The Mind of an Abuser

Want to read this article in Spanish? La mente de un abusador

What do these men have in common?

Dennis Rodman, Tommy Lee and  Vince Neil (Motley Crew), James Brown, Christian Slater, O.J. Simpson, Ozzy Osbourne, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Ray Rice, Ike Turner, Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Nicolas Cage, Alec Baldwin, Johnny Depp, Steven Seagal, Mickey Rourke, Terrence Howard, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.…  The list goes on and on. They’ve all been convicted of a form of domestic battery. This got me to thinking about what goes on in the mind of an abuser.


The following statements are derived from transcripts of interviews with different abusers.

“Once I can objectify a woman and then put a hand to her, it’s like I’m saying to her, “see, I told you.”

  • This statement shows that the abuser knows exactly what he is doing. He has an agenda. He’s got to win.

“I tried to give her a hug. She resisted that. It’s debatable whether or not I threw her to the ground.”

  • This statement shows that the abuser is in complete denial. It doesn’t matter why she resisted his attempt to hug her. He’s saying in other words, how dare you refuse me. In the last sentence of his statement he’s saying he doesn’t know how she made it to the ground.

“I believe some people bring about the worst in you.” “I didn’t do anything violent; I have knee jerk reactions.”

  • These statements show that the abuser is using an excuse for his actions.

“He knocked me out flat. He ran a knife across my throat.” His response to her statement, “I lightly punched her a couple times…a few taps.”

  • The first part of this statement is from the victim. The second part is in the eyes of the abuser. He’s belittling what he did (a few taps when she was actually knocked out flat), although not aware that he was admitting to the abuse.

“My wife picked up the knife and stabbed herself.”

  •  This statement is idiocrasy.

“I’m quite larger/taller than my wife, so I’d intimidate her with my size. I started using that as a controlling measure. It turned physical one afternoon, my wife wasn’t listening to what I was saying. I didn’t believe she was understanding what I was saying and in my mind, she was not being very clever or very alert to what I wanted so I lashed out and punched her in the stomach. This was about eight weeks after my son was born.”

  • Notice the expanse of  I statements. It’s all about him and what he wanted (control).

“Can’t think of a form of violence I didn’t display. Got to the point where I put my hands around her throat trying to get answers out of her. I squeezed…just couldn’t let go, until she passed out. I accused her of hitting herself.”

  • He was choking her while trying to get answers out of her.

“Breeching the restraining order, Dad told her to come out to the shed. He tied some rope to a rack on his truck, took [the other end] rope and put it around her neck and said, “I want to see you run.” He got in the truck, started it up, and said, “come on dog, I want to see you run. Run dog, run.”

  • In this scenario, the child is describing what he saw and heard. This abuser had breeched the restraining order and proceeded to exert his horrible behavior in front of his own child. He further demeaned and degraded his wife.


An Abuser in His Own Words by Megan Twohey – Tribune staff reporter  This is an edited transcript:

Q: What was your marriage to Regan Martin like?

A: Prior to May 2006, our life was good. I went to work. I didn’t go to bars or strip clubs. I wanted to do everything that was right for my family. We didn’t have a lot of friends outside of our marriage. We were always together. She claims she was abused for the whole eight years, but that’s totally unfounded.

Q: Why did you attack Regan?

A: All our problems stemmed from her going to school. I said I can take care of you and the bills, but she decided to go back to school. She could have done school during the day, but she got night classes and wouldn’t get home until midnight. It was a change for me. I couldn’t sleep without her next to me . . . I put my hands on my wife and shouldn’t have. . . . There are two sides. I plead guilty. I was wrong. But as far as raping her, that’s untrue. It did pertain to sex or lack thereof. . . . I won’t say too much more. I don’t want someone to look at me and think I’m a rapist.

One month after this interview, John Samolis was arrested and charged with violating the order of protection that Martin had against him by calling and text-messaging her. On Aug. 18, he pleaded guilty to a previous violation of the order. He will remain in jail until a Will County judge will deliver his sentence. He faces up to 6 years in prison.

There’s a lot going on in this article.

  • He states that their life was good, initially. She states that she was abused the entire eight years of their marriage. He states that all their problems stemmed from her going back to school. He was upset that she took night classes because he needed her their beside him in bed in order to sleep. He did own up to hitting her but wouldn’t say that he raped her because, “I don’t want someone to look at me and think I’m a rapist.” While we don’t have the entire story, we see that in this instance the abuser didn’t get his way, became upset, then raped his wife.  If the victim says that she was abused the entire eight years of their marriage I would think that she has a reason to feel that way. Wouldn’t you? He alluded to the fact that sex was lacking in their marriage, so he felt he had the right to her body, even if she said no.


Domestic violence: How I turned into an abuser by Lauren Wilson

For eighteen awful months, Matt verbally and physically attacked his young wife. He controlled her every move, even disabling the spark plug leads in her car so she couldn’t escape him. Like almost all perpetrators of domestic violence, Matt told himself his wife was the problem, even while he physically attacked her. His denial ran so deep he began to hate her, telling himself that she brought out the worst in him, and that it was her fault for pushing his buttons.

“I remember the first time, just crossing the line into a really low-level physical alteration, and I thought wow, what has just happened?” Rather than getting help, the abuse escalated. “We continued to do laps around the cycle of violence, and there would be promises made each time,” he said.

Eighteen months into their marriage, when Matt’s wife finally fled to Brisbane, he decided it was time to get help. At the initial interview to join the support group he said, “I don’t really think I’m a perpetrator of domestic violence.” He said this after he decided it was time to get help.

       Verbally abusive pastor

Last night I watched a movie where the dad—who was a pastor of his own church—verbally abused his entire family. There was one scene where the son asked his mom if dad was going to come to his football game. She replied, I don’t know, let me call him. As she dialed his phone number, she was visually shaking because she knew she’d be verbally assaulted…again. “Why you calling me ‘bout something like that? You should be worried about cooking dinner, oh my bad, you burn everything you cook. You need to be going to the gym instead of worrying about what I’m doing. You’ve gained so much weight since we got married. She couldn’t get a word in edgewise. As he continued his rant, she inched the phone away from her ear, as he was getting louder and she was feeling smaller. The next day, as he was verbally berating their son and daughter the wife came out of the bedroom with a gun. “I can’t take this anymore,” she said crying. She fatally shot herself in the head and died in her son’s arms.

  • In his mind, the dad ruled the entire family. According to the book Violence Among Us; Ministry to Families in Crisis by Brenda Branson and Paula Silva, the abuser sees his rights, opinions, and desires as more important than those of his wife and children. They were going to do what he said whether they liked it or not. At the funeral their daughter stated to her friend, that their mom always listened to them and dialogued with them in love, but dad never did.


Proverbs 12:15a –  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. Malachi 2:16b—“…and [I hate] him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’”

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