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What traits do abusers have in common?

Domestic abusers in Florida can be hard to recognize. They tend to behave much better in public and around casual acquaintances. People outside the relationship often find them to be nice, pleasant or charming. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, only 10% of people who commit domestic violence have criminal records, and most only pose a threat to their intimate partners. Even if you are the one experiencing the abuse, it can be difficult to recognize a partner's behavior for what it is. This is because there is a psychological component to the abuse that causes you to doubt the evidence of your senses. 

Abusers are also difficult to recognize because they do not share one typical personality. However, they do tend to exhibit recognizable patterns of behavior. The following are traits that domestic abusers tend to have in common. 

1. Low self-esteem

The domestic abuser often feels ineffectual and inadequate even if, to the outside world, he or she may appear successful. A feeling of powerlessness can lead to abusive behavior as the individual hungers to exert control over some aspect of his or her life. 

2. Externalization

The individual rarely, if ever, takes responsibility for his or her actions. Instead, he or she blames the behavior on external factors: drugs or alcohol, stress, a bad day, etc. When an abuser tries to make the person on the receiving end responsible for the domestic violence, he or she is engaging in victim-blaming. 

3. Objectification

Domestic abuse may involve treating you, as an intimate partner, or your children as property rather than people. 

4. Minimalizing

A domestic abuser may downplay the effect that his or her behavior has on others in close proximity. For example, he or she may say things like, "Stop crying; it did not hurt that badly!"

Traits that domestic abusers do not necessarily have in common are externals, such as culture, economic level, race, religion or gender. People from all different groups and backgrounds can potentially become abusers. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.


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