IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Family Violence Occurs
· Socio-economic levels
· Educational Levels
· Age groups
Domestic Violence Includes:
· Physical mistreatment
· Verbal abuse
· Financial abuse
· Sexual Abuse
· EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
Characteristics of a Violent
· Rigid role expectations
· Poor communication
· Violence used to control
· Love means possession
· Needs and wants are viewed as demands
· Expression of feelings is equated with weakness, loss of control and ultimately violence
· Family is isolated from the community and each other
Myth: Abusers who assault their partners are mentally ill.
Truth: If truly mentally ill, abusers would lack the ability to be selective in the targets
and controlled in the use of abuse.
Myth: Alcohol causes an abuser to beat their partner.
Truth: While alcohol is often abused by the violent partner, it is not the cause of the
violence...it's an excuse for it.
Myth: Only poor women are abused.
Truth: Domestic violence does not discriminate.
It cuts across all social, racial, educational and economic lines.
Myth: Women provoke violence...therefore, they deserve what they get.
Truth: Nobody deserves to be beaten and abused...EVER.
Myth: Women enjoy the abuse and find it sexually stimulating.
Truth: Women do not find pleasure in abuse, nor is it a sexual turn on. Abused women
are terrified, horrified and disgusted when their partners turn violent.
Myth: Pregnant women are protected from violent attacks.
Truth: Pregnant women are more vulnerable to violence and have often described abuse
starting or escalating during a pregnancy.
TYPES OF ABUSE
Psychological - Abuse extends beyond emotional or verbal abuse. It includes
making threats against the individual or her/his family, forcing the individual to do degrading things, verbally attacking
or belittling, quoting the Bible to keep her in the abusive relationship, turning the children against her and stalking.
Physical - Includes pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, biting, choking
and pinching. Other types include abandonment, subjecting a person to reckless driving and use of an object or weapon
against a person.
Sexual - Includes any forced sexual activities as well as excessive jealousy
and sexual accusations. Sexual assault often starts with demeaning women through jokes, name calling and unwanted touching.
Somestimes the victim will not even think she has been sexually abused.
Destruction of Property - is less likely to be taken seriously by everyone.
It includes destruction of property, cherished mementos and favorite items. The message is clear: "Stay in line
or the next time it will be you." Pets are not immune from destruction...nor are children. Both can be used as
a means to intimidate or control the victim's behavior.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILDREN
"We know much about woman abuse. We know much about child abuse...but if we are to seriously
address either one, we must recognize the links between these two forms of domestic violence.
While one form of abuse can certainly occur without the other, the tragic reality is that anytime
a mother is abused by her husband/partner, her children are also affected in both overt and subtle ways." (Woman
Abuse is Child Abuse, ICADV brochure 2011)
Recognize common reactions of children affected by abuse:
- Imitating violent behavior
- Fear of leaving adult's company
- Wetting the bed
- Aggressive play
- Difficulty making friends
- Sleeping/eating changes
- School absences
- Drug or alcohol use
- Risk-taking behavior
How can you support children affected by domestic violence?
BE AWARE of the effects abuse can have on them. They are learning...
- Love hurts...that if you love someone he/she will hurt you.
- It's okay to hit someone in anger.
- Living in fear and being abused is normal.
- Talk to them about their worries.
- Encourage them to express feelings.
- Maintain the child's routine.
- Give them soothing objects to hold.
- Have them listen to music.
- Show more patience.
- Give extra hugs.
- Anticipate days or other reminders of the abuse. Let them talk about it if they desire to.
- Rehearse safety measures with them. Knowing what to do builds a sense of safety and control.
FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Battery is the single major cause of injury to women - more than rapes, mugging
and auto accidents combined.
- Domestic violence occurs in more than 50% of all homes in the U.S.;
- 40% of all female homicide victims are murdered by the men in their lives!
FBI statistics estimate an American woman is abused every 9 seconds!
- This adds up to 500 women abused every hour, nearly 9,600 women per day.
- All members of the family are affected by domestic violence. Studies
show 15.5 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
Once it has happened, domestic violence tends to escalate in both frequency and severity
Domestic violence can affect men and women among every race, religion, ethinic group and
Any one is capable of being an abuser; any one is capable of being a victim.
Abuse is a learned behavior. With proper intervention and a serious desire
to change behavior patterns, domestic violence in the home can be eradicated.
WHAT IS SPOUSE ABUSE?
Spousal Abuse referes to adults, married or unmarried, abused by their partners.
While studies show that the majority of abused partners are women, there are reported cases of male abuse as well.
This abuse takes many forms and includes but is not limited to:
Threats, name-calling, public ridicule or humiliation
Isolation from family and friends
Excessive jealousy, unfounded accusations of inappropriate behavior or cheating
Hair pulling, slapping, pushing or shoving
Hitting, punching, kicking or biting
Choking, burning or stabbing
Throwing objects toward a person
Threatening with weapons such as guns, knives or furniture
Using a weapon, shooting or stabbing
Forced sexual relations
Non-support of the family
A person does not have to be injured so badly she or he requires hospital
treatment in order to be considered a battered partner.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF BATTERERS
A charming whirlwind lover who wants to be with you all the time may make you feel special and
flattered. But if he goes too fast for you, is obsessive about you, "checks up" on you with surprise visits or has battered
before but says you are special, BEWARE!
Many women have trouble identifying these signs during dating.
- Extreme jealousy or possessiveness
- Rigidly traditional sex-role stereotypes
- Abused as a child or witnessed mother's abuse
- "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde" dual personality
- Very controlling of others
- Can both charm and intimidate
- Blames others or events for the violence
- Lacks age-appropriate expectations for children
- "Playful" use of force in sex
- "Restrains" partner during arguments
- Has difficulty expressing emotions other than anger or self-pity
- Unreasonable fear of change
- May experience depression or thoughts of suicide
- Has defenses that include denial, minimizing and blaming others
- Expects you to agree with his opinion (and you do to keep the peace)
- May abuse alcohol or drugs
WHY DO WOMEN STAY?
Women stay in abusive situations for many reasons. A victim may stay because...
- She fears losing her children.
- She fears worse harm or death if she leaves.
- Her religious beliefs tell her she must stay..."Divorce is sin" no matter what.
- She loves her partner and has memories of the good times.
- She believes things will get better.
- She blames herself; considers herself a "failure" or feels guilty.
- She feels a responsibility to keep the family together.
- She believes her children need their father no matter how terrible he is to her or them.
- She fears judgment of others (i.e. "Told you so..."; "What did you do to cause it?"; "You'll
always go back.").
- She's too exhausted to take action.
- She fears poverty; she lacks a job, education, affordable housing, transportation or other
- She has had bad experiences with police, courts or social workers.
- She has low self-esteem and believes she can't make it on her own.
- She feels sorry for the abuser and feels obligated to "help" him.
- She is ashamed of others finding out.
- She feels she has nowhere to go.
- She lacks family support.