Profile of an abuser

2013-06-01 10:59

It is estimated that one in every four women is assaulted by an intimate partner every week, that one adult woman out of every six is assaulted by her partner, and that in at least 46% of these cases, the men involved also abuse the woman’s children. South Africa has one of the highest incidences of domestic violence in the world. And, sadly, domestic violence is the most common and widespread human rights abuse in South Africa.

From 5 April 2013 to 12 April 2013, the members arrested a total of 347 suspects for sexual related offences including kidnapping, assaults, domestic violence, sexual assault, robbery, abduction and rape cases in the province. These 347 suspects were arrested for sexual related cases that were reported from 5 April this year.

Every day, women are murdered, physically and sexually assaulted, threatened, and humiliated by their partners, within their own homes.

These are estimates submitted by the 16 days of activism against domestic violence in 2012.

    One out of every six women in South Africa is regularly assaulted by her partner.

    More than 56 000 rapes and sexual offences were reported in South Africa in the 2010 financial year. This equates to 154 reported sexual offences each day. It is conservatively estimated that only one in ten sexual offences are reported, due to a lack of faith in the system.

    The available data also indicates that incidents of domestic violence, in which especially women are victims, are increasing.

    A recent survey conducted in Gauteng found that half the women living in Gauteng 51.3% have experienced abuse or violence, and 75.5% of men admitted to perpetrating abuse or violence against women. The same study found that one in four women had experienced sexual violence, and 37.4% of men disclosed perpetrating sexual violence

According to USA statistics 92% of domestic abusers are men.

      The first thing to know about any abuser is that he is a normal man. There is nothing unusual about him, nothing to indicate he is an abuser.

Every abuser believes he has a right to control a woman. Their need to control is far greater than his capacity for love of the woman or the children.

Abusers don't forget about their abuse, they just deny it.

Abusers minimise the impact and effect of their abuse. They make it less than it is which makes us feel that we are over reacting.

Abusers blame their partner for their abuse. They may blame alcohol, drugs, their parents, their job anything but themselves to justify their behaviour.

Abusers tend to associate with other abusive men. They invite support for their abuse from other people.

Beliefs of AbusersAnger causes violence!

      Women are manipulative!

If I don't control her, she'll control me!

Smashing things isn't abusive, it's venting!

Sometimes there's no alternative to violence!

Women are just as abusive as men!

Women want to be dominated by men!

Somebody has to be in charge!

Jealousy is natural to men!

Violence is a breakdown in communications!

Men can't change if women won't!

Just how dangerous is he?

      If he threatens to kill you, himself, your family, accept the fact that if he gets desperate enough, he just might.

Does he ever fantasize or ‘joke’ about killing you, himself or a family member? The more often he fantasizes or the more evolved and thought out the fantasy is, the more likely he is to act it out.

Is he depressed? If he becomes acutely depressed, to the point he feels there is no point in living (for anyone) Watch out!

Is he a drug user? If he gets drunk or high and then starts to fantasize about killing, he is more likely to do it.

How is his temper? Does he fly off into terrifying rages?

Does he have a gun or other weapon? Has he threatened to use it against you? Access to a weapon while drunk, high or simply enraged could prove lethal.

Is he obsessively jealous or controlling? Does he view you as his property? This kind of person will not let go easily and is likely to harass, stalk and threaten you after you have left.

Is he cruel to pets, siblings? If so consider he feels it’s OK to abuser those he deems weaker than himself. That includes you.

Some immediate causes that can set off a bout of domestic abuse are:


      provocation by the intimate partner

      economic hardship, such as prolonged unemployment





What can you do if you are abused?

Domestic violence is regulated by the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998. The Act was introduced in 1998 with the purpose of affording women protection from domestic violence by creating obligations on law enforcement bodies, such as the South African Police Services, to protect victims as far as possible. The Act attempts to provide victims of domestic violence with an accessible legal instrument with which to prevent further abuses taking place within their domestic relationships. The Act recognises that domestic violence is a serious crime against our society, and extends the definition of domestic violence to include not only married women and their children, but also unmarried women who are involved in relationships or living with their partners, people in same-sex relationships, mothers and their sons, and other people who share a living space.

A protection order, also called a restraining order or domestic violence interdict is a court order which tells an abuser to stop the abuse and sets certain conditions preventing the abuser from harassing or abusing you again. It may also help ensure that the abuser continue to pay rent or a bond or interim maintenance. The protection order may also prevent the person from getting help from any other person to commit such acts. Victims may also file a criminal charge in addition to obtaining a protection order and get a court order to have the perpetrator’s gun removed, if applicable. Other remedies may also be available, depending on the exact nature of the abuse.

A restraining order can be applied for at your local magistrate’s court.

Important Numbers:

Women Abuse Helpline: 0800 150 150

Childline: 0800 055 555

SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10111


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