FOCUS

Foundation of Caring, Understanding & Services

Domestic Violence

         

Think you know what Domestic Violence is??

Know the Myths and Facts

Myth: Domestic violence is just an
occasional slap/punch that isn’t serious.

 

Fact: Victims are often seriously
injured or killed due to domestic
violence.  Over 30% of women seeking care in emergency rooms have been injured by their partner.

 

Myth:  Domestic violence is  always
physical.

 

Fact: Domestic violence has
many forms including:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Isolation
  • Coercion
  • Harassment
  • Economic Control
  • Abusing Trust
  • Threats & Intimidation
  • Emotional Withholding
  • Destruction of Property
  • Self-Destructive Behaviors

Myth: If the abuser realizes what he has done and is truly sorry, the abuse will stop.

 

Fact: Abusers very rarely stop abusing.

Abuse actually escalates and becomes more severe over time. 
Apologizing is an integral part of the cycle of violence.
 

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is about one person getting and keeping power and control over another person in an intimate relationship.

The abusive person might be your current or former spouse, live-in lover or dating partner. The behaviors are designed to control another person and include a variety of tactics. Some behaviors are physically injurious and some are criminal.

Most abusers are men. They may seem gentle, mean, quiet or loud, and may be big or small. There is some evidence that shows boys who grow up with domestic violence often become abusers as adults, however, many abusers are from non-violent homes, and many boys from violent homes do not grow up to be abusive.

Examples of behaviors that may not be criminal but are still related to domestic violence include degrading comments, interrogating children or other family members, suicide threats or attempts, controlling access to family resources, time, money, food, clothing, shelter, as well as controlling the abused party's time and activities, etc.

Whether or not there has been a finding of criminal conduct, evidence of these behaviors indicates a pattern of abusive control which has devastating effects on the family. The abuse may be directed at persons other than the victim (e.g., children) or even animals and pets, for the purpose of controlling the victim.

To better understand all of the ways that an abuser can use power and control over a victim, you can check out what is commonly called the "power and control wheel" at
www.inmotiononline.org/content/view/16/16/lang,en/.




The Cycle of Violence
 
 
 
Tension Building:
 
The tension-building phase is characterized by increased emotional abuse and a feeling of threat or intimidation.  It may include minor physical abuse like slapping or pushing.  Victims feel tense or afraid and often say that they are “walking on eggshells.”  Some victims learn to recognize the signs and try to avoid or deflect the abuser’s anger.  Sometimes they make provoke the abuser to break the tension and get the “blow up” over with.
 

Violent Blow Up:

A violent episode that may involve physical and/or sexual abuse, property destruction, and severe emotional abuse.  These episodes will increase in severity as time goes on, becoming more violent and potentially lethal the more times the cycle repeats.

 

 

Honeymoon Phase: 

After violence occurs, this is a period of apologies, gifts, promises, and bargaining.  The victim will minimize or deny the abuse.  The abuser will minimize and apologize for the abuse.  This is often a time of renewed courtship, romance, and sexual intimacy.  This part of the phase reminds the victim of “how things used to be” when they first met and gives the victim hope that the abuser will change and that this is really the last time.

 


Think that living with domestic violence only hurts YOU? Think again.

Know the Facts:

  • 1 in 4 women are physically abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their life.
  • Every 15 seconds a woman in the U.S. is battered by her partner.
  • Both men and women are victims of domestic violence.
  • While drugs and alcohol can escalate an abusive situation, many abusers never consume drugs or alcohol.
  • 25% of domestic violence victims are pregnant at the time of abuse.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of serious injury to American women between the ages of 15-44.
  • 50%-70% of men who abuse their partners also abuse their children.
  • 30% of convicted animal abusers have also been convicted of domestic abuse.
  • Over 3.3 million children between the ages of 3-19 are at risk of exposure to parental violence every year.
  • Abuse gets progressively worse.  Promising to change is part of the cycle of violence.