Is My Friend Abusive?

Is My Friend Abusive?

In our work with fraternities, many members have asked how can they determine if their friend/brother is abusive. For guys who want to be active bystanders, the first step is recognition. Here are some warning signs that your friend/brother is abusive.

  • He feels jealous often. He is jealous of other people in his partner’s life. He wants them to only be with him.
  • He is constantly questioning them about whereabouts, phone calls, conversations. He feels he has the right to tell his partner what to do, who to talk to, where to go, what to wear.
  • He takes his anger out on things in front of his partner (i.e. He has broken, punched, or thrown things, when angry).
  • He has grabbed, pushed, slapped, or hit his partner when he’s angry.
  • If he hurts his partner, he blames them. He makes excuses for his reactions, especially if others are hurt by them. He blames his behavior on alcohol or drugs.
  • He believes he should be in control of the relationship. He believes his partner is inferior to him. He believes his partner is his property.

Remember: Abuse is a choice.

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A Note on Terminology

Domestic violence/relationship abuse refers to intimate relationships, not child abuse. Because the vast majority of relationship abuse is committed by men against women in heterosexual relationships, this website sometimes contains the female gender pronoun when referring to the abused person. Domestic violence/relationship happens at the same rate in LGBTQQ relationships and all of the information on this site is relevant for male victims and for individuals in same-gender relationships. In addition, please see our resources on same-gender relationships. Our goal is to encourage helping professionals to be gender inclusive. This includes using gender-neutral language when working with individuals, while continuing to analyze gender as a construct that has implications on gender-based violence in both heterosexual and same-gender relationships.