and your life, then shrug it off as normal behavior.
Please, if you see someone being abused, or even suspect it, act on it. Don’t sit by and ignore it, or make excuses that it’s none of your business. We need to take care of each other.
If you feel you are in danger, if you feel threatened at all, please contact someone. Whether it be a friend, family member, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233, http://www.thehotline.org) please reach out. You are not alone.
Together we create change.