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Domestic Abuse By Women


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Domestic Abuse By Women

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This may bemuse, befuddle or anger some of us, but here's some reality. If you read through it and have a comment, I'd love to hear.


Domestic Abuse by Women

When I was very young, I found that it was amazingly hard to get praise from my mother. Lord knows, I tried. As I got older, I found that none of us in the family seemed to be able to get any positive reactions. Years later, I married an abusive man, divorced, and many years after that found yet another abuser to love. When I finally entered counseling for abuse victims, one of the sterling pieces of information given me by my therapist was “Well, your mother sounds like an abusive narcissist.” That thing that no one had understood or named before was the beginning of my personal answer, but it brought another problem with it – the fact that my father endured all that I did and more. As an abused woman, I had many places to turn for help, but my father was also abused – Where could he go then? If he were still alive, where could he turn even now? The misunderstandings that arise when discussing domestic abuse by women are twofold – the ideas that domestic violence is always physical and that because men are larger and stronger they do not suffer from abuse, and therefore do not require any sort of assistance.

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To quote Dr. Sam Vaknin (2007):

“While sexual and physical abuse are slowly coming to the open and being recognized as the scourges that they are – psychological abuse is still largely ignored. It is difficult to draw a line between strict discipline and verbal harassment…The professional community is no less to blame. Emotional and verbal abuse are perceived and analyzed in "relative" terms – not as the absolute evils that they are. Cultural and moral relativism mean that many aberrant and deplorable behaviour patterns are justified based on bogus cultural "sensitivities" and malignant political correctness” (p. 135).

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Those who have abused a domestic partner are generally classified with one of several personality disorders – narcissistic, borderline, antisocial or Post-Traumatic Stress Disordered. How does one create such disorders? Part of the answer (tentatively) seems to lie in genetics, but the other part comes from trauma or neglect experienced in childhood or later life experiences, as in military service or serving prison time. One of the hallmarks common to all these disorders is extremely poor emotional regulation and impulsive aggression. (Yu, 2007)
A study by the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that [sign in to see URL]% of the population suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (with a 2-1 ratio of female to male). Other studies put the occurrence of Borderline Personality Disorder at 2-3 % of the population (with a 3-1 ratio of female to male) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder at 1% (with a 3-1 ratio of male to female). Given a U.S. population of approximately 300 million people, we have a group of about 13 million women afflicted with serious mental/emotional issues. Most will marry and have children. And some will, because of the nature of their affliction, abuse their mates and children.

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Abuse does not start as beating or kicking one’s partner and “[e]ven though most verbally abusive relationships do not become violent, a good number do” (Evans, 1996, p. 11). Almost always it begins with words and looks and attitude. In fact, the list of abusive tactics starts with:
. Verbal – yelling, silence, put downs, threats, blaming, criticism and name-calling;
Psychological/emotional – these are controlling behaviors used to manipulate, undermine, and confuse a victim:
Sexual – unwanted touching, sexual jokes, affairs, and rape;
Economic – controlling the money, taking the victim’s whole paycheck, excessive spending, denying basic needs and interfering with the victim’s ability to get or keep a job;
Property – throwing or breaking objects, slamming things, hitting walls or other large objects, disabling the car;
Spiritual – misusing scriptures to get ones way, not allowing a victim to attend church, not allowing God to be a part of life and deriding the theology or salvation of the victim;
Animal – kicking, throwing, hurting, or killing a family pet;
and finally ends with the one we all have learned to recognize:
Physical – blocking, hitting, pushing, slapping, scratching and strangling/choking. (Victims Assistance Services, Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc.,2002, pamphlet)

It is impossible to ever measure the number of verbally abusive relationships, but it is easy to realize that all the behaviors above are done by men to women and by women to men; the only leap of imagination necessary is to change the description of the victimized men – from abused to henpecked - and then you can believe that it’s true. Patricia Evans, in The Verbally Abusive Relationship (1996) explains it thus:



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Mar/9/2017, 3:18 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: Domestic Abuse By Women


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“The effects of verbal abuse are primarily qualitative. That is, they cannot be seen like the effects of physical abuse. There are no physical signs of injury, no bruises, black eyes or broken bones. The intensity of anguish which the victim suffers determines the extent of the injury. The quality of the experience of the victim defines the degree of abuse” (p. 19).

Since the early 1970s, with the beginning of the women’s movement, feminist perspective has dictated that patriarchal social structures are the primary reason for the abuse of women. It has assumed that both verbal and physical abuse are always perpetrated by men and always toward women. Initially, because of the clear horror of the pictures and stories of abused girlfriends and wives, this was simply accepted as revealed truth. Slowly however, questions began to arise – about violence in homosexual couples, about men who reported abuse. The concept that “women usually use violence as a reaction to men's violence against them" was prominent for about 20 years and has been well-accepted (Walker, 1989, p. 652).

Further exploration however, and carefully designed studies that clearly separated the who/what/why of abuse, began to consistently find that men did indeed suffer from abuse and that women did in fact abuse. Stets and Straus (1992) compared couples where the violence pattern was male-severe/female-minor, with those where this pattern was reversed. They found the female-severe/male-minor pattern to be significantly more prevalent. For dating couples, 12.5% reported the female-severe pattern and 4.8% reported the male-severe pattern; 1.2% of cohabiting couples reported the male-severe pattern compared to 6.1% reporting female-severe; 2.4% of married couples reported male-severe and 7.1% reported female-severe.

In fact, studies compiled by the U.S. Department of Health regarding what they designate as “Intimate Partner Violence” find that at least as many women as men self-report starting physical violence without previous emotional or physical violence having been directed at them, and that “5.8 million incidents of IPV occur each year among U.S. women ages 18 and older and 3.2 million occur among men.” Further, “n the United States every year, about 1.5 million women and more than 800,000 men are raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner. This translates into about 47 IPV assaults per 1,000 women and 32 assaults per 1,000 men” (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006, ¶¶ 3,4).

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Female abusers seem to fit into one of three categories: dominant aggressors (much like male abusers), women who fight back in self defense but who are primarily victims, and women who are in mutually aggressive relationships. The data from a recent meta-analysis indicates “Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases” (Whitaker, 2007, p. 942).

And why should any adult actually submit to such abusive behavior, whether verbal or physical, in the first place? Simple unsophistication is an answer, but there is also the victim’s childhood experience to be reckoned with. Common to both male and female abusers are their histories, which lead them to expect that “they will not be cared for, that they will be taken advantage of, and that they have learned to expect that they are not worthy of being treated otherwise” (Egeland and Farber, 1984, [sign in to see URL]). It has been clearly understood (Jack and Dutton, 1995) that early exposure to regular abuse and/or neglect of any sort creates one of two usual personalities. The first variety will become a mirror of the abusive parent and repeat the behavior in his or her adulthood. The second variety becomes withdrawn, submissive and of “low affect” and low expectations. These children exhibit what is called “learned helplessness” and compliant personalities, with poor emotional boundaries – perfect victims (Golumb, 1992).

What help is there? It’s only been a few years since the concept of abused men has begun to gain any traction at all. Even now very few men will voluntarily report abuse. According to Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE), there are currently no more than 5-10 shelters in the entire U.S. for men.
“Not only do you have no place to go, if you're a man, you also have no one?to talk to. I would call DV hotlines and they would ridicule me, telling me that I was the only MAN ever to call them claiming that a woman had been?abusive. Also, when I finally got my ex to go to counseling, the counselor excused her from taking any responsibility for her abuse, telling her that our marriage was causing her to hit me. I would walk in to the session with bandages on my wounds and he would console HER as if she were the victim. Really sick, if you ask me. When I went to the court for protection, the judge told me to get out of his court, in spite of the fact that I had numerous police reports and ER documentation to back me up” (Anonymous, 2005, p. #4).

So we can come to a simple conclusion – large numbers of emotionally disturbed parents exist, who will produce emotionally disturbed children who will become emotionally disturbed parents who will . . . the cycle doesn’t end. It operates for girls and for boys, for men and for women. Women can verbally assault, they can economically abuse, they can stalk, they can have affairs and they can hit. And they do. Why do men stay? Their reasons are fundamentally the same as those abused women cite – it’s economically difficult, they don’t like to leave their children behind with an adult who is abusive, they are embarrassed and ashamed, and they especially fear the ridicule of the world at large.
  
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When society at large begins to understand that abusers and victims can each come in either sex, there will be hope of actually getting help for female abusers and for male victims. Without that help there can be little improvement in their families, or in the lives of the children who live in them. If that understanding does not come, then they will continue to perpetuate the emotional and physical violence they have learned.

---
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

http://samvak.tripod.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Mar/9/2017, 3:19 pm Link to this post  
 


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