This section talks briefly about some traits and characteristics commonly displayed in an abuser. Although these traits do not apply to each and every single abuser, they do apply to a majority of them.
- An abuser is not always a man
- An abuser is not always the product of an abusive childhood.
- You can not always spot an abuser "from a mile away". In fact, many former victims can tell you that they would have never suspected their abuser until it was already too late.
- An abuser is not restricted to inflicting only physical pain. Most times, the psychological damage far exceeds the physical damage.
- Denial: In many cases, the abuser will act as if nothing happened, in order to excuse his/her behavior. If they do admit their actions, it is always the fault of the victim. They justify their actions by claiming that they were provoked.
- Abusive men and women tend to feel inadequate and depressed.Abusive men and women generally come off to the outsider as arrogant and overly self-confident. This is in fact a defense mechanism they use to hide their dislike for themselves.
- Jealousy and possessiveness: An abuser feels jealous and over-possessive of their victim. They often demand to know their victims whereabouts at all times, get insanely jealous at the slightest hint of someone else getting any of their victims attention, and become very hostile at the thought of losing their "property".
- Domination and emotional attachment: An abuser expects complete attention and support from their girlfriend / boyfriend / wife / husband. Abusers expect and demand complete control and submittance on the part of their victim.
- Inability to understand or recognize their problem: The abuser is often times, if at all, the last person to admit that they have a problem. Abusers commonly do not respond well to counseling because they are unable to understand their anger or confusion.
- Alcohol and drug abuse: Abusers tend to lean towards drugs and/or alcohol as an "escape". However, the effects of the drugs and alcohol make the attacks much more intense. Many interviewed abusers, accused of murder, use alcohol and drugs as their alibi. "I did not know what I was doing" or "I can't remember" are very common excuses.
- Manipulation: Abusers know how and when to make their partner feel guilty. By causing guilt, the victim is more likely to stay and deal with the abuse, rather then feel "responsible" for any harm their abuser might inflict on themselves. Suicide is frequently used as a method of manipulation. Sometimes an abuser will go as far as to cut or cause other forms of harm to themselves in order to keep their victim from leaving.
- Frequent abuser: Many abusers have previous instances of abuse in their pasts. Some might have even been arrested or treated for violent tendencies. However often times their current partner is unaware of these situations.
- Obsessed with weapons: Many abusers are infatuated with weapons. They will collect certain weapons, spend countless hours talking about weapons, and participate in events which give them the power to use weapons.
- Stalking: As an undercover method of maintaining control, an abuser will stalk or follow their partner from a far. Its purpose is to frighten their victim, and to prevent them from taking the initiative to leave. Overall, stalking invokes fear, without the abuser even touching their victim.