Sandra Mizell Chaney and Clifton Files will respond to your questions about domestic violence.  At the bottom of the page, please submit your questions and periodically check back here for their responses

Q: What are some of the characteristics of a batterer?

A: There are ways to spot a potential batterer, but often we don’t see the warning signs.  Here is a list of signs to watch for.  Please share these characteristics with friends and family members in dating relationships.

He comes on too strong. Beware of the man who loves you instantly and wants to see you all the time.  He is responding to his own fantasies, not the real you.

He has very traditional ideas about men’s and womens’ roles.Watch out for the man who thinks a woman should stay at home, take care of her husband and follow orders.

He believes in using force or violence to solve problems. If he overreacts to little problems like not being able to find a parking space, that’s a bad sign.  Other signals include throwing things, punching walls, and being cruel to animals when he’s angry.

He thinks poorly of himself. Batterers are insecure people with low self-esteem, but may act tough to cover up these feelings of inferiority.

He is jealous. He keeps tabs on you and wants to know where you are at all times.  He is jealous not only of other men, but also of your friends and family.

He is self-centered. The man who thinks only of fulfilling his own needs is a bad risk.

He has extreme highs and extreme lows in his moods.

He blames others when things don’t work out. Anything bad that happens to him is someone else’s fault.  He will eventually start blaming you when things go wrong.

He is the product of a violent family. Children from violent homes often grow up regarding violence as normal, acceptable behavior.

He behaves badly toward others. Even if he is kind to you know, observe the way he treats others.  The way he functions with the rest of the world may be the way he will ultimately function with you.

He treats you roughly at times. Abuse during dating is a guarantee of later, more violent abuse.  Even playful wrestling or tickling to the point of which you’re frightened or have been hurt, may indicate an abusive nature.  Do not think that marriage will change him for the better…it will almost certainly change him for the worse.

He makes you feel scared, threatened. Are you afraid to break up with him because he might hurt you?  Do you change your life around to keep from making him angry?  If so, you are abused and should seek help.