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Who Are The Abusers
Many people think of domestic violence abusers as being out of control, crazy, and unpredictable, the contrary is often true. The violence used by abusers is controlled and manipulative. Domestic violence abusers have been described as having a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality, often experience dramatic mood swings. They may be loving one minute, and spiteful and cruel the next. Abusers are frequently characterized by those outside the home as generous, caring, and good, and behave drastically differently in their home environment.

Anyone can be an abuser. While most abusers are men it is important to remember that women can be abusers too.

While LifeWire does not provide services for abusers, it is important for an abuser to understand that there are steps they can take to diffuse a volatile situation and get help.

Stop the Violence and Get Help
If you're feeling angry toward your partner and you feel frustrated and upset, remember that you have choices. To stop the cycle of violence, get treatment from a specialized treatment provider. Here are some immediate ways to stop the violence.
  1. Leave! Go somewhere safe and peaceful to calm down and collect your thoughts.

  2. Focus on something else: take a brisk walk, listen to music or exercise.

  3. Talk to someone outside of the situation, such as a counselor at a crisis line – tell them that you need to cool down and that it helps to have someone to listen to you.

  4. Tell a friend you trust what you are doing to slow down and cool down.

  5. Remember that alcohol and drugs get in the way of making decisions.

  6. Get help.
If you are in danger or at risk of hurting someone else, call 9-1-1.

If You Know An Abuser
Yes, it is your business. Maybe they're a relative, a friend or a co-worker. You’ve noticed they interrupt their partner, yells or scares them. You hope that when they’re alone, it isn’t worse. What you see makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t want to make them mad or lose their friendship. What can you do? Say something. If you don’t, your silence is the same as saying abuse is okay. They could hurt someone. Because you care, you need to do something … before it is too late.

What Can You Say?
Draw attention to it
  1. “Do you see the effect your bad words have? It makes them feel bad.”

  2. “Did you mean to be so rough? That’s not cool.”
Tell them what you think
  1. “I am really worried about their safety.”

  2. “I am surprised to see you act that way. You’re better than that.”

  3. “I care about you, but I won’t tolerate it if you abuse them.”

  4. “This makes me really uncomfortable. It’s not right.”
Express ideas about loving behavior
  1. Offer suggestions or solutions.

  2. “Loving them doesn’t mean abusing them.”

  3. “Good partners don’t say/do those kinds of things.”

  4. “No one should ever hit or threaten the people they love.”

  5. “Kids learn from their parents. Is this how you want your kids to treat their partners some day? How would you feel if your kids chose someone who acted like this?”

  6. “Call me if you feel like you’re losing control.”

  7. “Maybe you should try counseling.”
If their behavior is criminal, tell them so
  1. “Domestic violence is a crime. You could be arrested for this.”

  2. “You could end up in jail if you don’t find another way to deal with your problems. Then what would happen to you and your family?
Domestic violence is everyone’s business and when we see it, we must step-up to stop the cycle of abuse.

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