TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WHAT KIND OF DUDE BEATS UP ON A WOMAN?


In a 1998 study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, 64.8% of the 405 African Americans called viewed domestic violence as one of the most serious issues facing their community.


In the same study, 42.9% of the 405 African American respondents said that they had strong reason to believe that a woman they knew had been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.


Approximately one in three African American women are abused by a husband or partner in the course of a lifetime. (Department of Justice, "The extent, nature and consequence of intimate partner violence." 2000).


Of the women who die from domestic violence, 28% are African American. FBI supplementary homicide reports, 1976-1999).

"Every abusive relationship starts with a first offense. As someone who has worked at a women's shelter, I cannot tell you how many women, if they'd just walked away after that first incident, we wouldn't have ever had to see there. This is how people end up in abusive relationships that last for years. They forgive that first act of violence."
--Carolyn Hay, columnist for the Washington Post

Listen up. A couple of days ago, The Daddy posted a piece about domestic violence: what it is, what are the signs of abuse. Yesterday, The Daddy posted a piece that talked about the signs of abuse: How do you know you're in an abusive relationship, what are the types of abuse. Today, The Daddy may be wondering, "What kind of dude hits on a woman? What kind of dude intimidates her to get his way? What kind of dude will kill someone he loves because he is not getting the control he wants?

A brotha checked out The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ADADV) and got him some knowledge on. In very concise form, the piece talks about what male abusers do and the characteristics of a potential abuser. Check it out:


Why Do Abusers Batter?

Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling and coercive conduct that serves to deprive victims of safety and autonomy. Perpetrators believe they are entitled to power and control over their partners and perceive all interactions within relationships through a prism of compliance or disobedience. Perpetrators use abusive tactics to reinforce their rules and maintain absolute control over their victims.

Perpetrators come from all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, areas of the world, educational levels and occupations.

They often appear charming and attentive to outsiders, and even to their partners, at first. Many perpetrators are very good at disguising their abusive behavior to appear socially acceptable. Once they develop a relationship with a partner however, they become more and more abusive.

Characteristics
Domestic violence perpetrators:

  • seek control of the thoughts, beliefs and conduct of their partner.
  • restrict all of the victim’s rights and freedoms
  • punish their partner for breaking their rules or challenging the perpetrator’s authority
Men who batter:
  • minimize the seriousness of their violence
  • believe they are entitled control their partner
  • use anger, alcohol/drug use, and stress as excuses for their abusive behaviors
  • blame the victim for the violence
A batterer covers up his violence by denying, minimizing, and blaming the victim. He often convinces his partner that the abuse is less serious than it is, or that it is her fault. He may tell her that "if only" she had acted differently, he wouldn't have abused her. Sometimes he will say, "You made me do it."

Victims of abuse do not cause violence. The batterer is responsible for every act of abuse committed.

Domestic violence is a learned behavior. It is learned through:

  • observation.
  • experience.
  • culture.
  • family.
  • community (peer group, school, etc.).

Abuse is not caused by:

  • mental illness.
  • Personality disorders, mental illness, and other problems may compound domestic violence, but the abusive behavior must be addressed separately.
  • genetics.
  • alcohol and drugs.
  • Many men blame their violence on the effects of drug and alcohol use. Alcohol abuse is present in about 50 percent of battering relationships. Research shows that alcohol and other drug abuse is commonly a symptom of an abusive personality, not the cause. Men often blame their intoxication for the abuse, or use it as an excuse to use violence. Regardless, it is an excuse, not a cause. Taking away the alcohol, does not stop the abuse.

    Substance abuse must be treated before or in conjunction with domestic violence treatment programs.

  • out-of-control behavior.
  • anger.
  • stress.
  • behavior of the victim.
  • problems in the relationship.
A batterer abuses because he wants to, and thinks he has a "right" to his behavior. He may think he is superior to his partner and is entitled to use whatever means necessary to control her.

Some ways batterers deny and minimize their violence:

  • "I hit the wall, not her head."
  • "She bruises easily."
  • "She just fell down the steps."
  • "Her face got in the way of my fist."

Characteristics of a Potential Batterer
  • Jealousy
  • Controlling behavior
  • Quick involvement
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Isolation of victim
  • Blames others for his problems
  • Blames others for his feelings
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Cruelty to animals or children
  • "Playful" use of force during sex
  • Verbal abuse
  • Rigid sex roles
  • Jekyll and Hyde type personality
  • History of past battering
  • Threats of violence
  • Breaking or striking objects
  • Any force during an argument
  • Objectification of women
  • Tight control over finances
  • Minimization of the violence
  • Manipulation through guilt
  • Extreme highs and lows
  • Expects her to follow his orders
  • Frightening rage
  • Use of physical force
  • Closed mindedness

Manipulation
Abusers often try to manipulate the "system" by:

  • Threatening to call Child Protective Services or the Department of Human Resources and making actual reports that his partner neglects or abuses the children.
  • Changing lawyers and delaying court hearings to increase his partner's financial hardship.
  • Telling everyone (friends, family, police, etc.) that she is "crazy" and making things up.
  • Using the threat of prosecution to get her to return to him.
  • Telling police she hit him, too.
  • Giving false information about the criminal justice system to confuse his partner or prevent her from acting on her own behalf.
  • Using children as leverage to get and control his victim.
Abusers may try to manipulate their partners, especially after a violent episode.

He may try to "win" her back in some of these ways:

  • Invoking sympathy from her, her family and friends.
  • Talking about his "difficult childhood".
  • Becoming overly charming, reminding her of the good times they've had.
  • Bringing romantic gifts, flowers, dinner.
  • Crying, begging for forgiveness.
  • Promising it will "never happen again."
  • Promising to get counseling, to change.
Abuse gets worse and more frequent over time

Intervention
Perpetrator Intervention Programs For Abusers

Abusers can enter voluntarily or be court ordered to Perpetrator Intervention Programs. It is important to note that there are no guarantees that he will change his violent behavior. He is the only one that can make the decision--and commitment--to change.

In Alabama, there are certification guidelines for perpetrator intervention programs. Certified programs have completed a standards review process to ensure they meet guidelines. You can contact the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence for information on these standards, (334) 832-4842.

An intervention program should include these factors:

  • Victim's safety is the priority.
  • Meets minimum standards for weekly sessions (16 weeks).
  • Holds him accountable.
  • Curriculum addresses the root of his problem.
  • Makes no demand on the victim to participate.
  • Is open to input from the victim.

What programs teach:

  • Education about domestic violence.
  • Changing attitudes and beliefs about using violence in a relationship.
  • Achieving equality in relationships.
  • Community participation.
In the program, an abuser should become aware of his pattern of violence and learn techniques for maintaining nonviolent behavior, such as "time outs" "buddy" phone calls, support groups, relaxation techniques, and exercise.

Click here for locations and details about Alabama's Perpetrator Intervention Programs

How do you know if he is really changing?

Positive signs include:

  • He has stopped being violent or threatening to you or others
  • He acknowledges that his abusive behavior is wrong
  • He understands that he does not have the right to control and dominate you
  • You don't feel afraid when you are with him.
  • He does not coerce or force you to have sex.
  • You can express anger toward him without feeling intimidated.
  • He does not make you feel responsible for his anger or frustration.
  • He respects your opinion even if he doesn't agree with it.
  • He respects your right to say "no."

Am I safe while he is in the program?

For your own safety and your children's safety, watch for these signs that indicate problems while he is in the program:

  • Tries to find you if you've left.
  • Tries to get you to come back to him.
  • Tries to take away the children.
  • Stalks you.
If you feel you are in danger, contact the Alabama Domestic Violence crisis line.

Lies
Six Big Lies

If you hear your partner making these statements while he is in a treatment program for abusers, you should understand that he is lying to himself, and to you.

  • "I'm not the only one who needs counseling."
  • "I'm not as bad as a lot of other guys in there."
  • "As soon as I'm done with this program, I'll be cured."
  • "We need to stay together to work this out."
  • "If I weren't under so much stress, I wouldn't have such a short fuse."
  • "Now that I'm in this program, you have to be more understanding."

Counseling
Couples' Counseling does NOT work in violent relationships!

If you are struggling with a relationship, some people may advise you to get marriage counseling, or couples' counseling. While this can be good advice in some relationships, it is NOT good for couples where there is violence. In fact, in many cases, couples' counseling has increased the violence in the home.

Couples' counseling does not work because:

  • Couples' counseling places the responsibility for change on both partners.
  • Domestic violence is the sole responsibility of the abuser.
  • Couples' counseling works best when both people are truthful.
  • Individuals who are abusive to their partners minimize, deny and blame, and therefore are not truthful in counseling.
  • Couples resolve problems in counseling by talking about problems.
  • His abuse is not a couple problem, it is his problem. He needs to work on it in a specialized program for abusers.
    A victim who is being abused in a relationship is in a dangerous position in couple's counseling. If she tells the counselor about the abuse, she is likely to suffer more abuse when she gets home. If she does not tell, nothing can be accomplished.

If you think you will benefit from joint counseling, go AFTER he successfully completes a batterer's intervention program and is no longer violent.

Red Flags Of Abuse
You may be involved with a perpetrator if any of the following "red flags" exist in the relationship:

  • Quick involvement- the perpetrator pushes for a commitment or major event to occur very early in the relationship.
  • Isolation –the perpetrator begins asking you to spend less time with your friends and family and more time with him. You end up no longer maintaining close relationships with friends or family members.
  • Suggestions for change- the perpetrator has lots of suggestions on how you can improve your appearance, behavior etc. You begin to make changes solely based on these suggestions.
  • Controlling behaviors- the perpetrator influences your decisions on hobbies, activities, dress, friends, daily routines etc. You begin to make fewer and fewer decisions without the perpetrator’s opinion or influence.
  • Information gathering and pop-ins – the perpetrator wants to know the specific details of your day and rarely leaves you alone when you are not with him, such as when you are at work or out with friends.
  • Any forms of abuse – the perpetrator may use name calling, intimidation, humiliation, shoving, pushing or other forms of abuse to get you to do whatever they want you to do.

These red flags may indicate that you are involved with a perpetrator of domestic violence. These red flags may occur early in the relationship and be explained by the perpetrator as caring or loving behaviors such as "I just check on you because I miss you" or "I just want what is best for you" or "I just want us to work on our relationship and spend more time together."

If you have concerns about your relationship or your safety please call the toll free hotline 1-800-650-6522.

15 comments:

Daedalus said...

Than ks for posting this. At least once a yewar, I do a series of blogs on this issue and also the issue of violence against women. MY POV is that a man, with the possible exception of life or death, NEVER has an excuse to hit a woman.

That's the way I was raised. And yeah, even if a woman hits ME first, I will not hit a woman. It's not an even fight. IMO, only a coward would feel threatened enough to hit a woman.

Period.

Vigilante said...

I have no direct experience on this issue other than the perspective gained from decades of teaching high school: abuse of /girls/women starts at a young age & all of the patterns discussed above are evident.

A major intervention juncture may be with victims. I'm not into blaming them, but women must be schooled in the fact that physical abuse is not a sign of the abuser's love. It is a sign that the abuser must be corrected, but he cannot be "rescued" by the victim's 'standing by her man'. What I'm saying is that girls and women have to be emancipated in their personal circumstances. Not easy to achieve, by any means.

As for helping the abuser? Prosecute, prosecute, prosecute.

patti t said...

Thanks for the attention to the issue of domestic violence -- you have kept this in the forefront through your postings. It's not a fun thing to think about or read about for most people, but if everyone remembers that over 30% of all women experience some form of domestic abuse, then we all know family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues that are abused--they just may not have acknowledged it to anyone or maybe some people don't want to see it. Again, thanks for highlighting the issue and providing helpful information for people to read and share.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Domestic violence crosses all borders of race and class, but like so many social ills it seems to effect those especially in the lower socio-economic strata.

Oso said...

MacDaddy,
I have two grown daughters and greatly appreciate this.

My ex had been in an abusive relationship,I knew about it.One time we had gotten into an argument.Both of us sitting on the couch,too angry to talk anymore.

I made a sudden move to scoop up the car keys on the table in front of her,She instinctively pulled back,her eyes widened in fear.

I understood immediately she thought I was like him,going to react like him.I told her how sorry I was.

I have never hurt a woman,would never hurt a woman.but those of us who do-we scar them deeply,as well as scar their families.

nicki nicki tembo said...

answer: beast

I am no stranger to domestic violence. I walked out on a 15 yr marriage behind it. It can be devastating but as you pointed out some victims never make it out. My heart goes out to everyone touched by this epidemic.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Excellent info and post. I especially like your mentioning that couples counseling is NOT recommended and can exacerbate the problem.

I'll add this. Abusers often abuse the family pet. This is the man who throws the kitty out of his car window while driving because it's inconvenient or it's used to intimidate the wife or kids. Many times an investigation will begin from an Animal Rescue report. If a woman is being abused, there's also a good chance that man is beating on the kids.

The gray area is when the girlfriend or wife also has an abusive personality. This dynamic duo is a nightmare to deal with. They beat up each other and often the kids as well.

Also, a prison study I read showed that a disproportionate number of violent men have a higher than average rate of brain trauma from a blow to the head or a fall when they were young. Additionally, many witnessed their mother's get physically abused, such as Chris Brown, who never imagined he'd snap and do it.

Christopher said...

Daddy,

I used to think gay and lesbian couples were somehow exempt from the awful reality of domestic violence.

I'm not entirely sure what led me to think this other than not knowing any gay couples who were violent toward one another. Then, a few years ago, I read a report by some academic who researched domestic violence in same-sex relationships and he found as many as 8% of gay men beat their partners. I was angered, disappointed and appalled but I realized this can be an issue for anyone in a relationship.

I told Jim long ago, I will stick by him in illness, addiction, weight gain, and unemployment but, if he ever hit me -- just once, there will not be a second time. I will leave him faster than you can say "Adios, fucker." In turn, I have never hit him. Not in almost 17 years as a couple.

MadMike said...

I spent my entire adult life in law enforcement and I could tell stories that would curdle your stomach and bring tears to your eyes. There are more police officers killed or wounded at domestic violence calls than any other. The dynamics of these twisted relationships are complex indeed. You did a wonderful job bringing some of them to the forefront Daddy.

CareyCarey said...

DaddyBstrong

I was telling a friend of mine about the theme of your resent posts.

She's in the fight against domestic violence.

She asked me to give you an invite to her site. they just got their site up and running. If you have time, stop by and say hello. Her name is Shellie. I kind word would do wonders for her heart.



http://www.healingwatersempowerment.webs.com/#

CareyCarey said...

http://www.healingwatersempowerment.webs.com/

I think I blew that first address.

MacDaddy said...

Daedalus: You speak truth. There's no excuse for hitting a woman; and no woman should allow it.

Vigilante; What you say is true. Most programs I know do teach these things to women. Ultimately, it's up to those women to learn those lessons and the abuse.

Patti: I especially appreciate you dropping and adding your insights. As the Executive Director of a domestic violence agaecy, you know these issues intimately. Thank you.

Oso: I hope your daughters learn about this issue, including dating violence. Tell you what: I'll post something about dating violence. You might want to share it with them.

Nicki You've spoken with insight on this issue before. But I wish many more blogers would be posting on this issue, especially given the fact that this is a serious issue in all of our communities and this is domestic violence month.

Kit: Abusing pets make sense. I've worked with men who intimidate women by breaking the good dishes, or the dishest that momma left for her daughter. I've worked with men who punched their pregnant wife in the stomach because he's jealous of the time this child will take away from being with his wife.

I see hurting a pet as a way of getting after something the wife, partner of children really. Crazy.

MacDaddy said...

Christopher: I have counseled several gay partners. Admittedly, they were mostly men, but there were women too. What amazed me was how, though they were the same gender, they placed each other male/female gender roles. There always appeared to be a dominant/sub-dominant role.
So the violence came within these roles that I saw.

Now, this may not be true of all gays, or large percentage of gays. These were the gays with whom I worked.

At any rate, the violence between gays is one of the great secrets about domestic and favily violence.

Oso said...

MacDaddy,
a post on dating violence would be a great addition.Thank you.

MacDaddy said...

Carey: I checked out the Healing Water sight. It sounds like a good grassroots organization, the type that's gets to know people in the community and helps prevent violence against women.

I'll go back later today and say hello to Shellie.