“Abusers actually tend to benefit in many ways from their controlling behaviors. An abuser can usually outperform his victim on psychological tests, such as the ones that are routinely required during custody disputes, because he isn’t the one who has been traumatized by years of psychological or physical assault. No one who listens carefully to the tragic accounts of abused women and then sees the abusers each week at a counseling group, as my colleagues and I have done, could be fooled into believing that life is equally hard for the men.”
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Part of Myth #15: Abuse is as bad for the man who is doing it as it is for his partner. They are both victims.)
Is he going to get violent?
An abusive man can be scary. Even if he never raises a hand or makes a threat, his partner may find herself wondering what he is capable of. She sees how ugly he can turn, sometimes out of the blue. His desire to crush her emotionally is palpable at times. He sometimes tears into her verbally with a cruelty that she could never have imagined earlier in their relationship. When a man shows himself capable of viciousness, it is natural, and in fact wise, to wonder if he will go further. Abused women ask me over and over again: “Do you think my partner could get violent? Am I overreacting? I mean, he’s not a batterer or something.”
Before I take you through a list of points to consider in examing this issue, make a mental note of the follwoing:
RESEARCH INDICATES THAT A WOMAN’S INTUITIVE SENSE OF WHETHER OR NOT HER PARTNER WILL BE VIOLENT TOWARD HER IS A SUBSTANTIALLY MORE ACCURATE PREDICTOR OF FUTURE VIOLENCE THAN ANY OTHER WARN SIGN.
So listen closely to your inner voices above all.
When a woman tells me of her concerns about her partner’s potential for violence, I first encourage her to pay close attention to her feelings. If he is scaring her, she should take her intuitive sense seriously, even if she doesn’t believe his frightening behavior is intentional. Next, I want to learn more about what has already happened:
Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out?
Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you?
Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did?
Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you?
Have he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you?
Has he ever threatened to hurt you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already have been. In more than half of cases in which a woman tells me that her partner is verbally abusive, I discover that he is physically assaultive as well.
It is critical to use common-sense — and legal — definition of what constitute violence not the abuser’s definition. An abuser minimizes his behavior by comparing himself to men who are worse than he is, whom he thinks of as “real” abusers. If he never threatens his partner, then to him threats define real abuse. If he only threatens but never actually hits, then real abusers are those who hit. Any abuser hides behind this mental process: If he hits her but never punches her with a closed fist…If he punches her but she has never had broken bones or been hospitalized…If he beats her up badly but afterward he apologizes and drives her to the hospital himself (as several clients of mine have done)…In the abuser’s mind his behavior is never truly violent.
A related mental process reveals itself when a client says to me, as many do: “I’m not like one of those guys who comes home and beats his wife for no reason.” In other words, if he had adequate justification, then it isn’t violence. The abuser’s thinking tends to wend it’s way inside of the woman, too, like a tapeworm. The partners of my clients say things to me, such as “I really pushed him to far,” or “He’s never hit me; he just shoves me sometimes,” that almost certainly come from the abuser’s indoctrination.
To steer clear of these distortions, we need to wrestle the definition of violence out of the hands of the abusers and implement a proper one of our own.”
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via seebster)
He only screams at me.
He only grabs my wrist sometimes.
He only holds me down while he screams at me.
He only won’t let me out of the room.
He only slammed my head against the wall.
He only choked me.
He only slapped me.
He only punched me once.
He only left three cuts.
It’s only a few bruises.
“Hello there. The following is an incomplete list of Domestic Violence shelters for Queer and Trans* People of Color in all 50 United States. This list will also contain reading resources with tools for addressing abuse and domestic violence in queer communities.”
Signal boosting this project that March of Tigers is leading. I won’t reblog the whole list because (luckily) it’s huge but do click through the link and check it out. Also, support March of Tigers by either further helping spread awareness of this resource or by contributing with further data.
Thought of the day.
For school, my group and I are doing a campaign against domestic violence/abuse. It would mean a lot to me if you guys would reblog this, or follow/like these following pages/accounts:
Thanks so much everyone!
Every minute, 24 people are abused by an intimate partner through physical violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Over the course of a year, that means more than 12 million women and men will suffer immediate injury, as well as long-term physical, psychological and social consequences.
Love is a powerful feeling, but it should never involve unwanted physical pain caused by a partner. If you’re ever worried about your relationship, please know that there are peer advocates available at loveisrespect to answer your questions and talk about options.