Background Culture has a role in the definition of partner violence Not limited to a husband and wife relationship Common terms: Battering-physical violence perpetrated by one person on another Abuse-general term that describes the unequal power relationship within which the assault occurs Assault-verbal and behavioral threats to others, pets, or property Domestic violence-any act of assault by a social partner or relative, regardless of marital status
Incidence of Partner Violence Bradley v. State of Mississippi, 1824 State of North Carolina v. Oliver, 1874 Domestic disturbance calls outnumber other types of calls in which the possibility of violence exists to both civilians and police
Incidence of Partner Violence Cont. 1.5 million women and 830,000 men were victims of intimate violence in the United States 15.5 million children live in families where violence has occurred and about 7 million have witnessed severe violence These rates are apparently decreasing
Emerging Approaches to Partner Violence Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear, 1974 (England) National Organization for Women and Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups (United States) The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota (Duluth Model) Police procedures, increased prosecution of partner violence, and enhanced legal protection Countywide coordinated community responses Domestic violence units have been formed The Violence Against Women Act of 1994
Psychosocial and Cultural Dynamics Attachment/Traumatic Bonding Theory Coercive control Cultural reinforcement Exchange Theory Feminist Theory Intraindividual Theory Learned Helplessness/Battered Woman Syndrome Masochism Nested Ecological Theory Psychological entrapment Sociobiology Stockholm Syndrome System Theory
Dynamics of Partner Violence Psychological factors Behaviors of men vs. women Stressors Geographic and social isolation Economic stress Medical problems Inadequate parenting skills Pregnancy Family dysfunction Substance abuse Education/vocational disparity Age Disenfranchisement Rejection Threat to masculinity
Dynamics of Partner Violence Cont. Types of batterers Family only Dysphoric/borderline Violent/anti-social Low-level anti-social The cycle of violence Phase I: Tranquility prevails Phase II: Tensions starts to build Phase III: A violent episode occurs Phase IV: The relationship takes on crisis proportions Abuser is remorseful and the victim forgives them Abuser is not remorseful and asserts control over the victim The victim takes new action
Myths About Battering Battered women overstate the case Battered women provoke the beating Battered women are masochists Battering is a private, family matter Alcohol abuse is the prime reason for spousal abuse Battering occurs only in problem families Only low-income and working-class families experience violence
Myths About Battering Cont. The battering cannot be that bad or the victim would leave A husband has patriarchal rights The beaten spouse exaggerates the problem to exact revenge Women are too sensitive, especially when they are pregnant Battering is rare Battering is confined to mentally ill people Violence and love cannot coexist Elder abuse between partners is neither prevalent nor dangerous
Realities for Abused Women Victim has a fear of reprisal. She is grateful that her children have food, clothing, and shelter. She believes that she will suffer shame if her secret gets out. Her self-concept is dependent on the relationship. Early affection and prior love in the relationship persist. If financially well off, the woman is unable to deal with a reduction in her financial freedom. In the cyclic nature of abuse, she may tend to forget the batterings and remember only the good times. Early role models of an abusive parent may lead her to believe that relationships exist in no other way.
Realities for Abused Women Cont. The woman may hold religious values that strongly discourage separation or divorce. The woman may be undereducated, have small children to raise, or lack job skills. She may be so socially, physically, geographically, or financially isolated that she has no resources. She may be so badly injured that she is unable physically to leave. Love or sorrow at the mate’s professed inability to exist without her may compel her to stay. Because of previous negative experiences with the authorities, she may believe she has no options. Due to language barriers, she may be unable to communicate her abuse. Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most dangerous things the victim can do.
Shelters Counseling women at shelters Shelter dynamics Grief Depression Terror Those who have decided to leave Follow-up Counseling Victim may relapse and re-unite with the abuser Long-term follow support (6 months) Going to a shelter without follow-up may increase violence
Intervention With Children Art and play models of therapy Treatment goals: • Create an alliance with the parent • Provide psycho-education to both parent and child • Restore the parent’s self-esteem and confidence • Establish a safe environment for the child to express thoughts and feelings • Relieve the child’s symptoms, including difficulty with living transitions, sleeping, nightmares, and other trauma symptoms • Reestablish the child’s previous level of cognitive functioning and attachment with the caregiver • Reassure that what has happened is not the child’s fault • Help the child to regain emotional regulation • Provide stress reduction strategies
Courtship Violence Violence occurs in approximately 25% of courtship relationships Number of dating partners and dating frequency have the highest positive correlation Grade point average has the highest negative correlation 25% of victims and 30 percent of offenders interviewed interpreted violence in courtship as a sign of love! The longer the abusive relationship continues, the higher the degree of violence Stalking
Gay and Lesbian Violence Prevalence of violence Complicating factors Crisis intervention involving gay and lesbian violence Sensitivity Precipitating factors Specific issues Severity Safety and support Treatment issues
A Typical 24-Session Anger Management Group Starting the Group Making Choices Support and Confrontation Managing Stress Understanding the Cycle of Violence Costs Intergenerational Issues Feelings Power and Control Assertion Alcohol and Drug Effects Sex Summing Up Programs Success