Domestic Violence – a.k.a Battering

Domestic Violence or Battering is a pattern of behavior specifically used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation.

Domestic Violence/Battering is used when one person believes they are entitled to control another. Assault, battering and domestic violence are crimes.

Definitions – Domestic Violence/Battering includes emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, using children, threats, using male privilege, intimidation, isolation, and a variety of other behaviors used to maintain fear, intimidation and power. In all cultures, the perpetrators are most commonly the men of the family. Women are most commonly the victims of violence. Recent studies reveal the prevalance of male abuse to be higher than previously reported. It is now believed that male abuse is 40% of all Domestic Violence/Battering. However, as is the case with all family issues, this statistic is decidedly low, due to the prevalence of non-reporting by the victim.

Acts of Domestic Violence/Battering include one or more of the following categories:

Physical Battering – The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks.

Sexual Abuse – Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity.

Psychological BatteringVerbal Abuse – The abuser’s psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property. (See the book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” by Patricia Evans)

Verbal Abuse:

1. Withholding information;

2. Silence;

3. Countering;

4. Discounting;

5. Verbal Abuse Disguised as jokes–teasing;

6. Blocking and Diverting;

7. Accusing and Blaming;

8. Judging & Criticizing;

9. Trivializing;

10. Undermining;

11. Threatening;

12. Name Calling;

13. Forgetting;

14. Ordering;

15. Denial;

16. Abusive Anger

Battering escalates. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, violence in her presence (such as punching a fist through a wall), and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, slapping, and/or pinching. The battering may include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, throwing. Finally, it may become life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of weapons.

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