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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

WARNING SIGN #5: ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER:   An abuser generally has an attitude of self-righteousness, truly believes that he is better than everyone else, and will have no misgivings over telling you this. The abuser will intentionally attack others’ self-esteem, seeking to make them feel bad about themselves, and does this solely to increase his self-esteem. Not surprisingly, he will maintain very rigid, stereotypical sex roles. Eventually, he will refer to you using derogatory female terms, insisting that ‘as a woman, you should know your place.’ He feels you are inferior, and will expect that you...

WARNING SIGN #4: IT’S NOT HIS FAULT:   What do you know about his childhood? Did he experience abuse or neglect? If so, do these experiences continue to have a negative impact him? Having experienced an abusive childhood is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but if he uses his history of abuse as an excuse for his poor attitude or for feeling a general sense of resentment and entitlement, this should be on your radar. Those with a sense of entitlement believe they should receive special treatment or considerations not afforded to others. They have an unjust sense of superiority and assume that...

WARNING SIGN #3: THE GREEN MONSTER:   At first, the jealous behavior doesn’t seem excessive, so there is no immediate red flag warning. You may notice he is uncomfortable with you talking to other men or participating in activities without him, but you think his response is “sweet,” or is proof of his devotion to you. Unfortunately, these minor displays of jealousy are only the beginning for an abuser. The jealousy will increase in intensity as the relationship progresses, and it has the potential to manifest into a lethal attack.  When questioned, an abuser will claim that his possessiveness is a...

WARNING SIGN #2: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE:   Many of us tell a “white lie” in the beginning stages of a relationship. Even in healthy relationships, it is common for one to emphasize their positive qualities and minimize any shortcomings to appear more likable. However, the abuser is blatantly deceptive about himself.  Because it bears such little resemblance to reality, great conscious effort is required to maintain his lies. The abuser is often superficial. He will be preoccupied with acquiring status symbols (car, boat, clothing, etc.) and spend excessive time “perfecting” his image.  He craves attention, praise and reassurance; appears be overly-confident...

WARNING SIGN #1: TOO MUCH TOO SOON:   An abuser will claim to be head over heels for you, having fallen in love “at first sight” and believe you are soul mates. He may compare you to his ex, claiming that he has never loved anyone as much as he loves you. He might pressure you into engaging in sex before you are ready.  He will fail to respect your boundaries because you are “made for each other.” Initially his professions of love are flattering and extremely romantic, but in reality, these sentiments are used to cloud your judgment and gain your...

Recognize the potential for domestic violence BEFORE it happens. Abusers display certain behavior traits that can serve as warning signs of their potential to become violent.  It is rare for an abuser to show these traits in the beginning stages of a relationship, but they are incapable of maintaining that control long-term.  Once the abuser becomes comfortable in a relationship, the unhealthy behaviors increasingly show themselves.  It is important to acknowledge your fears and/or concerns over your partner’s unhealthy behavior.  Trust your instincts!  Learn the following traits of an abuser to protect yourself.  Teach them to your teens as they...

If you are concerned that your own behaviors may be unhealthy or abusive towards your partner, you too can get help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799- 7233) can refer you to programs and services to help prevent violence. The operators are always impartial, empathetic, willing to listen and withhold judgment. They can help you identify unhealthy behaviors in your relationship and brainstorm healthy alternatives for those behaviors.   Victims of domestic violence need a plan for safety, beginning with knowing what to do when a violent incident occurs. Try to keep away from rooms containing dangerous objects (kitchens, bathrooms) and know...

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. If you see something, say something. Incidents of battery are rarely isolated and usually increase in frequency and intensity over time. Between 30% and 60% of abusers who target their spouse or partners also abuse their children. If you are a neighbor of a household that you believe may be experiencing domestic violence, please do not turn a blind eye. Being ready to witness and call the authorities when appropriate could save a life.   If you suspect that a friend or co-worker may...

Domestic abuse isn't always physical. Men, women and children can be abused verbally or emotionally and the consequences of these types of abuse can be just as devastating as physical violence. Emotional or psychological abuse is meant to control the victim. The abuser will belittle, degrade and humiliate the victim in order to exercise more complete control. This often includes withholding access to a car or to money, for example.   An abuser will often attempt to isolate their victim, restricting access to friends and family, or denying them the ability to go out in public without the abuser. This increases the...

Domestic violence is an issue that touches millions of lives every year. In the coming days, Tessmer Law Firm will provide tips and information on this important subject, beginning with some facts:   1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States - more than car accidents, rape and muggings combined. About 4,000 women die each year as a result of domestic violence. 1 in 3 abused children will become abusers themselves. On average, a woman will leave an...