In any Domestic Violence situation there are so many emotions filling the air. There is anger, fear, control, terror. For children watching the violence play out, it is a horrifying experience. Children often feel it is their faults.
Profile of a Victim
Has low self-esteem
Believes all the myths about abusive relationships
Is a traditionalist about the home; strongly believes in family unity and the prescribed feminine sex role stereotypes.
Accepts responsibility for the batter’s actions.
Suffers from guilt, yet denies feelings of terror and anger.
Presents a passive face to the world but has the strength to attempt constantly to manipulate her environment enough to prevent further violence.
Has severe stress reactions, with psychophysiological complaints.
Uses sex as a way to establish intimacy.
Believes that no one will be able to resolve her predicament except herself.
Profile of the Batterer
Has low self-esteem.
Believes all the myths about abusive relationships.
Is a traditionalist, believing strongly in male supremacy.
Blames other for his actions.
Presents a dual personality. He/she is charming and social and upbeat out in public and at home he/she is controlling, angry, blaming.
Has severe stress reactions, during which he abuses his partner/children/and often uses alcohol and/or drugs to cope.
Frequently uses sex as an act of aggression to enhance self-esteem.
Does not believe his/her violent behavior should have negative consequences.
Who are the People who Batter?
People who batter come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, religions and walks of life. The abuser may be blue collar or a white collar worker. They may be unemployed or highly paid. He/she may be a drinker or a nondrinker. Batterers represent all different personalities, family backgrounds and professions. There is actually no “typical abuser.”
This means that a Congressperson can be a batterer and there have been more than one member of Congress who was a batterer. A priest or pastor could batter. Your funny and kind postal service person, the server at your favorite restaurant might abuse. Your neighbor, a police officer, a fire person or a librarian could go home and hit their intimate partner. Your favorite doctor or dentist could batter. Your car mechanic or the person who plows snow from your driveway could also hit, punch, slap, kick their partner. Domestic Violence is found everywhere. That is what makes this such an important issue. It is a global epidemic.