Abusers can be hard to identify because at first they can be completely charming. Skilled at gaining people's trust, they often seem approachable, honest, generous, and kind, as they ease into people's lives and hearts. Slowly, though, things start to go terribly wrong. The abusive behavior escalates as the relationship advances, gradually becoming more controlling, demeaning, and aggressive. Only after the victim feels hopelessly trapped does the situation become unbearable.
It is essential not to let positive impressions blind one to a person's behavior as it develops over time.
The list below includes many common behaviors of abusers, thought it does not include the most obvious forms of violence, such as screaming or hitting. An extremely manipulative, predatory abuser might never physically harm a victim. Nonetheless, all behaviors listed here should be considered violent.
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Last updated on Thursday, November 14, 2013.
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