The Signs of Abuse

This page was last updated on Thursday, February 20, 2014

Protect Your Rights

When government established the Social Security Administration in 1935, many people did not want it to be involved in other matters. So the Social Security Card had this notice, ĎFOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND TAX PURPOSES - NOT FOR IDENTIFICATIONí. This is not true today. The Social Security Number is now required identification for driverís licenses, bank and financial accounts, voter registration, and other activities that often lead to identity theft. A notary is a public officer who attests or certifies writings or recordings. An affidavit is a written statement made under an oath and the law authorizes notaries to certify most written statements and other types of recordings. In some jurisdictions, the law requires that a person who attests to an affidavit must also provide their thumb or finger prints.

Economic abuse in a family occurs when a spouse controls the other spouseís separate money. This is why each spouse should have their own savings account, checking account, and credit cards in their own name. Joint accounts are different because both spouses have access to the account and both are jointly and severally (separately) responsible for those accounts. This means that if one spouse runs up an account, the other spouse is equally responsible for paying it off. So never establish a joint bank, checking, or credit account because your spouse could run up the bills and take your savings and your money.

One of several major complaints among husbands is that their wife always seems to know when to run up the joint debt when he is trying to retire it. So a person might publish a public notice that declares that they are responsible for no other debts but their own. One feature about joint marital credit accounts is that a spouse can pay the debt and close the account without telling the other spouse. This is another reason for not having a joint account because sometimes the identity thief is your spouse or partner. So a person could declare that they are only responsible for those debts that they have personally incurred.

Banks and creditors may not like this because they are interested in making money and they do not care how they get it. This is why these institutions love persons who steal from their spouses, because they always get paid. So the notice is this, I am not responsible for any debts other than those that are solely my own. The problem is that this might not work in community property states. The general rule is that when a person has not signed the contract, they are not responsible for the debt.

Keep and Maintain Inventory and Property Records - One sign of abuse is the theft, concealment, or destruction of another's property. So keep records of employment, bank accounts, lease agreements, mortgages, property titles, and personal property. This inventory will be useful in matters such as fire, theft, and natural disasters. So make a photo and written inventory of all of your property. The inventory should characterize each item as the husband's separate property, or the wife's separate property, joint property, or marital property.

Be sure to include the manufacturer's name, model number, and serial number. Each item's description should include the date of acquisition, value at the time of acquisition, or the appraised value, and how the owner realized the item: a gift, purchase, etc. Include sales slips and appraisal documents with the listings. Make several copies (at least three) of the inventory and keep the listings at several different save locations. Some localities may offer confidential recording and storage services.

The Importance of Child Identification Cards - Each child must know how to protect them selves and where can they go to safe place. Give each child a plastic laminated medical and identification card. This card should have the child's name, age, gender, address. It should also have the parentís names, list the child's medical conditions, and who to call in an emergency. A recent photograph and fingerprint are also helpful. This service may be available in some localities. These services may be available from Postal Instant Press (PIP) and the UPS stores. Many also include the services of a Notary Public.

Mental Disorders - Many factors can affect behavior in men and women. These factors can range from allergies and other medical conditions to mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. Most of us do have the training to deal with these conditions. However, many of us know abnormal or dangerous behavior when we see it in others.  Each spouse has a duty to protect the other spouse who may have a mental or personality disorder. Many health insurance plans now provide coverage for treatment of these disorders. Each state has provisions regarding persons who are, or could be, a danger to their self or others. The California Welfare and Institutions Code 5201 says that "Any individual may apply to the person or agency designated by the county for a petition alleging that there is in the county a person who is, as a result of mental disorder a danger to others, or to himself, or is gravely disabled, and requesting that an evaluation of the person's condition be made [sic]"

Personality Disorders - US Mental health authorities recognize ten personality disorders with considerable overlap between them. Diagnosis is by the exclusion comparable disorders. Many feel that five of these disorders (Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic, and Paranoid) play a significant role in abusive relationships. For an example, a common trait in narcissists is that they lie, take advantage of others to achieve their own end, and their public and private dispositions are very different. So some therapists might not recognize a narcissist. Narcissists rarely seek treatment. They believe that they are always right and so are extremely resistant to treatment. Persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be very abusive and violent. According to available literature, about 2 percent of the adult population, mostly young women, has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a serious mental disorder. People with BPD have trouble controlling their emotions and have a high rate of self-inflicted injury.

Lying - The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic violence as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and psychological abuse. However, it avoids lying as a conduit to abuse. Apparently, women lie far more often than men about important matters and perhaps that is why the government does not include those women in their statistics.


Pay Attention to That First Sign

The one first signs that men notice are the sense of foreboding. However, other men report that the relationship with their spouse or partner was normal and uneventful until one day when she became arrogant, selfish, argumentative, and mean. Some men have reported their spouse's or partner's behavior changed abruptly after the first incident of abusive behavior. Others said that the behavior of their spouse or partner gradually changed for the worse over time. Women have reported similar behaviors in male spouses and female partners.

The following table shows some behavioral traits of an abusive person. Most abusive individuals exhibit three or more of these behavioral traits and they are repetitive. All of the following behaviors, especially in combination with others in the table, are cause to end your relationship with your spouse or partner. A numeral in the upper left corner of some blocks refers to additional information. These notes are at the end of the table.


Behavioral Traits of an Abuser
(1) argues in front of a child (1) uses a child as a human shield (1) throws things at you, anyone, or anything (2) false or self-inflicted injuries
(2) unsuccessful suicide attempts (2) threatens suicide (3) bruises easily (4) abuses blood thinners
(5) Blames you for their own behavior (5) ascribes their own conduct to you (6) false child abuse charges (6) false spousal  abuse charges
(7) illicit affairs  - false accusations of adultery (8) cruel, bestial or sadistic


(9) finger pointing and insolence (10) economic abuse - forges your signature
constant nagging or yammering


repeated questioning exaggerated sense of entitlement initiates unwanted sexual advances
disparages you, your relatives, and your friends
attempts or does isolate you from family and friends repetitively calls you at your place of work tries to ruin your employment by spreading false rumors
forges or alters papers has you falsely arrested causes you to be chronically late prevents you from sleeping
violates your privacy and meddles in your private matters intercepts, steals, or opens your mail withholds or hides your possessions or medications steals or destroys your possessions
locks you out of your home tracks your mileage, time, and money steals from your private money and accounts forges your signature on papers
contrasting public and private behavior kills or tortures pets treats you as a slave denies their own abusive behavior
coercion by threats or action threatens to leave or orders you to leave uses others to assault or batter you threatens to call police if you do not obey
repeated attacks on your sense of worth chronic rage or anger stalking pouts and sulks when they don't get their way.
melodramatic or public scenes seeks to control everything and everyone engages in melodramatic behavior Possessiveness,
chronic lying and guile
hostile and erratic mood swings chronic binges on food uses several names, ages, or birthdays frequent and inappropriate displays of anger
causes physical and emotional battery causes public humiliation often threatens to get their own way falsely applies for a restraining order
possessiveness embarrassing public behavior selfish and arrogant, lacking genuine remorse hostility while in any form of transportation


Table Notes

1. The rule in parental relationships is: Never argue in the presence of children.  Abusers are typically cowards who initiate arguments while using a child as a human shield.

2. Report false or self-inflicted injures immediately to mental health agencies and local officials. These behaviors may be a sign of a very serious mental or personality disorder.  False or self-inflicted injuries are a common ploy in domestic violence and divorce proceedings.

3. Some persons bruise or bleed more easily than others.  The cause of this phenomenon involves, genetics, gender, body build, age, and occupation.  A classic hereditary condition is hemophilia that mostly affects males where the slightest bump or cut can lead to massive bruising or bleeding.  Frail and older persons may exhibit this observable feature due to the thinness of their skin. There are other disorders that cause excessive bruising or bleeding.  This why that those who exhibit these symptoms should see a physician.

4. Most pharmaceutical companies warn consumers about the possible side effects arising from the use of their product alone or in combination with other products.  Abuse of analgesics and anti-inflammatories (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), gastric acid reducers (cimetidine, ranitidine), ethanol, heroin, cocaine, and anticoagulants (coumadin, warfarin) can be the true cause of bruising or bleeding, especially in the context of domestic violence or divorce. 

5. Projection is a well established psychological phenomena. It is the unconscious act of ascribing one's own acts, ideas, or impulses to others especially when they are undesirable or cause anxiety.  Seek help when your partner exhibits this trait.  The willful act of ascribing one's own behavior, ideas, or impulses to the other partner is a form of abuse and it is not projection.

6. False charges of child abuse and spousal abuse are very common and are often used as a ploy to redirect attention away from the accuser's criminal activity. Finger pointing is a gesture that is often used by those to imply guilt to deflect blame from them. In spousal abuse, any person would deny that they abused their spouse though they did.  However, an innocent person would be more likely to deny that they abused their spouse if they never did. So the refusal of a female accuser to appear in court is a sign of her guilt.  The problem is that very few women are ever punished for lying about abuse, rape, or false claims of sexual child abuse.

7. Illicit sexual affairs are usually demonstrations of dominance, especially in marriage. So if your spouse or partner continues to raise trivial matters of a sexual nature, then they are probably involved in a sexual affair - cheating.

8. Sadism includes the infliction or watching the infliction of abuse for sexual gratification. It is often characterized by insatiable cruelty, self indulgence, and sexual delight.  More recent studies (2010) have shown that some women are sexually aroused when they see men being physically or sexually abused by women.

9. Finger-pointing is often used to attribute guilt when the accuser cannot prove guilt. For an example, she pointed her finger at him and said that he acted like a guilty man and he does as a guilty man. This contrived gesture diverts attention from herself and so it is another form of shifting guilt.

10. Economic abuse includes stealing money and other valuables, forging checks and other negotiable papers that are in your name, and assuming your identity. Forging a spouse's signature is a serious crime that is often ignored until your checks bounce or your credit accounts are over their limit. The problem is that the local district attorney can prosecute you for your spouseís overdrafts so this is why you should never have joint credit and bank accounts.

We all experience a wide range of emotions but abusive women use their moods, impulses, fury, and assault to get their own way and to control family members. These women revel in the unrest they create. Your sense of worth and of having rights and choices can become eroded by constant abuse. Remember that all forms of abuse, especially threats, affect the target's emotional state and those threats can be as devastating as physical abuse. Many studies depicting abuse in public have revealed that most would ignore a female who is battering a man. However, they are more likely to intervene when a man is defending himself in obvious defense.

Gaslight and Psychological Dependency

Many victims have become so conditioned to the tormenter's behavior and personality that they cannot function without the abusing party. Tormenters often engage in psychological warfare to confuse thinking and undermine the self-worth of their victims. They can force their victims to admit to something they did not do or did not happen. The effect is so profound, the victim comes to believe in the truth of their false admission and often experiences anguish and seeks the tormenter's  forgiveness. Persons trapped in these relationships have become dependent upon the abuser and are unable to leave the abusive relationship. A classic example of this phenomena is depicted in the motion picture Gaslight.

As a young girl, Paula lived with her aunt Alice Alquist, a famous entertainer.  One day, Paula discovered her aunt's murdered body and the police failed to find the killer. Paula inherited her aunt's estate, including the home, and went away to school. The story begins ten years later when Paula meets Gregory Anton, a charming smooth manipulator. They marry and go to live in Paula's home in London. Anton controls the money and the household and increasingly isolates her.  He blames her for taking or losing items in a plot contrived by him. He presents himself to others as the caring, loving husband of a chronically ill and hysterical wife while he deviously drives her to the edge of insanity. Paula's plight comes to the attention of a sympathetic Scotland Yard inspector who recalled Paula and admired her aunt. The rest of the story unfolds in a classic case of spousal abuse by projection and self-gratification.  See the motion picture, Gaslight, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1944).  Based Upon The Play by Patrick Hamilton.

The Stockholm Syndrome

In 1973, a gang attempted to rob a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. The attempt failed and the bank employees were held hostage by the gang. During the incident, the bank employees developed sympathetic feelings toward their captors. So the Stockholm syndrome is a phenomenon where the victim becomes sympathetic, protective, and emotionally involved with the captors.  Social scientists and other researchers discovered that this co-dependency can exist in other oppressive relationships such as spousal abuse. At some point, the victim becomes emotionally dependent upon the abuser and cannot see their self as an autonomous individual.  Some victims leave an abusive relationship only to return because they cannot emotionally function without the abuser. This can be so enduring that some victims may become abusive and violent.  When a person chooses abuse or is violent toward their partner or spouse, the behavior often causes physical, sexual, or emotional damage. Many who have been exposed to abuse exhibit physical signs of stress and may have one or more anxiety disorders (such as panic attacks). See Medical.

Symptoms of Abuse
afraid to tell anyone ashamed that they failed as a person concerned about further abuse or violence develop skin lesions
experience panic attacks or symptoms of PTSD become dispirited and frustrated feel guilt about leaving their partner believe that they have done something to deserve it
feel that no one will believe them feel sadness or depression feel humiliation or anger worried about the children if they leave
worried about their financial security worry about their home and belongings can not live at home in peace often have meals away from home
endure anxiety
endure depression have distrust of others having a sense of emptiness
intensified vigilance exhibit increased irritability insomnia (sleeplessness)
feel listless loss of appetite loss of sexual desire medical complaints - real and psychosomatic
memory problems nightmares precognition (the perception of an event before it occurs) pseudo (ghost) pains and remembrance
sense of helplessness
social withdrawal shakes or tremors inability to concentrate
recurrent headaches
diarrhea nausea and vomiting amplified senses
amplified startle response unexplained weight gain or loss substance or food dependency resentful of others


These are symptoms of torture and many abusers batter their partner while they are sleeping or otherwise helpless. Many abusers attempt to destroy their target's sense of self-worth. Emotional attacks and attacks on others are just as destructive as physical personal attacks.  Substance abuse is common and should be viewed as a result of unremitting battery or abuse. These are natural and common feelings and responses that people experience in violent or impossible relationships.  According to many Federally-funded women's shelter advocates, a woman's aberrant behavior is always the man's fault. Keep in mind that the uncorroborated word of a female is sufficient information for arrest.  If you decide to leave the scene of her abuse, you could be charged with fleeing the scene of a crime. If you took the children with you, you could be charged with parental kidnaping. Discuss these concerns with your attorney and ask that attorney to draw up papers that protect you from wrongful arrest.

Additional Advice

Do not consult with a marriage or family counselor, especially one who is recommended by your spouse or partner.  There have been many instances where these marriage counselor mills have repeat business with the same person but with another partner.  See a psychiatrist to document the abuse and get help.  Victims of abuse often suffer from depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and panic attacks so, become involved in social activities so you are not isolated. Join a bowling league or pool league or play golf. You might consider putting a smiley face on that golf ball and wacking it to that theological place of eternal turpitude.

Many professionals cannot maintain their objectivity when they suspect that one spouse is abusing the other.  Ask your physician to document your injuries and how you got them. Purchase or rent a miniature audio or video recorder and secretly record her outbursts and never discuss the abuse with mutual friends.  Some people cannot keep a secret and spouses should never use the same attorney.  Have an attorney or paralegal prepare an application for a restraining or protective order so that you can use it at a moment's notice.  Remember that these orders are valid for a limited time.

Keep in mind that the uncorroborated complaint of a female is sufficient grounds for arrest. The double standard is that if a woman leaves, she is treated as a victim.  When a man leaves, regardless of the circumstances, the authorities can charge him with flight from the scene of a crime.   If a woman takes her children with her to a shelter, she is regarded as the protective parent.  Fathers who take their children with them can be charged with parental kidnapping.  Discuss these concerns with your attorney with the purpose of producing a legal paper that protects you from wrongful arrest.

Rent a post box at a private facility for your private personal use and get rid of joint credit or debit cards. Use separate personal credit or debit cards and save emergency money for yourself.  Then open a bank account in your own name at a different bank from that of your spouse or partner. Tell the bank to use your private postal address for all materials and transactions.

Abusers often steal or destroy their partner's possessions. Make a photo and written inventory of all property. Include the manufacturer's name, model number, and serial number. Each item should be described as the husband's separate property, the wife's separate property, joint property, or marital property. The description of the item must include the date of acquisition, value at the time of acquisition, or the appraised value, and how the item was acquired. This can be by inheritance, gift, purchase, or by other means.

Protect the keys and the access codes to your relative's property so that your spouse or partner cannot use or duplicate them.  This advice applies equally to your employer's and your friend's property.  Always return the keys at completion of employment or when your friend returns from their trip or when there is no necessity to retain them.

Keep extra money, keys, clothes, keys, copies of documents in a safe place. These documents include bank accounts, marriage license, driversí license, birth certificates and health cards, immigration and citizenship papers, passports, and other important information in a save location. Try to avoid public storage as it might not be readily available when you need it.  Plan for emergencies and you may need transportation or have to rely on a trusted friend or relative.

Children must know how to protect themselves and where they can go to safe place. Give them a plastic laminated medical and identification card. The card should have childrenís name, age, gender, address, the names of the child's siblings, your name, your spouse's name, and list any medical conditions. A recent photograph is also helpful. This service may be available in some localities.  Give each child a cue card telling them to call 911 in an emergency. The card should include the child's name, address, telephone number, physician, current medications, allergies, and the name and location of a trusted person to contact in case of an emergency.  This service may be available in some localities.

Remember that prosecutors do not have to prosecute persons who have committed a crime. This process is known as abuse of discretion. Likewise, the police do not have to promise that their reports are true. For an example, a woman may falsely claim that her husband had abused her but witnesses say that she abused him. However, the prosecutor can file charges against him and let her go free and that is an example of abuse of discretion.

Spouses or other opposing litigants should not use the same attorney. Have an attorney or paralegal prepare an application for a protective order so it can be use at a moment's notice. Remember that these orders are valid for a limited time. Keep in mind that the uncorroborated complaint of a female is sufficient grounds for arrest. The double standard is that if a woman claims abuse, the authorities treat her as a victim. If a woman takes her children with her to a shelter, they regard her as the protective parent.

When a man leaves, despite the circumstances, the authorities can charge him with flight from the scene of a crime. Discuss these concerns with your attorney with the purpose of producing a legal paper that protects against wrongful arrest. Avoid mediation and arbitration because nearly always, court appointed evaluators will extensively quote the womanís version of the marital relationship while ignoring that of the man. These evaluators are much like a snake in the grass, they lie and then slither away. Consider adding a cancellation clause to any agreement that you may make and use the services of a public notary.  Tables and statistics cannot grasp the personal degradation experienced and suffered by victims of false allegations and continued abuse. So the first step is to remove the corruption of gender preference from our courts and let the abusers and judges know that their reign of terror and deceit has ended.


Other References

Information on Depression from the National Institute of Mental Health.

United States Department of Justice


Other Information

Personality Disorders.

Gas lighting:

Identity Theft and Spousal Abuse 

Notary Public - A notary is a public officer who certifies writings or recordings.


Information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment ...

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Treatment, and ...

Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -


Edward Steven Nunes


Simplex Sigillum Veri
Simplicity is the sign of truth