Women enjoy being hit.
No one enjoys being physically hurt.
Very few women are abused.
One in eight women in Canada will be assaulted by their partner this year. Seven out of ten women will be assaulted by their partner in Canada
It only happens in poor, uneducated families.
Relationship violence happens in rich families, poor families, middle class families, educated families and uneducated families. Poor and uneducated families are more likely to be involved with social service programs and therefore it is more likely to come to the attention of the authorities, but that gap is closing as society becomes more aware.
Religion will prevent family violence.
Violence is just as likely to occur in religious homes, particularly in homes where the man is perceived as "head of the household." Violence is often not reported because the woman turns to the church and prays for help. This may help give her the strength to endure the abuse, but it will not stop her partner from being abusive.
Women make men become violent.
Violence is a choice. No matter what the woman is doing, if the man uses violence to respond, then he is responsible for having made that choice. There are always non-violent ways to respond to every situation.
Drinking causes relationship violence.
If drinking caused violence then every time people drank, they would become violent. People who become violent when they drink are people who have thoughts, feelings and beliefs that promote violence and these thoughts, feelings and beliefs exist whether they are drunk or sober. Alcohol simply makes it easier to act on them.
The kids need a father, even if he is abusive.
Children who are raised in violent homes are more likely to be abused or abusive to others when they grow up. They are also more likely to have substance abuse problems, unhappy relationships, low self-esteem, and engage in criminal behaviours. Children raised in non-abusive single parent homes are less likely to have these roblems as adults.
Women in violent relationships are crazy.
Women in abusive relationships have frequently been told that are to blame for all the family problems. They may feel controlled, afraid, helpless and isolated and those feeling can lead to depression, anxiety and a variety of physical complaints and illnesses. They frequently feel crazy, but they are simply responding normally to an abnormal situation.
If it were that bad, she would leave.
Women stay for a variety of reasons:
Women are as violent as men.
Women are 20 times more likely to be physically abused by a man than a man by a woman is. Men will sometimes say "she hit me first" but usually the woman gets hurt far more seriously than the man does. Men do not generally feel physically afraid of women. Women are physically afraid of men. If a man and a woman cross paths on a lonely street, it is the woman who will be afraid, not the man and it is the woman who is likely to be assaulted, not the man.
Battering can be described by several different terms. It is known as wife assault, spousal assault, woman abuse and violence against women in relationships. Wife battering is the most common form of woman abuse and not restricted to heterosexual marriages. It also occurs in lesbian/gay relationships, common-law and dating relationships, acts of prostitution and care-giving situations of older women.
Battering is not simply physical violence, and it is not just a conflict between two people. It is, rather, a systematic pattern of domination and control. Batterers gain control over their intimate partners, through a range of abusive acts, which may include psychological, sexual and physical abuse. The intent is to control women through isolation, pain and fear. Battered women often report that emotional abuse does far more damage than the physical abuse. A great deal of battering is hidden from the outside world.
First of all, many women do leave. Battered women are not passive victims who merely accept the abuse. They are constantly working to stop the violence, and to protect their children from its direct or indirect effects. Sometimes battered women deny or minimize psychological impact of the abuse.
The fact that a battered woman stays with an abuser may reflect the fact that our society has not made it clear that battering is unacceptable, and has not provided sufficient support for the victims of violence to be able to leave.
A woman often stays because, at least in the early stages of the battering, she sincerely hopes that her partner will change, and that the battering will stop.
When it becomes clear that this is not going to happen, she may well try to leave or get help. Her partner may threaten her with even more violence or other hurtful actions if she leaves - and she knows that her partner is capable of carrying out these threats. Many batterers threaten to get a court order for custody of the children if she leaves.
In addition, women who try to leave face many practical obstacles, such as:
Teen-aged wives, ages 15-19, are murdered approximately three times more often than wives of older age groups.
There are many theories about the psychological causes of battering, ranging from alcohol abuse, stress, poor anger management, and an abusive childhood. However, a more accurate picture of the causes of battering needs to include the social conditions that permit and even encourage violence against women. Such conditions include traditional sex roles that teach men to dominate and women to submit.
Another social condition that promotes battering is our society's use of hierarchies, which is the belief that every group, family or relationship should have one person in charge, and that person has the right to use force to ensure their power and control over others.
Witnessing battering is a form of child abuse. A Toronto study found that in families with children, a child was present and witnessed the assault of his or her mother in 68% of incidents. Research has also demonstrated that children are directly abused in one out of every three families where the mother is assaulted.
Children who witness violence often experience interrupted development, eating and sleeping problems, and failure to thrive. The children also suffer more injuries or accidents, restlessness, shaking, stuttering, aggression, withdrawal, school problems and suicide.
Sometimes a battered woman will remain in the relationship because of her concern for her children. She may believe, as many in society still do, that "children need a father" regardless of his behaviour.
Sometimes a father will bribe or threaten the children to convince the mother to return.
Some women who face a custody battle may be trapped between a legal system that says a father has the right to see his children, as well as her children's reluctance to visit him because they are afraid.
Violence against a woman in a relationship is a crime. The batterer may be charged under various sections of the Criminal Code, which addresses assault, threats, criminal harassment such as stalking, sexual assault and intimidation.
Since 1984, the policy of the Provincial Attorney General's department has been to direct police officers to arrest the batterer if it appears that he may assault his partner again, or if the woman is injured, or there is other evidence of a crime.
The responsibility for charging the batterer rests not with his partner, but with the police and the Crown Counsel.
If the police are not called at the time of the assault, a woman has the right to report this assault at a later date. However, the sooner an assault is reported, the more favourable the outcome can be for a woman's protection. The assault report will be passed to Crown Counsel who will then make the decision of whether or not to lay charges.
If there is not enough evidence to support a charge, but the woman is afraid for the safety, she may apply for a peace bond through the Criminal Court. A support worker or advocate for the woman who is from a local transition house, a women's centre or Legal Services office may be able to help the battered woman with using and understanding the justice system, including how to complain about a service she has used.
Sometimes women are accused of being "just as violent" as their batterers. However, spousal homicide rates show that women are killed by their partners at a rate three times higher than that of women who kill men, and women who have been separated from their partners are murdered eight times more frequently by ex-husbands than separated men are killed by ex- wives.
Generally, the claim of "mutual battering" is a method of denying what is really taking place. A close look at the history and patterns of a violent relationship will most often show that the abuser has superior physical strength and skills for assault as well a superior social class. By contrast, his partner will be the one to adapt her behaviour and lifestyle preferences to please the abuser, and will be the one who has suffered the more extensive physical and emotional damage.
Both partners may be violent, but studies have shown that men are violent in response to women resisting their control or trying to leave, and women are violent when their lives or their children's lives are in danger.
A study conducted in Toronto secondary schools found that 1/5 of the young women who responded were experiencing abuse in their relationships. Young women often form relationships with young men within the friendship groups, so they find it difficult to break away from their abusive partner. Their boyfriend has easy access to them at school, work and social activities.
Quitting school, moving away or seeking refuge within a women's shelter are seldom viable options. Legal solutions are just as difficult. Courts that might charge and jail an adult male for violence often deal with a teenaged man lightly or not at all. Solutions for young women must acknowledge their situation and experiences.
Elder abuse is abuse or neglect by anyone (spouse, family member or caregiver) on whom the elder relies. Elder abuse takes similar forms to wife abuse with additional concerns related to the older person's stage of the life cycle.
Physical frailty, possible decreasing levels of mental competency as well as exploitation of the elder's financial position are factors to consider.
There are many ways people verbally abuse others. However, when verbal abuse occurs, it will make good communication impossible, and relationships cannot survive without communication. In her book "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" (B. Evans Inc. 1992), Patricia Evans describes a number of types of verbal abuse:
Emotional abuse takes many forms. They hurt, they frighten, they destroy people's spirits, they severely damage mental and physical health. It involves a systematic destruction of the woman's self-esteem, security, and independence. The strategies are intended to control the woman and isolate her. Men who use the strategies usually feel Insecure and jealous.
However, there are some men who use emotional abuse to be intentionally cruel or because they believe "I am the man. I have the right." Some examples of emotional abuse are:
This is not how we treat the people we love. This is nothow we treat anyone.
Psychological abuse can take many forms as well, but they have in common the intent to control the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of the other person. Some forms of psychological abuse are intimidation, threats and emotional abuse.
Combining these behaviours with an occasional act of physical violence keeps the woman constantly intimidated and creates an environment where she feels paralyzed by fear. She will receive the message "do what I want or tell you or you might get hurt." This cruelty will destroy her self-esteem and likely her mental and physical health and will ultimately destroy the relationship.
Physical abuse is the most obvious form of abuse to identify. It is physical contact intended to Intimidate and control the other person. It can also include any behaviour that results in physical harm to the other person. Legally, any unwanted physical contact is considered physical assault. Some examples are:
Some men who are abusive will say "I'm not as bad as the other guys. I only pushed her to get her out of my way." These men tend to look at violence on a continuum from minor to serious. There are three problems with this thinking:
Violence always gets worse.
Everyone has the right to say NO to any sexual behaviour - good or bad - and NO MEANS NO. Any coercion is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is when you threaten, or hurt or control another person in a sexual way. Below are some of the examples of ways and means men sexually abuse their partners:
Healthy and passionate sex is something two people share not something one person does to the other. Abuse destroys passion.
Sexual abuse of children is the most horrendous of all crimes. It destroys their spirit. This horrendous crime can be the catalyst that makes it easy for the children to abuse later in life because their self-esteem has been destroyed.
If you have made any of the statements or similar comments printed under sexual abuse to your partner and/or to your children, you are being viciously sexually abusive.
The sexual abuse of children is enshrouded in secrecy and denial. Secrecy is imposed by the perpetrator with a variety of intimidations that range from the subtle to the viciously sadistic.
The silence obtained from the child is so deeply internalized that the victim reaches adulthood with the secret of her/his violations intact. If the child does disclose the abuse while it is occurring, he or she is often ignored disbelieved, vilified, or further abused rather than validated and supported. This kind of abuse leaves devastating wounds.
Sexual desire can often be a problem in relationships where there are power and control issues, or when it is an authoritarian relationship. Partners are not interested in having sex if they are treated like a child or if they are abused in any way.
Men and women are socialized differently with respect to sex. Women are more likely to associate sex with emotional intimacy, whereas men more often describe it as straight pleasure or tension relief.
Regardless of the definition of sex, children should never be the scapegoat for sex.
Many women indicate men want to have sex after an abusive fight. For men this is a way to make amends. It helps them feel safe because if she is willing to have sex then she must forgive the abuse. Women submit to sex at this time not because they forgive or want sex, but because they fear the argument starting up again and want it to settle down. They are afraid to say no in fear that the men will get angry again. This results in the women feeling even more degraded. After a fight is not the time to approach your partner or any children for sex.
If your need for sex is more important than respecting your partner or your children, then you are being sexually abusive. If the need for sex is more important than the enjoyment for sex, then it is imperative that professional help is pursued.
Only you can stop that behaviour.