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Clues at a glance

A normal couple disagreement

In an abusive relationship

1. Who seeks to gain what? What is the goal that is sought?

An argument, possibly with aggressive words or gestures.

Assaults have an intentional and strategic purpose.

2. Who seeks to gain what? What is the goal that is sought?

Both people want to win, but not at all costs, and each person wants to convince the other they are right.

There is one person who wants to win at any cost because he is seeking control.

3. What is the impact of the assault on the other?

Neither is afraid of the other, both partners feel free to react.

The victim does not feel free to react and fears consequences if she asserts herself.

4. How is the assault explained?

The assailant explains on the basis of the dispute and the topic of the dispute.

The aggressor does not explain himself, but justifies himself. He uses various strategies such as denial or minimizes the act, etc..

5. Have you witnessed or heard of other similar situations?

Disagreements can be experienced in complete transparency. It is one or the other who initiates the argument, roles are interchangeable.

People around them rarely witness their arguments because no one is usually around when they argue. “The same person is behind the attacks.”

6. How is power shared in the couple?

The relationship is relatively balanced before, during and after a disagreement.

Power is unbalanced and the relationship is not equal.

Source: “What if it’s more than a disagreement?” By the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale