Written By: Robert R. Cassman, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
A “batterer” is someone who batters or assaults another person. In this context, we are speaking of abusers. These abusers are overwhelming male. In addition to that, we know quite a bit more about them. Below are some common traits of abusers. A specific one may not be proof of a batterer but taken together they paint a pretty accurate picture of a batterer.
Batterers are very controlling.
Abusers do not like their partner going places without them or being “late.” They tend to interrogate the partner as to where she has been, how much money she spent etc. The abuser doesn’t like the partner to make decisions for herself and especially for the couple. The abuser will keep the money and block access to it and can even insist on the partner obtaining permission to leave the house.
Abusers tend to have a dual personality. They tend to appear one way in front of others and a totally different way at home or in the car. Dramatic mood swings are so prevalent and come with such violent consequences that the victim is scared even when the “good side” is being shown. The victim is unsure which version of the abuser will she get. They are like actors who have fooled everyone. When the victim attempts to tell someone about the bad side of the abuser, people tend to not believe it as they have only ever seen the “good” side.
Batters are allergic to responsibility. They simply can’t take responsibility for anything. Even when there is an apology there are strings attached. They will say things like “Why did you make me do that?” or “you know how jealous you make me.” In their minds, for them to continue to abuse, they cannot be responsible.
Batterers like to say that they love the victim so much so that’s why they get jealous. But this jealousy is more of a sign of possessing the victim than of anything else. The batterer does not trust his partner and believes she will have an affair at the first given opportunity. It is very dangerous for the woman to have any contact with another male if she is in an abusive relationship.
Threats of suicide or homicide
Abusers, will they feel they are losing control of the relationship and will threaten to kill the partner or someone she cares about (this can even be the pet.) They will also threaten to kill themselves if she leaves. The abuser is attempting to control her through psychological terror. Because she cares about him, the abuser will use this care against her and threaten suicide.