Types of Abusers and Their Characteristics

One of the most difficult and painful situations that a person can go through is suffering constant abuse, whether physical or psychological. Unfortunately, despite the progress that we are making in society in terms of gender equality, there are still a large number of cases of gender violence , which although there are also cases in which violence against women is exercised men, the vast majority occur from men to women.

Over the years this global phenomenon has been studied and continues to be made, psychology has been in charge of investigating more and more in it and has found that there are certain patterns of behavior in abusers that, without a doubt, it is worth knowing for identify them. In this article on Psychology: types of abusers and their characteristics , we are going to explain in detail everything you need to know about the behavior pattern of an abuser in order for you to learn to identify it more easily.

Types of abusers

It has been found that there are 3 types of abusers and one of the criteria that has been used to classify them is the presence of mental health problems, so the conclusion reached according to some researchers was the following:

  • Batterers who exert violence in the family. These are domestic abusers who only exercise violence at home and who are considered to be less deviant, since, unlike others, they have a lower level of impulsivity, consumption of harmful substances (drugs and alcohol) and delinquency. They are men who in their childhood were exposed to violence and aggression and who have problems relating to other people, since they lack social skills. Generally, their relationships are usually more or less stable and, unlike other abusers, they experience guilt and remorse after having attacked their partner.
  • Borderline / dysphoric abuser. These types of abusers usually carry out violent acts towards their partner in a moderate to severe way. Unlike domestic abusers, they are people who have a personality disorderbecause they have many emotional problems, which causes them to have poor impulse control that can manifest itself in jealousy and anger. The emotional problems that these present surely come from their childhood, since they show to have a history of rejection from their parents, they have also suffered from child abuse and, therefore, they are people who lack social skills, they are hostile towards women and at the same time dependent. Unlike the domestic abuser, this type of abuser shows a low level of guilt and regret after having exercised violence against their partner.
  • Mostly violent / antisocial abusers. These types of abusers are those who show a greater degree of pathology, they exercise moderate to severe violence and this can be both physical, emotional and / or sexual. Most of these abusers have been victims of violence in their childhood by their family and, normally, they have a history of delinquency. They are men who, like the other two types of abusers, also lack social skills and, unlike them, really justify their violent acts in the wrong way. It is common for this type of abusers to present cases of narcissism and antisocial personality disorder.

Characteristics of abusers: psychological profile

There are a series of characteristics that abusers generally have, although it is necessary to mention that obviously everything depends on the individual case of each person and some of them may not exactly meet all these characteristics. Now that you know the main types of abusers, we offer you the characteristics that define them:


They are usually extremely insecure people who like to have everything under control and cannot stand that things do not happen as they had planned since this unbalances them. Apart from having little confidence in themselves, they also tend to be extremely distrustful of others and everything around them. Sometimes, these types of insecure people are difficult to identify because they show excessive self-confidence, which makes them look conceited and pedantic and it seems that they feel superior to others. All this they do with the desire to hide the great emotional insecurity that they have towards themselves and due to the fear that causes them that others perceive it and want to take advantage of them.


Aggressive people are sometimes difficult to detect because they do not usually show their aggressiveness with people who are within their social circle. So they tend to only show their aggressiveness in their most intimate and trusted circle such as their family (partner, children or parents). This aggressiveness is characterized by starting so gradually that it sometimes goes unnoticed.. Generally, abusers begin by exercising violence verbally, so they can start by making small comments that seem insignificant towards their partner, such as: “today we are not going out because you did not dress well for me”, “your ideas are always stupid ”,“ You never do things right ”, etc. and thus, each time the contempt increases its level until it reaches insults and finally physical violence.

It seems that at some point this aggressiveness that they manifest has disappeared since the abuser (when the woman obeys him and makes an effort to keep him happy) as a reward for it, usually behaves in a kind and loving way, which makes her feel confused and think that has truly changed. However, when least expected, the abuser returns to violence.

Not being responsible for their actions

Batterers generally tend not to deal with their own problems and blame others to remove responsibility. That is, they do not recognize, for example, when they have made a mistake, nor do they recognize that the discomfort they may be experiencing is because of themselves and their actions. So they prefer to blame everything that happens , in this case their partner, and try to make her feel as if the mistake was really made by her.

More characteristics of an abuser

The abuse in the couple has many faces, below, we show you more characteristics that are part of the profile of an abuser :

  • Jealousy. These are men who are extremely possessive and manifest exaggerated pathological jealousy. This happens due to the great lack of security in themselves that they manifest and their enormous desire to have everything under control and of course also their partner. They do not let their partner make their own decisions and they think that the things that their partner does without their consent is a lack of respect towards him. On many occasions the abusers justify themselves towards the woman for showing this type of behavior, using the pretext that they are the ones who should protect her.
  • Possession. Abusers try to have control over their partner all the time since they feel that their role in the relationship is to do it as "men that they are". So they don't leave their partner alone for a moment, they constantly question her about what she is doing or not doing, they call her to find out what she is doing at all times and where she is, they tend to check her phone or without their consent to know who they are in contact with, they do not stop inquiring into their social networks, etc. Another behavior that they often have is trying to distance their partner from important people in their life such as their family and friends, speaking badly of them, giving them false ideas to confuse them and that they may think that they do not really love or value them, etc.
  • Destroyer of self-esteem. The abuser is generally a very closed person who is not willing to take into account ideas or points of view other than his own. So it tends, at first in a subtle way to detract from the ideas, actions and beliefs of your partner to the point of humiliating her and making her look ridiculous in front of other people. This causes your partner to lose confidence in herself over time to the point of totally destroying her self-esteem.

This article is merely informative, we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.