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Common behaviors of domestic abusers

Domestic violence is pervasive throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country. People who abuse their partners and family members can come from any socioeconomic level, race, culture or religion. To people outside the home, they often appear to be nice and law-abiding. In one study of domestic abusers, 90 percent of them had no criminal record.

Although no single profile describes people who act violently toward others in the home, their behavior reveals their similarities. They often fail to acknowledge the seriousness of their violent behavior and blame it on having a bad day, being drunk or something their partners did. A domestic abuser tends to view a partner as sexual property and holds old-fashioned views about the social roles of men and women.

Abusers direct their actions toward controlling and manipulating their partners. They could display extreme jealousy and take action to isolate partners by harassing the victims at their jobs, humiliating them in public and threatening other family members or pets. Sabotaging birth control represents another warning sign as does forcing a partner to engage in unwanted sex.

People living with domestic violence often need outside help to escape the dangerous situation. Going to an attorney could provide them with information about legal rights. An attorney might organize evidence, like police reports about attacks, pictures of injuries and medical records, and approach a court with a request for a restraining order. If the victim has children, an attorney could take action to pursue sole custody of the children. Evidence about the abuser's violent behavior could be presented in court during a custody dispute to inform the judge of the danger posed to minors.

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