All battering is dangerous; one push or shove can quickly escalate to a life-threatening situation. Battering increases in frequency and severity over time. Certain behaviors, actions and words by an abuser, however, indicate particular danger for you. The ACADV wants to help you identify if you are in a risky situation.

Look for These Warning Signs

If you see any of these warning signs in your abuser, you should know that your relationship could become deadly. Please take caution and call the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-650-6522 for immediate help.

5 Red Flags of Abuse

Key Personality Traits of a Domestic Violence Perpetrator

Blames others for his problems

Playfully uses force during sex

Has a history of battering

Objectifies women

Experiences extreme highs and lows

Is hypersensitive

Damages her personal belongings

Makes threats of bodily harm

Minimizes the violence

Displays frightening rage

Cruel to children or pets

Exhibits a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Breaks or strikes objects

Manipulates partner through guilt

Uses physical force

10 Lies Abusers Frequently Tell:

Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Statistics show that more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their home each year. The child’s reaction to a home environment where family violence is present can vary by gender and age. The first step to helping a child experiencing this is to be aware of the potential effects and know the signs.

While individual children will respond differently to a batterer’s behavior, the following are signs that some children may exhibit:


  • Grief for family and personal losses.
  • Guilt and self blame.
  • Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents.
  • Fear of expressing emotions.
  • Extreme separation anxiety.
  • Anger and rage.
  • Depression and feelings of helplessness.
  • Shame and embarrassment.


  • Acting out or withdrawing.
  • Refusing to go to school.
  • Care taking; acting as a parent substitute.
  • Lying to avoid confrontation.
  • Excessive attention seeking.
  • Out of control behavior.
  • Manipulation, dependency, mood swings.


  • Isolation from friends and relatives.
  • Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.
  • Poor anger management and problem solving skills.
  • Excessive social involvement to avoid home.
  • Passivity with peers or bullying.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Inadequate social skill development.
  • Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.


  • Nervous, anxious, short attention span.
  • Frequently ill, tired and lethargic.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • High-risk play.
  • Self abuse.

Children Who Are Exposed to the Abuse of a Parent Are:

  • Affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused.
  • Often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent.
  • At greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.
  • Forced to bear the burden of protecting the “family secret”.

Need More Help?
If you think your child may benefit from a referral to a professional counselor or connecting with a community organization that works with youth, please contact ACADV for more information.

In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse.

Teen dating violence is influenced by how teenagers look at themselves and others. Because teenagers are typically inexperienced with relationships, have “romantic” views of love, and seek independence from parents, dating violence often remains hidden.

Statistics show that one in three adolescents in the U.S. has experienced some type of violence in a dating relationship. In order to build better relationships, young adults need to be educated on domestic and dating violence, understand that they have choices and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.

Young Men May Believe

  • They have the right to “control” their female partners in any way necessary.
  • They should demand intimacy.
  • They may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriends.

Young Women May Believe

  • They are responsible for solving problems in their relationships.
  • Their boyfriend’s jealousy, possessiveness and even physical abuse, is “romantic.”
  • There is no one to ask for help.

Common Signs of Dating Violence

  • Physical signs of injury.
  • Dropping out of school.
  • Failing grades.
  • Indecision.
  • Changes in mood or personality.
  • Use of drugs/alcohol.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Emotional outbursts.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Isolation.

Learn More:
Dating Power and Control Wheel – This visual tool is targeted towards teens and highlights the main branches of sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. It focuses on the two roots of domestic violence: power and control, to explain how to identify these types of behavior.


1 IN 4 MEN

have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner