Domestic violence is a common problem that can happen in any home regardless of race, religion, economic status and location.
Profile of Abusers
- Becomes paranoid whenever under stress
- Refuses to believe that violent behaviour brings out negative consequences
- Isolates himself socially and shows bouts of low self -esteem
- Strongly imposes traditional gender roles for families
- Pathologically jealous and blames others for his significant behaviour
- Experiences serious stress reactions that are vented out through abuse and drinking
- Becomes violent and then expresses regret for the actions
- Low tolerance for the flaws in the behaviour of others
- Utilizes sex as aggression to boost self-esteem
Profile of Victims
- Very trusting, yet unable to express feelings
- Becomes withdrawn whenever under stress
- Unsophisticated and shy in the presence of others
- Shows low self-esteem and lack of self identity
- Believes in traditional gender roles for families
- Feels guilt and often feels responsible for the abusive behaviour
- Denies any feelings of anger and even fear
- Experiences serious stress reactions
- Believes in self sufficiency since no one can help
- Appears to be passive and reserved
- Establishes intimacy through sex
The Circle of Violence
Relationships with domestic violence will have significant characteristics that are sets them apart from intimate and healthy relationships. When you learn to identify and understand the difference between these relationships, you will recognize the time to seek help either medically or legally.
- PHASE 1 – Romance
Like any other relationship relationships with domestic violence starts with romance. Abusers bonds and connects with their partner to gain trust. Sadly, once the cycle begins, victims of abuse will never experience this romantic phase again. Once the trust has been secured abusers then move on to the tension building phase dominated through control and power.
- PHASE 2 – Tension Building
Abusers then enforce power to control victims and impose rules with consequences that can be impossible to follow. These consequences often result in violence that increases gradually through slapping, pinching and shoving. The rules imposed on victims usually include isolation from family and friends and limitations or deprivation in money spending. Domestic violence abusers attempt to objectify victims through degrading, demeaning and derogatory phrases as violence is easier committed towards objects. The acts of violence will lead victims to experience tension, depression, anxiety and constant headaches. As victims will try to avoid the violence, they will try to follow the rules the best they can.
- PHASE 3 – Acute Battering
The violence experienced in this phase is uncontrollable and it is highly dangerous. Abusers attempt to discipline victims and ignore any injuries that result from their actions. Minor injuries such as bruises from pinches, slaps and hair pulling, will escalate into serious injuries and even lead to death. Victims often undergo a stage of denial, shock and disbelief, and they avoid fighting back. As abusers end the phase with sudden extreme violence, the victims will already be in psychological and physical shock.
- PHASE 4 – Remorse
This last phase of domestic violence phase involves the efforts of abusers to win forgiveness in order to avoid breaking up the relationship. Though forgiveness will be sought through loving efforts, abusers will still hold victims accountable for their actions. In fact, abusers will also offer gifts to entice victims to forgive them and victims begin to trust once again that the abuse will end. Unfortunately, this will only bring victims back to the second phase and experience all hardship over again.