Learning Unit 2 - Victim Blaming and Frustrations-CRJ 461

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Learning Unit 2 - Victim Blaming and Frustrations-CRJ 461

  1. 1. Victim Blaming and Frustrations<br /> Learning Unit 2<br />A mini content lecture designed as a supplemental learning resource for CRJ 461 <br />by Bonnie Black. <br />
  2. 2. Frustration Prevails<br />Statement from local police officer after the victim jumped on his back when he arrested her husband.<br />“That was the last time I attempted to help the victim by myself again. They’re just so ungrateful.”<br />Source: Cited in a student paper after completing a police ride along.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Come in Pretty Packages!<br />Victims of domestic violence typically:<br />Are not cooperative. (Fearful)<br />May suffer from substance abuse issues. (Way to Cope.)<br />May have unpredictable responses ranging from crying to overt anger. (Traumatized)<br />Don’t view the criminal justice system as a mechanism that will help them. (Increases threat level of abuser.)<br />3<br />
  4. 4. May have had a bad prior experience with the system. (Blamed by officer or prosecutor because they didn’t leave.)<br />Afraid to make independent decisions or be left with no money or resources. (Dependent on abuser; feels worthless.)<br />Criminal justice system in the past didn’t do anything; abuser not punished. (Beatings continued.)<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Central to Criminal Justice System Frustration<br />Belief that if the victim would just leave, the problem will be solved.<br />FACT: Separation is the most dangerous time for a victim; there are no simple solutions. <br />Repetitive police calls to same house for the same problem with no end in sight.<br />FACT: Leaving is difficult for the victim who has been isolated and demeaned; victimization impacts on decision making. <br />5<br />
  6. 6. The Cycle of Violence<br />Reaction<br />Yelling, breaking things,<br />Violence, etc.<br />Promises it won’t <br />happen gain; changes behavior<br /> Calm<br />Tension Builds <br />Needs Control<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Reaction<br />Coercion Stage<br />Think About it! Does a cycle exist at all?<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Impact of Cycle – Case Example<br />Defendant: “I was arguing with my girlfriend and I threw an ashtray against a wall….I do not agree with the police report and feel the officer added information which wasn’t true. I might of slapped her but that is all.”<br />Victim: “All is forgotten and forgiven… I want Bill to live with me and do not want him to go to jail. The facts in the police report are exaggerated. Bill is a good, kind, hard working, God-fearing gentlemen and an excellent father. This is an unfortunate incident and he has apologized for it.”<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Police Report<br />“Numerous injuries were observed on the victim’s face, head, arms, back, cheek and neck. Victim was bleeding from the nose, has a swollen, bloody lip and a loose tooth. Victim told officers that defendant knelt on top of her, twisting her neck and said, ‘You bitch, I’m going to teach you to be out here!’ He punched her in the head, struck her upper body with an ashtray and said he would break her neck. He held a handgun saying he was going to kill her now and save him the trouble of beating her to death later. Witnessed by victim’s fourteen year old daughter.”<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Why Do Victims Stay?<br />Think About it!<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Reasons<br />Fear of Unknown<br />Fear of Harm or Death<br />Best Interest of the Children <br />Religious Reasons<br />No Support System - Isolated<br />No Money or Job Skills<br />No Self-Esteem or Belief they can live Without Partner<br />Embarrassment and Shame<br />What else?<br />11<br />
  12. 12. The Power of Intimidation<br />“His weapon was, ‘Don’t you ever leave me because you’re not going to make it. I’ll take your son away from you. And if you ever do call the police I will kill you.’ So I felt like I had no way out.”<br /> Victim Rosa<br />Source: “Hitting Home: Voices of Domestic Violence,” Phoenix Police and Morrison <br />Institute for Public Policy, p. 6, 1997<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Why Do Victims Leave?<br />Another beating is coming.<br />Talked with other victims who have left.<br />Learned of resources.<br />Friends/family support.<br />Children have been abused.*<br />Children display abusive behavior.*<br />* Number one reason – children. <br />13<br />
  14. 14. Lisa’s Story<br />When a woman came to the court requesting a protective order, the judge asked, “Why now after being abused for five years and not seeking any help?”<br />Lisa responded:<br />“Yesterday I disciplined my five year old son and he looked at me and said, ‘Shut up you stupid bitch or I will kill you.’ That is why I am here today.”<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Children and Domestic Violence<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Think About it! <br />What message is this child sending?<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Children Are Victims Too!<br />Over 3 million children in U.S. exposed annually to D.V.<br />30-60% of batterers also abuse their children*<br />Children become D.V. homicide victims.<br />**”D.V. leading cause of homicides and injury-related deaths during pregnancy.”<br />Source: *National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Domestic Violence Facts”<br />**Family Violence Prevention Fund, “Intimate Partner Violence and Healthy People 2010 Fact Sheet”<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Beliefs about Children and D.V.<br />Myth: Children don’t know about the abuse.<br />Fact: Children are very perceptive even as infants; they not only hear it but see the injuries.<br />Myth: Children are not physically harmed.<br />Fact: Children are hurt by flying objects and other kids get hurt trying to intervene; they are often murdered as an act of control – revenge.<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Beliefs about Children Continued<br />Myth: Violent couples are good parents.<br />Fact: Victims are trying to survive day to day; children are often neglected or abused.<br />Myth: Children learn by what they are told.<br />Fact: Children learn by what they see.<br />Myth: Children react to the abuse in similar ways.<br />Fact: Children react differently; females tend to internalize it while boys externalize it with acting out and violence.<br />19<br />
  20. 20. D.V.: The Single Major Precursor to Child Abuse<br />Current:<br />30 to 60% of D.V. abusers also abuse children.<br />Risk of children being abused higher in D.V. home.<br />Generational:<br />Witnessing D.V. violence strongest risk factor to repeat it as adult.<br />Men twice as likely to abuse own partner and children.<br />Source: National Coalition Against D.V., 2005 & A SafePlace<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Child Custody: A Tool for Retaliation and Harassment<br />26% of batterers required to submit to supervised visits. <br />One study found 34% of abusive fathers threaten to kidnap children; 25% threatened physical harm.<br />New: Safe Haven Exchanges<br />Source: National Coalition Against D.V., 2005<br />21<br />
  22. 22. How are <br /> children <br /> impacted?<br />Think About it?<br />22<br />
  23. 23. How are Children Impacted!<br />Manipulated and Used—”Pawns”<br />Instability and Unpredictability<br />Not Allowed to Attend School<br />Live in Fear<br />Believe Violence is Their Fault<br />Behind Developmentally<br />High Risk for Substance Abuse<br />Susceptible to Injury<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Characteristics Of Children<br />Anxiety<br />Depression<br />Acting Out<br />Poor Health<br />Low Self Esteem<br />Poor Impulse Control<br />Sleeping Difficulties<br />Self-Mutilation<br />Acting Out<br />Eating Disorders<br />Assume Parental Role<br />PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Working Effectively With Victims of D.V.<br />
  26. 26. Victim Recovery<br />Regain Control of Life <br />Belief in Self<br />Become a “Survivor”<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Important Elements To Remember<br />Unpredictability<br />Change is a process<br />27<br />
  28. 28. What the Victim Needs?<br />1. Support:<br />Validate Feelings and Experiences<br />Point out Strengths<br />Be Respectful of Decisions (even if that mean they will stay)<br />Respect Autonomy<br />2. Advocacy:<br />Encourage<br />Motivate <br />3. Education:<br />Provide Resources<br />Share Information<br />Promote Safety<br />28<br />
  29. 29. Providing Effective Support<br />Let victim tell story at their pace; separate myth from fact<br />Nobody deserves to be beaten.<br />Recognize embarrassment and humiliation.<br />Understand ambivalence.<br />Crisis inhibits decision making ability.<br />Not alone.<br />Prioritize needs and services; don’t overwhelm.<br />Respect cultural values.<br />Concern for safety; provide options.<br /> HOPE<br />29<br />
  30. 30. Inappropriate Responses<br />DON’T: <br />-Be judgmental.<br />-Question victim’s actions.<br />-Pressure.<br />-Ask why victim waited so long to tell.<br />-Say you know what is best.<br />-Belittle the abuser.<br />-Assume you know the whole story.<br />30<br />
  31. 31. Inappropriate Responses Cont.<br />DON’T: <br />-Assume victim wants you do anything.<br />-Use yourself as an example.<br />-Guarantee safety.<br />-Tell victim what the abuser said.<br />-Rescue.<br />-Finish victim’s sentences.<br />-Think being assertive will stop the violence.<br />31<br />
  32. 32. Five Responses to a Recanting Victim<br />“I’m afraid for your safety.” <br />I’m afraid for the safety of your children.” <br />“It will only get worse.” <br />“I’m here for you when you are ready or able to leave.” <br />“You deserve better.”<br />32<br />
  33. 33. Comments by Victims<br />"I know when it began, only, I don’t know why. I remember the first time like it was yesterday. I can still see his face; see the anger and hatred etched upon it. It happened so fast. I never saw it coming. I learned a lot then. I learnt to notice the signs. I learnt to do as I was told. That was how I learned to walk on egg shells – it’s an art that must be mastered. Only I could never quite master it, not to his standards anyway ...“<br />"The main effect of this violence was that I started to change - I stopped being myself. I would avoid any conversation with friends when we were out that would have anything to do with my life before him, I didn't look at or talk to other men."<br />Source: http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Personal/Stories.htm<br />33<br />
  34. 34. Conclusion<br />Victims get trapped in a cycle of abuse that is difficult to leave.<br />D. V. victims don’t act like other crime victims.<br />Leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim; staying could be safer.<br />Children are victims too.<br />Because recovery is long term; C. J. professionals may not see the results of treating a D.V. victim with dignity and respect; however many victims don’t forget that individual.<br />34<br />

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