Abusive men and why they may become abusers

6 June 2016

All the attempts made by a person(s) to control the behavior of another through improper utilization of power using bonds of relationship, trust, and dependency aimed at making the victim helpless are termed as abuse. Men are widely known to be abusive towards women and children.

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There are several reasons that may lead to a man becoming a perpetrator of violence. Biological and historical factors may make a person to be violent (Stong, 2007). Past experiences from violent surroundings, demographic characteristics such as poor education, age, and financial strains, psychological and personality disorders and substance abuse are all factors that may make a person to be abusive.

Violent relationships either from a family or from friends also tends to create abusive characters. The community where a person is living may also make him/her to be violent if the circumstances are not conducive. These may either be circumstances like lack of employment, existence of illegal arms or high population density.  Societal norms may also develop violent people. Some societies believe that a woman can never be the head of a family and that children are not supposed to have any say in their families (Better health, 2009).

Violent men

There are different types of abuse that men can exhibit either towards women or children. These are: physical abuse which includes hitting, beating, punching, slapping, pulling hair, mutilation, burning, biting, use of weapons and murder. The other one is sexual abuse which ranges from unwanted touches to rape. Verbal abuse is another type of abuse where a person uses derogatory words, threats, insults, and shouts at the other person. Psychological abuse is the case where intimacy, sympathy and emotional care are withdrawn from a relationship.

Financial abuse occurs when someone’s money is stolen, withheld, or some one is restricted from acquiring information about household financial matters (Better health, 2009). The other form of abuse is spiritual abuse, where either a person’s religious beliefs are belittled or the person is completely restricted from attending a religious gathering.

A man can show one of these forms of abuse all exhibit al of them. Abusive men are very difficult to detect and they tend to make a woman think that she is not up to the standard. They also tend to put all the blame for everything that goes wrong in their lives on women. Abused women often portray depression and low self esteem (Better health, 2009).

According to Alexander (2009), in the beginning all relationships are very intimate and turn out to be abusive as time goes by. There are various signs that can be detected from an abusive man. One of them is that, they have a character of telling women that they will change and often pretend how much they love and care order to make a woman stick with them. They are also known to make a lot of empty promises. These men tend to become jealous over all other relationships a woman may be having be it at the workplace, family friends, and other family members.

They tend to continuously accuse their women on cheating with other men.  They always inquire of a woman’s where about in an accusatory way.  Better health, 2009), notes that an abusive man tends to take control of all household business. This man also tends to believe that he is always on the right track and if anything is done contrary to his will, he becomes verbally or physically abusive. An abusive man also tends to blame anything that he does and goes wrong on a woman. An abusive man manipulates the thinking of a woman making her believe that, it’s her fault that he is abusive.

They also make a woman think that they can’t help being abusive, leaving the woman with nothing but feeling sorry for him. Abusive men have uncontrollable mood swings that range from offensive to remorseful and caring after they have abused a woman. The actions of an offensive man never match with his words. He is ford of making and breaking promises. Abusive men have no respect for a woman. They regard all women as a punching object to cool their tempers on. Considering the history of an abusive man he has very many cases of abuse either directed to a woman or an animal (Alexander, 2009).

Reasons why men become abusive

Biological factors

 The major hormone that determines the character of man is testosterone. This hormone is believed to be a major contributing factor to the violence portrayed by men. Abusive nature of men occurs as a result of power inequity between them, women and children. The body structure of men is very different from that of women and children. They are more masculine and therefore tend to exercise that power against women (Stong, 2007),


There are some men who are hostile due to their personality type. Harway, O’Neil, and Biden, (1999), states that these men are aggressive in nature and very little can be done to change their character. Abuse of drugs tends to further aggravate the abusive nature of these types of men. The situation is made worse when a person who is naturally aggressive is subjected to violent relationships either as a child or as an adult. Men who abuse often have low self esteem and feel powerless and useless and they tend to abuse others in order to prove their worth.

Social factors

 These are the environmental factors that may lead to a man becoming abusive. Family structure, stress and social learning are some of the social factors that make men to be abusive. Constant violence directed towards children by their parents children especially the boy child tend to create a very aggressive person. Men who are reared in societies where illegal weapons such as gun are readily available tend to become very abusive when they grow (Welch, 2009).

The society also puts a lot of pressure to people who are not employed by requiring them to do things just the same way a financially stable person would do. As a result, a person subjected to that kind of pressure becomes very violent. Traditionally, many laws encouraged the battering of wives. It was seen as a form of instilling respect and discipline to a woman. The society may also view an aggressive person as a champion and treat him as such (Harway, O’Neil, and Biden, 1999).

Family stress

According to Better health, (2009), families that are prone to pressures of all forms subject their members to psychological stresses. Some of these pressures include: lack of finances to cater for basic family needs, too many family members and yet few facilities, accumulation of debts, and cases where one or both of the parents is very abusive.

As a way of responding to stress members become very abusive.  Families that thrive in poverty are at a higher risk of experiencing violence than families that are financially stable. Lack of Finances hinders a man from living up to his dreams of a successful life. As a result of fears that he may loose his credibility he turns out to be violent in search of honor and respect. All the abusive forms employed by this man are aimed at expressing his masculinity (Harway, O’Neil, and Biden, 1999).

 Social learning

Transforming Communities, (2009), states that people acquire most knowledge from observing what others are doing and copying them. Imitating a person whose moral character is upright generates a very nice person, whereas imitating a hostile person generates a hostile creature.

Transmission of violence occurs from one generation to another through observation. Boys who are reared in communities full of abuse will most likely copy the behavior and direct it towards women later in life. Men also learn to be violent from their families, especially their abusive fathers and other violent male models. Welch (2009), states that violent social networks ranging from violent programs on television, violent movies to articles portraying violence against women tend to create a violent being out of a man.

Few interventions have been taken to minimize the chances of a man becoming violent. The society tends s to blame the violent acts of abusive men on substances like alcohol and abuse of other drugs. This tends to give abusive men courage as they also blame their abusive nature on substances. Women are also not willing to report violent cases to the authority they do not want to suffer from public humiliation. Women also think that they will not get proper attention from a male dominated authority. When an abusive man realizes this it encourages him to continue with the evil acts (Transforming Communities, 2009).


However much the society tries to point an accusing finger towards abusive men, the vice is still rampant. Women should take precautionally measures in order to protect themselves and their children from violent relationships. By observing the actions of a man a woman can detect whether he is abusive or not, as abusive men are ford of telling empty promises. On detecting that a man is abusive, a woman should take the necessary steps by either seeking guidance and counseling or leaving that man as it is very hard for an abusive man to change his character.

Women should also report any case of abuse towards them as violence can never stop if the victims are reluctant to report. After an abusers partner has left the abuser may tend to be remorseful crying for forgiveness. Women should be warned that if anyone goes back to such a character she should be prepared for more abuse.


Alexander, S., (2009), Abusive Men: Top 10 Signs of an Abusive Man, retrieved on December

11, 2009 from http://www.authorsden.com/categories/article_top.asp?catid=57&Id =28889

 Transforming Communities, (2009), The Ecological Model for Understanding Risk Factors for

Violence retrieved on December 11, 2009 from http://www.transformcommunities.org


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