(7) Makes Others Responsible For His Or Her Feelings: The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I am angry,” or says, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.”
(8) Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.
(9) Cruelty To Animals Or Children: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partners will also abuse children.
(10) “Playful” Use Of Force During Sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.
(11) Verbal Abuse: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you with relentless verbal abuse.
(12) Rigid Gender Roles: Expects you to serve, obey, remain at home.
(13) Sudden Mood Swings: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.
(14) Past Battering: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person “made” him (or her) do it.
(15) Threats Of Violence: Says things like, “I’ll break your neck” or “I’ll kill you,” and then dismisses them with, “Everybody talks that way,” or “I didn’t really mean it.”
Readers, if you feel you are at risk, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.