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A Safer Path

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Many people are interested in ways that they can predict whether they are about to become involved with someone that will be physically abusive. Below is a list of behaviors that are seen in abusive personalities; the last four signs are almost always seen in a person who is a batterer. If the person has three or more of the other behaviors, there is a strong potential for physical violence. The more signs they have, the more likely the person is a batterer. In some cases, a batterer may have only a couple of behaviors that can be recognized, but they are very exaggerated (i.e., extreme jealousy over ridiculous things). Initially the abuser will try to explain their behavior as signs of love and concern and you may be flattered at first, but as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe to dominating.


1. Jealousy - An abuser will say this is a sign of love.

2. Controlling Behavior - The abuser will say they're concerned for your safety or your need to make good decisions.

3. Quick Involvement - The abuser may come on like a whirlwind claiming "love at first sight."

4. Unrealistic Expectations - "If you love me, I'm all you need and you're all I need".

5. Isolation - The abuser may try to cut off resources.

6. Blames Others for His or Her Problems - The abuser can't take responsibility for their own actions or mistakes.

7. Blames Others for His or Her Feelings - The abuser will manipulate the victim by blaming them.

8. Hypersensitivity - The abuser is easily insulted.

9. Cruelty to Animals or Children - This person may punish animals brutally or be insensitive to their pain or suffering.

10. "Playful" Use of Force in Sex - The abuser wants to dominate when it comes to sex.

11. Verbal Abuse - In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, the abuser may degrade you and run down your accomplishments.

12. Rigid Sex Roles - He will see women as inferior to men and unable to be a whole person without a man.

13. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - The abuser can be very nice one moment and explode in anger the next.

14. Past Battering - The abuser may admit to being abusive in the past, but will say the victim made them do it.

15. Threats of Violence - This would include any threat of physical force meant to control the victim.

16. Breaking or Striking Objects - This behavior is used as a punishment but is mostly used to terrorize and intimidate the victim into submission.

17. Any Force During an Argument - This may involve an abuser holding the victim down, physically restraining them from leaving the room, pushing and shoving.


If you recognize any of these signs in your relationship, please call for more information.

Signs to look for in a battering personality

Know your rights as a victim

No one deserves to be a victim, but if you find that you are a victim of family violence or an assault, you have rights that you need to know about.


These rights are put in place by the Texas criminal justice system and are used to protect victims of violent crimes.

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If you're a victim of a sexual assault or family violence, call our 24/7 crisis hotline for assistance when you need it the most.

1. The right to PROTECTION from harm and threats of harm, arising from cooperation with peace officers or prosecutors.

2. The right to have your SAFETY and that of your family taken into consideration when bail is set.

3. The right to be INFORMED about court proceedings, including whether they have been canceled or rescheduled.

4. The right to INFORMATION about procedures in criminal investigations.

5. The right to INFORMATION about proceedings in the criminal justice system, including plea-bargaining.

6. The right to TELL a probation department conducting a pre sentencing investigation about the impact of the offense on you and your family.

7. The right to be INFORMED about the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, the payment of certain medical expenses for victims of sexual assault and the availability of social service agencies that may provide assistance.

8. The right to be NOTIFIED about parole proceedings.

9. The right to INCLUDE information in the defendant’s file to be considered by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

10. The right to be PRESENT at all public court proceedings relating to the offense, if the presiding judge approves.


NOTE: Article 56 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures states: “A judge or attorney for the state, peace officer or law enforcement agency is not liable for failure or inability to provide a right enumerated in this article.”

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