A Basic Understanding Of Domestic Violence

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THE HUMAN FACTOR

 

  • Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten in the United States.

 

  • Between 3 and 4 million women are battered each year.

 

  • 85 to 95% of all domestic violence victims are female.

 

  • Women age 20 to 34 endure the highest rates of domestic violence.

 

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.

 

  • Women are more likely to be attacked by someone they know than by a stranger.

 

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

 

  • Homicide is the leading cause of death to women in the workplace.

 

  • Partners and boyfriends commit 13,000 acts of violence against women in the workplace every year.

 

  • Of battered workers:
    • 96% experience problems at work due to abuse
    • 74% are harassed while at work by their abuser
    • 56% are late to work
    • 28% leave work early
    • 54% miss entire days of work

 

  • More secretaries were slain on the job in 1993 than police officers and bartenders combined.

 

 

DYNAMICS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Types of abuse

 

  • Physical assault – One must be cautious of underestimating the severity of any violent act.

 

  • Property abuse – When sentimental items or things necessary for independent living are destroyed.

 

  • Sexual abuse – Although hesitant at first, women reveal that they are victims of aggressive rapes and intentional injury to the genital area and breasts.

 

  • Psychological abuse – Most devastating; woman’s perception of herself and her view of the world are distorted when her husband continually threatens her, belittles her, controls her, and forces her to perform degrading acts.

 

 

POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

  • The woman mentions not being able to use the telephone
  • She’s forbidden from seeing friends unless the batterer is present
  • He has exclusive control over all money and household financial matters
  • He won’t let her learn to drive, go to school, or obtain a job
  • She speaks very poorly of herself
  • Unable to make eye contact, looks away or at the ground when talking

 

 

CYCLE-OF-VIOLENCE HYPOTHESIS

Dr. Lenore Walker

 

Three Phases:

 

Phase One (Tension Builds)

  • Tension begins to accumulate and slowly escalates into an explosive rage
  • Becomes easily irritated
  • He is argumentative and verbally abusive
  • May use the “silent treatment”

 

Phase Two (Physical Violence Occurs)

  • An explosion of anger and violence, lasting from a few hours to a few days or up to several weeks
  • During this phase, women are seriously injured
  • Is the most dangerous
  • Women should be encouraged to seek refuge during this time period
  • Violence stops when victim leaves
  • Police are called

 

Phase Three (“Honeymoon”)

  • Reconciliation
  • Batterer may be apologetic, begs for forgiveness, promises to change his violent behavior, and becomes more attentive and romantic
  • He tries to convince her that he truly loves her and that he will change
  • Showering her with gifts and declarations of devotion

 

 

Characteristics of this Cycle-of-Violence:

  • Increased frequency – The more times the cycle is completed, the less time it takes to complete.
  • Increased severity – The longer the cycle when uninterrupted, the worse the violence gets.

 

Where in the Cycle of Violence is the batterer?

Understand the batterer’s attitudes and behaviors in the context of the stage she/he is in (i.e. if she/he is calmer, cooperative, willing to work things out, “remorseful”; victim is saying – he’s O.K., things are fine now).

 

These are subtle signs to look out for:

  • Minimizing
  • Blaming
  • Denial

 

 

RESTRAINING ORDER

 

When abuse is present, this is almost always a must.  Just about every county has a department that will issue these.  Check in your county

 

 

NATIONAL ABUSE HOTLINE AND WEBSITE

 

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

 

 

VICTIM SAFETY PLANNING

 

Domestic Violence Safety Plan – pamphlet prepared by the Governor’s ask Force in Florida

 

SCRIPTURAL EXHORTATIONS FOR THE VICTIM

 

2 Samuel 22:2-3

And he said:  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation,

My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.

 

Psalm 34:4-5

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;

He delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant;

Their faces are never covered with shame.

 

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

 

Isaiah 54:4-6

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;

Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;

For you will forget the shame of your youth,

And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

For your Maker is your husband,

The LORD of hosts is His name;

And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;

He is called the God of the whole earth.

For the LORD has called you

Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,

Like a youthful wife when you were refused.”

Says your God.

 

Matthew 11:28

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

I Peter 5:7

…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

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