Domestic Violence Risk Factors- What Causes Domestic Violence and Abuse?

There are certain factors which contribute to an increased risk of domestic violence. While some people cope well with the different challenges that children and adults face in life, some don’t.

Life changes can encourage aggression in people who have a difficult time coping with those changes. There are also certain circumstances that bring out the worst in some people.


Domestic Violence Risk Factors- What Causes Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Risk Factors- What Causes Domestic Violence and Abuse


Some persons are overtly aggressive, while others only show aggression when they are around people who they feel they can bully. It can be difficult to tell whether some individuals will be aggressive but there are certain signs that you can look for in a relationship, to determine whether there is a risk that one or both parties will become abusive.


Power Differential

A power differential in a relationship increases the risk of domestic violence. Both men and women can be abusive and the abuse is not necessarily physical. Individuals may use words to belittle their partner or constantly withhold physical intimacy or attention as a form of punishment. Abuse can take place through words or the way one person treats another.

Economic imbalances can create this power differential. One person may earn a lot more than the other and this can make the person who earns less feel uncomfortable and they become abusive towards other person. Conversely, the person who earns more may also try to belittle the one who earns less.

In this type of situation, abusers find that their need for power is not being satisfied. They try to get that power by putting down the accomplishments or potential of the other person. This is their way to trying to prove themselves or feel secure.


Rigid Gender Role Stereotypes

A woman or a man who has a rigid perception of the role that people of another gender should fill may sometimes be abusive. For example, a woman may think that all men should do certain things in order to fill what she believes is the traditional male role.

When her partner does not do this, she may throw things at him or constantly call him names. Men who have a rigid perception of what all women should be like may hit their partners or abuse them emotionally. They may think of all women as less than men and think they have the right to be abusive.

People who are abusive may mask their abusive tendencies until they feel they have control over their partner. Some feel they have this control when they have a child with the partner. Some abusers are experts at donning sheep’s clothing, while they are wolves, looking for someone to hurt or put down to boost their own low sense of worth.

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