Domestic violence

Flea

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Someone pointed me to the "In the Eyes of a Rapist" thread, so I thought it might be good to offer a refresher on domestic violence issues too. If this doesn't apply to anyone here personally, that's great! But it's also a good thing to have a functional literacy in. If it doesn't apply to you, it may apply to a friend or loved one. Please consider checking it out ...

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

http://www.homestudycredit.com/courses/contentCR/secCR16.html

Thanks,

Flea
 

Bill Mattocks

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I don't know much about the causes of domestic violence, or the manner in which it is expressed, so this is interesting information.

But I can tell you that continued exposure to domestic violence was one of the reasons I chose to leave law enforcement and find a new career.

Domestics were the number one response call I ever had to deal with. And they were very often the same couple, over and over again. Although I did occasionally see women who abused men, most often it was men who abused women.

And this is the part that I can't explain, because I don't understand the psychology behind it, but I always make people mad when I tell them this - in my experience, it takes two to tango.

One to be the abuser, one to take the abuse.

It starts from the moment of contact. The police knock at the door (after getting a hang-up 911 call, or a neighbor or child calls, etc). Usually there is some hassle getting the door open, then it is flung open and we have to deal with two very upset and angry individuals, both screaming and carrying on, and often one or both very drunk or stoned or both. Sometimes the guy will have fled by the time we arrived, having figured out that the call was made - sometimes we find the wall phone in the street, where he threw it after ripping it out of the wall, etc.

But he'll come back, because he can't stand the thought of his wife or girlfriend talking to us without him there to scream his side of the story into our ears.

In some jurisdictions, the rule is that on domestic violence situations, somebody goes to jail that night. The city will prosecute if necessary - so even if the wife retracts or refuses to press charges, hubby goes bye-bye.

When the hand-irons go on, that's usually when the trouble starts. Wife gets upset, begs us not to take him, and when it become clear that he's going to the crossbar hotel for the night, she gets abusive with us, and sometimes violent.

Know who bails him out? She does. Or her mother. Often that night if she can.

And by that time, he's blubbering and crying about how sorry he is that he belted her a couple times, and promising on his momma's eternal soul that he won't ever do it again, and please forgive him and he'll gladly get treatment and stop drinking, blah, blah, blah.

We offer her a place at the local shelter - it's in a secret location, he won't be able to find her, and there are resources to help her get counseling, find an attorney, get a restraining order, help her with the kids, and so on. Think she'll take us up on it? No. And on the rare occasion that she does, she checks herself out the next day or so and returns, stopping only long enough to beg money off her relatives to bail his sorry *** out of jail.

In my experience, men who hit women will always hit women. There is no such thing as stopping. They will do it again and again and again. Sometimes, a woman will be beaten badly enough to actually leave, and some women won't stand for it and will leave the very first time it happens (and good for them). But if he does it with one woman, he'll do it with the next. And each one will have some knowledge of what happened to the last one, but she'll think he has changed, or that she can change him.

He hasn't, and she can't.


There will always be men who hit women. There will always be women who will put up with it. I don't understand it, and it's ugly and evil and bad. I don't blame the women who cannot seem to stop going back to or taking back the guy who hits them, but neither can I understand it.
 

Sukerkin

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Thanks for those insights, people :tup:.

I can understand at an intellectual level why it is that sometimes a man might lose it and raise his hand to a woman (tho' without following through with it). In my own observed experience the cycle starts because, as the truism goes, men and women just do not behave the same way in general. The rules of the game are different, indeed the very game is different. By this I mean that the times I have witnessed a perfectly nice chap get close to physical violence with his partner have been triggered because the partner just simply failed to recognise and respond to the 'aggression & threat' signals being given out. Signals that any man would see and respond to appropriately (depending if he wanted a fight or not).

But clearly what has been spoken about above is not the same thing at all. Abuse and beatings bear no resemblance to what I have seen (and I hope that that remains true). The worst I have witnessed is a friend reach the limits of his restraint and pick his missus up and throw her out of the house to calm down.

The worst I have heard about a couple I knew does sound like what was described above tho'. He was as nice as you might imagine and I could not believe the tales I was told (note that this is hearsay when all is said and done).

Why does this sort of thing happen? It cannot just be low self esteem surely?
 

shesulsa

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Ah yes. From the outside it seems SOOO easy, doesn't it? A simple choice ... life or death. It is much like the frog in the pot.

For some of us, violence perpetrated upon us is the norm - we know none else. We can't be un-hit, as it were.

My time at this moment is fleeting, but I will write more later - specifically addressing some points Bill brought up.
 

grydth

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I hope some battered women will find the courage to open up further on this. In raising two girls, I always have emphasized they are wonderful and worthy young people, and have specifically taught them never to accept abuse whatever the source.

In the Army, I prosecuted a number of awful crimes, but never one domestic violence case. It wasn't that the crimes didn't happen, they did. It wasn't that we weren't interested - we were. But my experience was much like Bill's... the victim would always back out of prosecuting, usually very quickly. I didn't understand it fully then - or even now.

I also know of much rarer cases where the woman is the violent abuser, but few will ever even talk of those.

The answer is certainly neither easy nor simple, but I will be checking back here to see what I can learn. Nothing you teach can change those legal cases now decades old.... but you may help some fathers educate some daughters, and maybe we can lessen if not eliminate this plague.
 
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Flea

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It's late so I'll be quick for the moment, and I'll elaborate more later.

Abusive relationships are about manipulation, power, and control. Violence is not the end, it's the means, and usually it's only the most overt means. A lot goes on below the radar - cutting the victim off from family and friends, cutting off the victim's financial base, sexual abuse, a constant pattern of undermining the victim's self-confidence in many ways. Then once the pattern is set on the small stuff, the physical abuse doesn't seem so extreme. Once it goes on long enough, the Stockholm Syndrome kicks in. I think that's why so many victims protect their abusers.

That's why I posted the second link - behavior patterns of "controllers." It's an explanation of low-level tactics that abusers use to lay that groundwork before escalating to the level of an After-School Special. That's where relationship violence starts, and it's so subtle that most victims don't see it until it's way too late, if at all. I'd love to see that document distributed as required curriculum in every middle school in the world.

Thanks for your responses, everyone.
 

Jade Tigress

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I just wanted to add that all domestic abuse is not physical. A person can be in an abusive relationship and never been hit by his/her partner. There is also verbal and emotional abuse which is just as incapacitating. I think emotional abuse would be the most insidious. With physical and verbal abuse there is the obvious he/she hits me, he/she belittles me with constant put downs and name calling. With emotional abuse those factors aren't present, the victim deals with patterns of manipulation that are still a part of the "control" factor and not healthy.

All in all, ANY type domestic abuse is atrocious and there are many reasons why the victim feels they cannot leave the abuser (even if they want to). As Geo stated, it seems soooo easy from the outside.

Education and support are key.
 

Cryozombie

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I also know of much rarer cases where the woman is the violent abuser, but few will ever even talk of those.

I will. I was the Victim of domestic abuse perpetrated by a woman. She kicked the living **** out of me, and it happened because I was afraid to use ANY force whatsoever to stop her because I was afraid *I* would be the one going to jail.

I will tell you this for nothing, if it describes the difference between the male and female mindset... I left and stayed with a friend the night it happened, and the next day while she was at work, I went home packed all my **** and was gone by the time she got home.
 

Drac

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I hate domestic violence calls...That's why 2 officers (or more) are always discpatched to DV calls.. So as the cuffs are being placed on one of the parties the other officers can keep their eyes on the other one so they dont get physical...
 
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Flea

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I think emotional abuse would be the most insidious. With physical and verbal abuse there is the obvious he/she hits me, he/she belittles me with constant put downs and name calling. With emotional abuse those factors aren't present,

Thank you Jade. The other side to that coin is that friends, neighbors, and the victim are far less likely to pursue the matter if it isn't overtly physical. Worse yet, prosecutors take the same approach because evidence is so hard to come by.
 
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Flea

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One other thought ... I saw on the news yesterday that DV incidents are on the rise in the United States. Does that mean that it's getting more frequent, or that it's getting reported more often? I don't claim to know.

I hope some battered women will find the courage to open up further on this.
:wavey: Not that I've exactly been subtle about it ... I would like to point out that it's not a male/female thing, as Cryozombie also mentioned. (And Cryo, you may be right about being the one to go to jail; it would have been all too easy for her to play that card.) I went to great lengths to coax a gay friend out of a toxic relationship too. I thought about posting this thread in the Women's forum, but I didn't want to stereotype the issue as a gender thing.

Education is most definitely the key, for the general community to intervene in a helpful way. I think the best kind of education is the warning signs I posted in the second link above, to help people recognize trouble before it gets intractable. That's what would have helped me, anyway.
 

teekin

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I need to go do final barn check but will post on this. I'm glad you posted this here Flea.
lori
 
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