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Recognizing An Abuser

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How does a cute boy who sings with Elmo beat his beautiful and talented girlfriend up?

That’s what abuser can do. That is what abusers can look like.
Cute, talented, charming, innocent and sweet can all describe the one side of an abuser.
Controlling, possessive, jealous and frightening can easily describe the other.

What I want you to know is that abusers cross all ages, sex, class, intelligence, races, gender and orientation. Anyone can be an abuser.
If you are in a relationship or know of someone in a relationship where they are frightened, put down or controlled by their partner then it is time to get help.

If you have witnessed abuse or been abused as a child then you are very likely to either be an abuser or a victim if you do not receive professional help. The desire not to abuse is not enough. Chris Brown spoke out against domestic violence as he had witnessed his mother being abused by his stepfather. He did not likely receive professional help to deal with the trauma of watching that abuse.
I worked in a shelter for abused women so I’ve seen and helped a lot of victims of domestic violence. Violence is a cycle in that no matter how remorseful the abuser is, they will likely repeat the abuse and it will escalate unless they receive help. Cycle of Violence

I am saddened by the increase in abuse among teen, especially ages 11-15 year olds so we need to spread the word about what behavior is acceptable. Digital dating abuse is rampant and we need to equip our children with ways to handle it. Callout cards

Do not wait for physical bruises like we saw in the photos of Rhianna. Emotional bruises can actually be more painful and longer lasting.

Get a Safety Plan and you can start by going to the following websites.


Memorize this 24-hour hotline that everyone should know

1800 799-SAFE

Self Help Books for men that have abused

Learning to Live Without Violence by Daniel Jay Sonkin and Michael Durphy (Volcano Press)

Violence seems so pervasive in our society so everyone needs to take on the responsibility to increase our own safety as well as our loved ones. SPEAK OUT!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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