Signs of Abuse

  • Jealousy
  • Controlling Behaviors
  • Quick Involvement
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Isolation
  • Blames Others for Problems
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Cruelty to Animals or Children
  • “Playful” Use of Force in Sex
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Rigid Sex Roles
  • Mood Swings
  • Past Battering
  • Threats of Violence
  • Breaking or Striking Objects
  • Any Force During an Argument

Abusive Behaviors

Initially, the batterer will try to explain his behavior as a sign of love and concern, and a person may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behavior becomes more severe and serves to dominate the victim.


At the beginning of a relationship, abusers will say that their jealousy is a sign of love; but actually, it’s a sign of insecurity and possessiveness.

Abusers will question their victims about who they talk to, accuse them of flirting, or will be jealous of the time spent with family, friends, or children.

Controlling Behaviors

At first, abusers will say that these behaviors are a result of concern for their safety, the need to use time well, or the need to make good decisions. Abusers will be angry if their partner is “late” in coming back from an appointment. The victim may not be allowed to make personal decisions about the house, clothing, going to church; abusers may keep all the money or even make the victim ask permission to leave the house or room.

Quick Involvement

Many victims dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. Abusers come on like a whirlwind. They need someone desperately, and will pressure the partner to commit to them.

Unrealistic Expectations

Abusers are very dependent on the victim for all of their needs with the expectation the victim to be the perfect wife, mother, lover, friend. They will say things like “If you love me, I’m all you need – you’re all I need.”


The abuser tries to cut the victim off from all resources. The abuser accuses people who are supportive of “causing trouble.” The abuser may try to keep the victim from working or going to school, using a phone, or car.

Blames Others For Problems

If the abuser is chronically unemployed, it’s someone else’s fault and everyone is out to get them. Mistakes may be made and they blame the partner for upsetting them and keeping them from concentrating on doing their job. Abusers will tell the partner that they are at fault for almost anything that goes wrong.


Abusers are easily insulted, claiming that feelings are “hurt” when they are really, really mad, or they take the slightest setbacks as personal attacks. They will “rant and rave” about the injustice of things that have happened to them.

Cruelty To Animals Or Children

This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain or suffering. The abuser may expect children to be capable of doing things far beyond their ability (hits a two-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease children or young brothers and sisters until they cry.

“Playful” Use of Force in Sex

These people may like to throw their victims down and use force during sex, they may want to act out fantasies during sex where their partners are helpless. They are letting them know that the idea of “rape” excites them. They may show little concern about whether their partners wants to have sex.

Verbal Abuse

In addition to saying things that are cruel and hurtful, abusers degrading their partners, and diminishing any of their accomplishments. Their abusers will tell them that they’re stupid and unable to function without their presence.

Rigid Sex Roles

Abusers expect their victims to serve. They will say that their partners must stay at home, that their partners must obey them – even things criminal in nature. Abusers will see all partners as inferior to them, more stupid, unable to be a whole person without their relationship.

Mood Swings

Many victims are confused by their abusers’ sudden changes in mood and will describe that one minute they’re nice and the next minute they explode. Mood swings are typical of abusers, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics of hypersensitivity.

Past Battering

Abusers may say they have abused partners in the past, but say it was their fault. The victim may hear from the relatives or ex-spouse that the person is abusive. Abusers will beat any partner they are involved with; circumstances do not give a person an abusive personality.

Threats Of Violence

This would include any threat of physical force meant to control the partner. “I’ll kill you”, “I’ll break your neck.” Most abusers do not threaten their mates, but they will try to excuse their behavior by saying, “everybody talks like that.”

Breaking Or Striking Objects

This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize their partners into submission. The abusers may beat on tables with their fists, throw objects around or near their partners.

Any Force During An Argument

This may involve abusers holding partners down, physically restraining them from leaving the room, locking them in a closet, any pushing or shoving.

Human Trafficking

Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking. Human trafficking victims are not limited to any age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, class, or other characteristic.

Here is a link to our page for more information on human trafficking.

Contact My Sister’s House at (916) 930-0626 or if you would like more information about human trafficking. Please complete and return a Speaker Request Form to schedule a free presentation or training about human trafficking.