What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a pattern of violent and coercive tactics; Domestic Violence is committed by one intimate against another; Domestic Violence is a learned pattern of behavior; Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior that uses techniques of control in order to influence the victims daily thoughts and conduct; The abuser will punish their partner for resisting their control. While Domestic Violence is directed at the particular victim, it also victimizes children, families, strangers & the community. Facts on Domestic Violence Physical abuse by male social partners may be the single most common source of injury among women, more common than auto accidents, muggings and rape combined.

95% of reported cases of domestic violence involve a male batterer and female victim. The highest rates of intimate violence affected women ages 16 to 24. Woman age 16 to 19 and women age 20 to 24 had nearly identical rates of intimate victimization - about 1 violent victimization for every 50 women. In general, women over age 65 were the least likely to experience an act of violence. Boys who witness their fathers' violence are 10 times more likely to engage in spouse abuse in later adulthood than boys from non-violent homes. Facts on Domestic Violence Female victims of domestic violence are more likely to be slain by their husbands while separated from them. In a study of three large homicide samples in Chicago, New South Wales (Australia), and Canada, researchers found that wives are much more likely to be slain by their husbands when separated from them than when coresiding. Wives are particularly at risk in the first two months after leaving. The New South Wales data available

for slain wives found that 47 percent were killed within two months and 91 percent within a year of separating. (Violence and Victims, Volume 8, Number 1, Spring 1993, "Spousal Homicide Risk and Estrangement") If every woman victimized by domestic violence last year were to join hands in a line, the string of people would expand from New York to Los Angeles and back again. In the United States, there are three times as many animal shelters as there are battered women's shelters How Adult Victims Survive and Try to Protect Themselves and Their Children from Domestic Violence: fighting back and defying the perpetrator pleasing and placating the perpetrator, complying with his demands not telling anyone about the violence for fear of making things worse not leaving far fear of making things worse

leaving to try to make things better avoiding the perpetrator, working separate shifts protecting the kids by sending them away searching for help, getting a restraining order, going to a shelter; trying to find help for the perpetrator How Adult Victims Survive and Try to Protect Themselves and Their Children from Domestic Violence: dropping the search for help as a way to protect herself being "devious" as a way to survive. Lying to the perpetrator and others encouraging the perpetrator to drink so he'll pass out and not hurt anyone reasoning with the perpetrator and expressing disapproval of his behavior trying to improve the relationship creating an internal space through fantasies that the

perpetrator cannot touch having sex to placate the perpetrator and protect the children from violence drinking and using drugs to numb her own pain lying about the perpetrator's criminal activity or child abuse so that he will not hurt the victim or the children Cycle of Violence Crisis Tension Calm Tension phase: often emotional abuse and verbal attacks; victim endures abuse hoping things will change and/or because of misperceived feelings of guilt/blame. Crisis phase abuse climaxes into a major assault.

Calm phase batterer persuades victim to stay in relationship using manipulation, promises to change, apologies; victim accepts a false hope. Unique Aspects of Teen Dating Violence Teens resist seeking help from parents and other adults, especially authority figures. They fear losing newly gained independence and do not want adults to control future decisions about their relationships or other aspects of their lives. Lack of experience in relationships makes teen more susceptible to sex-role stereotypes. Teens feel confusion about all kinds of appropriate behavior in relationships: sexual behavior, decision-making, birth control, etc. Lack of experience and peer group norms make it difficult for a victim to judge if his/her partners behavior is out of line. Isolation from abuse makes it even more difficult to do a reality check. Relationships are frequently perceived as very significant by teens and while the relationships may be short-lived, they are experienced as intensely as adult relationships. Unique Aspects of Teen Dating Violence The power differential between younger boys and girls may not be as significant as

when they are adolescents. We do see more incidents of girls using physical abuse against boys in younger teens (as compared to the adult population. Peer intervention can end or escalate a violent relationship. Friends of the victim may beat up the abuser, which may temporarily protect the victim, but may ultimately increase risk to the victim. The victim is often unable to avoid the abuser because they attend the same school, which increases the sense of fear and entrapment. Many adults do not take teen relationship problems seriously, discounting them as over-dramatized or incident to puppy love. Legal Protections Against Domestic

Violence Domestic violence means: (a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, of the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member. Family and household members include persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years or older has or has had a dating relationship whether or not they are presently residing together or have resided together in the past. Arrest a police officer must arrest a person (without need of a warrant) if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person is sixteen years or older and within the preceding fours hours has assaulted a family or household member. Assault actual or attempted physical bodily injury whether observable or not. Court orders - A variety of court orders including Civil restraining orders in connection with a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or parenting order

Protection orders available only to victims of domestic violence. No-contact order. A person sixteen years older may seek court relief of domestic violence w/o a guardian. No filing fee and be obtained without a lawyer and usually on same day requested. Barriers to Leaving Fear of violence

Immobilization by psychological and physical trauma Connection to abuser through his access to the children Being told by abuser, counselors, courts, the police, religious leaders, co-workers, employers, family members or friends that the violence is the victims fault Belief in cultural, family or religious values which support keeping family together Illness and dependence on abuser for health care Hope and belief that abuser will keep promises to stop being violent Belief that abuser will die, illness or suicide, if victim leaves Lack of employment or financial resources, especially if there are children Lack of affordable legal assistance

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