Abusive behavior is ANY act used to hurt or control another person.
Warning Signs:

 Jealousy—partner is suspicious of anyone you talk to or wants to be with you constantly
 Quick Involvement—partner pressures you to date him/her
 Controlling Behaviors—partner tries to decide what you do and who you spend time with
 Isolation—partner discourages you from spending time with your friends and/or family
 Blaming Others—everything that goes wrong is your fault
 Sexual Demands—partner asks you to do things you do not want to do; uses sulking or anger to get you to “give in”
 Verbal Abuse—partner puts you down in front of your friends; makes you feel stupid
 Rigid Sex Roles—partner believes males and females must act certain ways and do certain things
 History of Abuse—partner was violent/abusive to     previous partners
 Threats of Violence—partner breaks, throws, or strikes objects near you in order to frighten you
 Force Used During an Argument—partner yells and curses during an argument in order to scare you into agreeing
Understanding the Problem of Men's Violence Against Women

Violence against women includes wife assault, date rape, sexual harassment, stalking, domineering and controlling behaviors, unwanted sexual advances, demeaning sexist jokes, and murder.
Why does it occur?

Many men are not violent. In fact, a majority of men are not physically violent against women. But we live in a society that raises men to believe that aggression and violence are acceptable forms of self-expression. Young boys are encouraged to demonstrate strength and dominance rather than empathetic, caring, and nurturing attributes – characteristics that are devalued and seen as “feminine”. We forget that the strongest people are the most self-aware and caring ones. Socializing processes teach men to equate masculinity with power and the ability to control others with less power. As a result, some men learn to express their masculinity by using verbal or physical violence against women.
Is violence against women a big problem in the United States?

Violence against women is everywhere. It is the most common crime in our country today. It effects women of all age groups, religions, socio-economic classes, and cultural backgrounds. Studies reveal that:
• One-half of all married women suffer physical abuse from their husbands at least once in their marriage.
• Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten.
• Wife abuse is equally common among upper and lower income families, and slightly more prevalent among middle income families.
• One-fourth of all homicides in the US are between family members and 40% of all women who are murdered die at the hands of their husbands or lovers.
• In Illinois alone, 35,000 children and 20,000 elderly people will be abused or neglected by their families this year.
• Every 15 seconds, a woman is raped.
• Everyday, girls and women experience sexual harassment at school, work, or on the street.
• Eighty percent of the men in America's prisons were abused as children.


Has domestic violence always existed?

Research over the past 100 years tells us there were once many societies with little or no violence against women, violence among men, or violence against children. In fact, half of the tribal societies investigated by anthropologists showed little or no violence. The fact that violence does not occur in all societies tells us that violence among humans is not genetic or biologically necessary, but is the result of the way we set up our societies. Those societies with violence are those in which women are second-class citizens. Where there is equality between men and women, there is little or no violence.

Men's violence against women has its roots in the way we have historically regarded women and men. For about eight to ten thousand years, men in most societies have held positions of privilege, while women have been cast in subservient roles. In effect, women were treated as property. Until this century, women were denied such basic rights as the right to vote, to pursue a career, to own property, and to pursue higher education. Even today, some countries still deny these basic rights to women.
-From Parish Social Ministry, Archdiocese of Chicago 

Abuser Information
Below are some facts about domestic violence and abusers:

• 85% of reported family violence is perpetrated by males on female victims.
• Men can also be victims of domestic violence.
• Most men do not batter their spouses.
• Non-violent men can play an important role in finding solutions to the problem.
• Everyone will benefit from a less-violent school and society.
• They are extremely jealous. 
• May lack the verbal skills required to negotiate non-violent conflict resolution and have poor impulse control and a rigid style of demanding and controlling behaviors.
• Many violent episodes have no clear external antecedents or may be misinterpretation of the partner's behavior.
• Batterers find ways to isolate their spouses and children in order to decrease the likelihood of detection and assurance.
• Male batterers believe men should be “in charge” of women.
• They have low self-esteem


Protect yourself: Living with an abusive partner

• During an argument, or if you feel tension building, avoid areas in your home where weapons might be available - the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or workshop.
• If there are weapons in your household, such as firearms - lock them up!
• If there are weapons in your household such as firearms – lock them up!
• Know where there is a safe exit from your home – a window, elevator or stairwell.
• Discuss the situation with a trusted neighbor if you can. Ask them to call 911 if they hear a disturbance. Find a code word to use with them if you need the police.
• Always keep a packed bag ready.
• Know where you would go to be safe if you have to leave, even if you don’t really think you need to.