Domestic Violence and Abuse
Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert
Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine
There is no accurate way to predict who will perpetrate domestic violence and abuse and who won’t. What we do know is that children who have grown up with abusive role models and learned that violence in a relationship is normal have a higher likelihood of becoming perpetrators themselves. And studies show that boys who witness abuse at home are seven times more likely to inflict abuse on others.
Wouldn’t it be great if potential domestic abusers wore a warning sign around their neck? In a sense they do.
As you get to know someone watch out for the following red flags that will help you avoid a potential domestic violence and abuse relationship:
Low self-esteem - tends to belittle others to boost self confidence and feel more powerful
Selfish about getting own physical and emotional needs met
Too possessive - tends to isolate victims or invade their personal space too early in relationships
Involved in conflicts with others, often angry with someone, and/or starting fights
Addicted to drama - derive pleasure from constant chaos
Inappropriately quick to anger
History of using violence in the past and blaming others for causing it to happen
History of criminal offenses or scuffles with the law
Abusive or cruel to animals
Poor or strained relationships with family members
History of problematic romantic relationships
Unmotivated, not working, or not going to school
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If red flags start flying do your homework. Investigate the person's background and acknowledge its truth.
If you miss or ignore the warning signs and get deeper in the relationship, the following behaviors will clearly identify someone as an abuser:
Never takes responsibility for his or her actions
Lashes out at you and then justifies actions by blaming you for creating the problem
Denies his or her mistakes
Insists that what you've seen, heard, or experienced never happened
Is extremely possessive and uncontrollably jealous
Falsely accuses you of flirting with others or cheating
Tells you how to dress and how to act
Monitors your weight and your food intake
Calls your cell phone constantly and/or insists on knowing who you are talking to when you’re on the phone
Has a short fuse, violent temper, and is destructive
Hurts you by destroying things that are personal or sentimental to you
Is selfish and disrespectful
Cheats on you, manipulates you, and lies to you
Insists that you have sex when you don’t want to or in ways that disgust you
Degrades you, calls you names, ignores you or your feelings, tells you you're stupid, and/or tells you to shut up
Accentuates your flaws
Compares you to other partners
Humiliates you in front of other people
Threatens to hurt you, your family, or your pet
Tells you you're wonderful one minute and then berates you shortly after
Say he or she can’t live without you and/or threatens to commit suicide if you leave
If you are being forced to exchange your rights, desires, and freedom of expression for your abuser’s mercy you are not in a relationship and this is not love.
Abuse is abuse; it is not acceptable no matter what the level. And you are not out of danger if you've yet to be physically assaulted. Emotional abuse often leads to physical violence.
Emotional abuse, abuse without battering, is no less damaging than physical abuse. One leaves physical scars, the other leaves emotional scars. One destroys from the outside in, the other destroys from the inside out.
Your situation cannot be compared to the situation of others as being better or worse, especially when it comes to physical violence. The risks of injury and death are the same whether you’ve been physically abused once or ten times. Studies show that abusers who assault once are likely to do it again.
If you recognize yourself as a victim of domestic violence and abuse, your survival is at stake. Don’t wait until you are maimed, killed or pushed to the point of retaliation. You must enlist the help of those you can trust; family, friends, abuse hotlines, or special programs. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has resources and references for everyone so that should be a first step whether you are a man or a woman. The number to call is 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233.
Randi Fine is an internationally renowned narcissistic abuse expert and coach. She is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.