Abuse tends to occur in families (or groups) with certain characteristics in common. If one or more of theses attitudes are detected in the evaluation of a family, then further questions may be justified.


Family history:

(1) One or both partners/parents are from an abusive or dysfunctional family.

(2) One or both partners/parents abuse alcohol or drugs.

(3) A somewhat chaotic family history, with frequent, unexplained moves, often between states or on short notice.



(1) The family members do not view the behavior as abnormal or unusual.

(2) The behavior is considered justified because of something the person did.


Secretivenss and distrust:

(1) An introverted attitude, with a need to preserve the family unit at all costs.

(2) A distrust and resentment of outsiders meddling in family affairs.

(3) The behavior is a secret that would not be understood by others.



(1) Fear of retaliation by the perpetrator or other family members.

(2) Fear of that disclosure would break up or destroy the family.



• These findings are nonspecific by themselves.


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