Progression of Domestic Violence
PHASE 1: Pre-battering violence: verbal abuse, hitting objects, throwing objects, breaking objects, and making threats; increased tension, anger, blaming and arguing. When abusers hit or break objects or make threats, almost 100% resort to battering.
PHASE 2: Beginning levels: pushing, grabbing, restraining.
PHASE 3: Moderate levels : slapping, pinching, kicking, pulling hair.
PHASE 4: Severe levels : hitting, choking, beating with objects, use of weapons, and rape by intimidation, threat or force.
PHASE 5: Calm Stage: Abuser may deny or rationalize the violence, apologizing or promising not to repeat the abuse.(may decrease over time)
The progression of domestic violence may alternate from tension building, where the victim is walking on eggshells to avoid abuse, to the apologetic and remorseful abuser after a violent incident has taken place. Each relationship is different.
Sweet Baby Syndrome (How he gets to come back)
1.Honeymoon Syndrome : any bribe that will get her to return to him. (also known as "Hearts and Flowers")
2. Super Dad Syndrome : he tells her that he will be a great dad if she returns. This works especially if he has neglected the kids in the past.
3. Revival Syndrome : this is not really a valid revival or salvation since he has probably only gone to church only a few times. "I have been going to church every Sunday since you left." I have accepted Christ into my life." He puts the responsibility for his battering on God.
4. Sobriety Syndrome : "If he can stop drinking he will stop beating me" Drinking does not cause beating--if it did, then they would beat strangers on the street.
5. Counseling Syndrome : "I have gone to counseling, I won't do it anymore." Long term counseling is needed and less than 1% voluntarily go into counseling.
Help for the abuser (Signs that treatment may be effective)
1. He accepts responsibility for his violence.
2. He goes into treatment without victim.
3. He goes into treatment with no strings attached. ("I'll go if you will come back")
No one deserves to be abused. The abuse is the responsibility of the batterer. There are several programs available for abusers to determine if treatment is necessary. Frequently, the court requires that batterers seek treatment. Change does not happen overnight. Just like the behavior took time to learn, it takes time to change. However, batterers must want to change. Some batterers will never change.
Once the violence occurs, the chances are great that it will occur again, unless there is some kind of intervention. Abusers must learn to accept responsibility for their behavior. This is only possible with outside help.
Common Characteristics of Battered Women
1. have low self esteem
2. believe all the myths about battering relationships
3. be a traditionalist, believing in family unity and feminine sex-role stereotype
4. accepts responsibility for the batterer's actions
5. suffers from guilt, yet denies the terror and anger she feels
6. have severe stress reactions with psychophysiological complaints
7. use sex as a way to establish intimacy
8. believe that no one will be able to help her resolve her predicament
Battered women come from all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
Common Characteristics of the Batterer
1. have low self esteem
2. believe all the myths about battering relationships
3. be a traditionalist, believing in male supremacy and the stereotyped masculine sex role
4. blame others for his actions
5. be pathologically jealous
6. present a dual personality
7. have severe stress reactions during which he uses drinking and battering to cope
8. frequently use sex as an act of aggression to enhance his self-esteem
9. does not believe his violent behavior should have negative consequences
10. uses threats and violence as a control mechanism
11. experienced or witnessed abuse when growing up
12. has been abusive to previous partners
Batterers come from all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
Behavior of The Batterer in Court
Batterers frequently present themselves in the following ways:
The "real" victim in the family.
Trying to keep the family together.
May acknowledge "family problems" but will deny any violence.
When confronted by his assaultive acts he may respond by saying: "She bruises easily," "She was hysterical" or "She was drunk/high," I had to restrain her."
May make a complaint to the police department against his partner to counter the complaint she has made regarding his assaultive acts--uses the system.
May make multiple Children's Protective Service reports alleging that his partner is neglecting or abusing the children.
May change lawyers, and ask for continuances to delay court hearings to increase his partners' financial hardship.
May prosecute her when she has acted in self-defense, or will use the threat of prosecution to get her to return to him.
May assert that he knows key people in the criminal justice system, and that there is no way that she will get justice (reinforcing her helplessness.)
May give erroneous information about the criminal justice system to his partner to confuse her or to prevent her from acting on her own behalf.
May call her, before she is going to testify against him in a criminal case, to tell her it has been postponed or his attorney said she doesn't have to testify.
Many, perhaps most, people believe that battered women will be safe once they separate from the batterer. They also believe that women are free to leave abusers at any time. We have all heard, "All she had to do was leave. She brought it on herself." However, leaving does not usually put an end to the violence. Batterers may, in fact, escalate their violence to coerce a battered woman into reconciliation or to retaliate for the battered woman's perceived rejection or abandonment of the batterer.
Some men who believe they are entitled to a relationship with battered women or that they "own" their female partner, view women's departure as an ultimate betrayal which justifies retaliation. Evidence of the gravity of separation violence is overwhelming. One study revealed that 73% of the battered women seeking emergency medical services sustained injuries after leaving the batterer. Another study showed that over 1/4 of the women killed by their male partners were attempting to end the relationship when they were killed.
Although leaving may pose additional hazards, at least in the short run, the research data and experience demonstrate that ultimately a battered woman can best achieve safety and freedom apart form the batterer.
Leaving requires planning and legal intervention to safeguard victims and their children. Victim advocates and battered women must work in partnership to assure that the risk of violence is minimized during the separation process. Getting out of an abusive relationship is not easy, but it can provide an opportunity for you and your children to live a life free of violence. Seeking counseling and support when you end a violent relationship is crucial for you and your children.
Violence: behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
Domestic violence: violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
Terrorism: the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
Global violence: takes the lives of more than 1.6 million people annually.
EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE SAFE IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP
1. Do I feel safe in my relationship?
2. Do I feel that something is wrong with my relationship, but I don't know how to describe it?
3. Do I feel like my partner is controlling my life?
4. Do I feel that my partner does not value my thoughts or feelings?
5. Am I able to go where I want to go, do what I want to do, and see the people I want to see without my partner being upset or angry?
6. Have I ever feared that my partner will hurt me?
7. What supportive people can I talk to about my situation?
8. How can I reach out to build my support network?
9. What are some of the interests, talents, and skills I can build upon that can help me gain my independence?
10. What resources are available in my community?
11. Am I ready to take any legal actions?
12. In what situations do I feel unsafe and at risk?
13. What have I done in the past that has helped increase my safety when I felt in danger?
14. What concerns me about my partner?
15. Who can I trust to help me? Will they be available?
16. Is there a domestic violence program in my area?
17. Do I have a safe way to connect to the domestic violence program?
18. What program services are available and best fit my situation at this time?
19. How have my children been exposed to coercion and violence?
20. Have there been changes in my children that I have seen? How have they changed?
21. What are my child's strengths and what helps them in difficult situations?
22. How has my partner's harshness and violence impacted my relationship with my children?
23. What are some of the ways that I have protected and stayed connected to my children?
24. What steps or actions can I take to promote healing and emotional and physical safety for my child and/or teen?
25. What are some things that make me feel good?
26. Who are safe people I enjoy being around?
27. What are things that have helped me cope with my experiences?
28. What is the likelihood my partner will change?
29. Do I have a safe place to live if my partner's behavior doesn't change right away or at all?
Ohio Domestic Violence Network