Domestic Violence: Anger and Abuse

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the murders of women in 18 states from 2003 to 2014, finding a total of 10,018 deaths. Of those, 55 percent were intimate partner violence-related, meaning they occurred at the hands of a former or current partner or the partner’s family or friends.”

“In 93 percent of those cases, the culprit was a current or former romantic partner.”

Courageous women tell their horror stories of abuse routinely in open court, as witnesses testify to the terror that occurred. Yet the legal system in this country seems to follow the adage, “Boys will be boys.” Many other professions are equally dismissive. A doctor sews up her stitches, but rarely offers up support. Attorneys give a range of options, but their high fees only send women back into the tormentor arms. These professionals didn’t go to school for this.

Violence is not an issue of stress, it is an issue is mismanaged anger. There is no violence without anger. Violence is an emotional response to being hurt or threatened. The epidemic of shootings and assaults are not senseless crimes, they are crimes of anger.

Most perpetrators have been through the medical and legal system, but their anger remains undiagnosed and untreated. The present system refuses to help. It does not seem to know what to do about anger except medication or incarceration. No one is learning anything.

This cycle of violence generally follows a pattern. Often the batterer will say that the victim is the one responsible for his rage and that he wouldn’t need to hit, if the victim didn’t “make him” angry. After a violent episode, the batterer may apologize, promise to make it up to the victim, They blame their behavior on alcohol, stress at work, etc., and promise that the violence will stop. At those times, the batterer may behave in a loving manner, and the victim wants to trust that he means what he says.

The victim may respond by trying to change their behavior to please the batterer, only to find that he becomes enraged about something else. There is always something else. Over the course of time, the victim might even start to believe that the violence is their fault. The victim’s self-esteem may begin to unravel. They are left feeling vulnerable and virtually powerless in their relationship.

If you are a victim of violence, it is important to remind yourself that there is never a circumstance under which you should be subjected to physical abuse. If at any time conversations or interactions become physically threatening, the best you can do is to walk away and separate yourself. If physical safety cannot be established, call the police immediately to ensure your personal wellbeing is not compromised.

Click to visit original source at PsychCentral

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Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

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