Signs of Domestic Abuse (The Abused Woman/The Abusive Man)

The abused woman:

  • Shows guilt, ambivalence, and fear over living conditions.
  • Feels isolated and untrusting of others, even though she may be involved in the community.
  • Is emotionally and economically dependent.
  • Has a poor self-concept (this may not have been true BEFORE the relationship).
  • Has observed other women in her family being abused or may have been abused as a child.
  • Feels angry, embarrassed, and ashamed.
  • Is fearful of being insane.
  • Has learned to feel helpless and feels powerless.
  • Has unexplained injuries that may go untreated.

The abusive man:

  • Shows extreme jealousy and wants to keep the woman isolated.
  • Shows an inability to cope with stress and demonstrates a lack of impulse control. (This may not necessarily appear outside the home)
  • Has a poor self-image and blames others for problems.
  • Shows severe mood swings.
  • May have a history of abuse in his own family and may have been abusive in courtship.
  • Presents a history of personal and/or family discord; abuse of alcohol or other substances, unemployment, cruelty to animals, and other unexplained behavior.

* From the Women’s Rural Advocacy Programs. WRAP is a collective of five offices serving five counties in southwestern Minnesota.