The #1 Reason Guys Beat Up Their Girlfriends

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domestic violence
Domestic violence explained: 8 things you need to know about dating abuse.

Rihanna may think that she's back to making sweet music together with her battering boyfriend, but she is sadly mistaken if she thinks he will never hit her again.

Men who batter rarely do it once, even if they are rich and famous. So if you're in a relationship with a guy who has pushed, hit or slapped you once, take it as a warning sign. You can expect him to do it again and again.

Here's everything you need to know about batterers, from domestic violence experts Diann Ackard, a PhD psychologist on the board of Break the Cycle, an organization specializing in the treatment of domestic abuse, and Candice Hopkins, director of Love is Respect, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.

1. Batterers have an intense need to control the women they love: The biggest misconception about these guys is that they have "anger management" issues. They don't. They don't blow up at work or at the driver who cuts into their lane. Instead they have an overwhelming need to control their loved one—how she dresses, where she goes and whom she talks to. That's why, before they actually start using physical violence to stay in control, they are often constantly phoning and text messaging the object of their affections so that they know exactly what she is doing at all times.

2. Batterers do genuinely love the women they beat up: In fact, they are often obsessively in love with their girlfriends or wives, which makes them even more jealous and controlling—they just don't know the proper way to express it. They most likely grew up in a home where there was violence. Apparently Chris Brown hated when his stepfather beat up his mom.

3. Batterers actually blame their girlfriends for forcing them to be violent: There's a very good chance that Chris Brown, to this day, blames Rihanna for starting the argument that left him with "no choice" but to attack her. In his mind, she had no right to look at the text message from his manager, Tina Davis. A batterer will tell himself and his girlfriend that SHE provoked the violence by looking at another guy, wearing a skirt that's too short or not cleaning up the kitchen fast enough.

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