Men who batter women come from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. The abuser may be young or old...blue collar, white collar. He might drink or use drugs, or he might not use at all. There is no typical batterer, but, although there is no profile for the abuser, we do find certain behaviors that are common among those men who batter their wives.
Jealousy of the Partner
Men who batter almost always accuse their victims of having sexual relations with others. The slightest little thing is enough to convince them that their partner is having an affair. A car parked across the street...a hang up phone call. His jealousy is totally irrational and may arise from his own insecurities. It's also quite common to find that the batterer has been having his own sexual affairs outside of the home and is projecting his own guilt onto his partner.
This one is pretty much a given. Something so trivial as burning the toast or a piece of dust on the cocktail table can be enough to send him into a rage. Many women have actually been pulled out of their beds and beaten due to some perceived shortcoming.
Control and Isolation of Partner
Batterers will go to any lengths to isolate and control their partner. They refuse to let the victim spend time with family and friends; one woman was not even allowed to go out to the backyard without her husband. When he was working, he would call all the time to check on her...and if she didn't answer, that was just cause for a beating.
A History of Family Violence
This one is a biggie. Many batterers grow up in homes where they or a sibling were physically abused or their mother was. Statistics show that those who have witnessed violence as they were growing up are more likely to become batterers themselves. One study of batterers showed that 75% had seen their father's beat their mothers.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Personality
Many batterers exhibit what could be called 'drastic' personality changes. While much of the time they may be gentle, loving husbands, they suddenly undergo a drastic change where they become an ogre. And, to make it worse, they usually show their loving side to the public while the ogre appears only at home...so when the victim tries to tell about what is going on, others do not believe her.
Verbal as Well as Physical Abuse
The man who verbally abuses his spouse with a barrage of derogatory names such as 'whore', 'stupid bitch' and 'ugly slut'. Some verbal abuse is less obvious such as telling her that she is a sloppy housekeeper, unappealing to anyone but him, a poor excuse for a mother...and on an on. Eventually she accepts his judgment, and her self-esteem slips even lower.