Dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence

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1 Dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence SANDRA MOLINARI, M.A. COMMUNITY EDUCATION DIRECTOR SAFE ALLIANCE 2015 THE SAFE ALLIANCE 1

2 Fair Use Disclaimer In good faith, this work contains fair use of copyrighted and non-copyrighted images from the public domain and internet for nonprofit educational purposes in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act of Quotations are attributed to the original authors and sources. Further use of these materials and this presentation are restricted.

3 Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence in TX In 2014 in Texas, 23,311 victims of family violence sought shelter and safety from violence at a family violence program. The average shelter stay was just over 31 days. 61,119 Texans sought counseling/advocacy services rather than shelter. In 2013, 119 Texas women were killed [in family violence incidents]. Additionally, 5 children were killed. Texas Family Violence by the Numbers Texas Council on Family Violence.

4 Agenda Dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV) Common tactics used by abusers Reasons victims stay Impact of trauma /Working with survivors Holding perpetrators accountable What comes up in YOUR work? Helpful resources

5 Today s Learning Objectives 1) Identify at least 3 common tactics used by abusive partners. 2) Name at least 3 reasons victims sometimes choose to stay with their abusive partners. 3) Identify ways to help hold perpetrators accountable THE SAFE ALLIANCE 5

6 Resources

7 Definitions (CDC) Intimate partner violence includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive tactics) by a current or former intimate partner (i.e., spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, dating partner, or ongoing sexual partner). An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that may be characterized by the partners emotional connectedness, regular contact, ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior, identity as a couple, and familiarity and knowledge about each other s lives. The relationship need not involve all of these dimensions. Also: Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse, Dating Violence, Family Violence (includes child abuse)

8 Intimate Partner Violence is Complex Domestic abuse is a learned and chosen pattern of hurtful behavior used to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It sometimes erupts in physical violence, but that s not the whole of it. For someone who lives in an abusive home, the sense of powerlessness and insecurity is pervasive. Domestic Abuse Project

9 Cycle of Violence Tension Building * moody * criticizes * nitpicking * yelling * can't do anything right * silent treatment * plays mind games, "crazy-making" The Explosion * raging * destroys property * physical assault * verbal abuse Tension Building * general feeling of walking on eggshells * tries to keep the peace * tries to keep kids quiet * tries to please the abuser * questions or doubts self, feels "crazy" The Explosion * tries to protect self * leaves the scene * leaves the relationship * tries to reason *fights back * calls police Abuser Survivor Honeymoon/Calm * apologizes * promises to go to counseling * promises never to do it again Honeymoon/Calm * agrees to stay in the relationship * feels happy, hopeful * feels that this is the abuser's true self Adapted from work by Lenore Walker, Ph.D

10 Progression of Violence Research shows that without intervention, a batterer s abuse increases in intensity and frequency over time. The abuser may stay at higher and higher levels of escalation, rarely dropping to lower levels. Domestic Abuse Project

11 The Use of Power to Attain Control in a Relationship The abuser may use coercion, intimidation, emotional abuse, threats, isolation, economic abuse, and /or the children to control his or her partner. He or she also minimizes, denies and blames the partner for their own behavior. The core issue for the abuser is to be in control of the relationship in order to have his or her needs met. If the aforementioned tactics don t work, then the abuser enforces his threats with physical and/or sexual violence. Domestic Abuse Project

12 Power and Control Wheel Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

13 Myths Men can t be abused Batterers are mentally ill Drinking & drug abuse cause IPV Batterers are not loving partners Victims/Survivors can always leave home

14 Co-Occurrence of Sexual Assault The majority of women who have been physically assaulted by a partner report being sexually assaulted by the same partner. Taylor, L., & Gaskin- Laniyan, N. (2007). Sexual Assault in Abusive Relationships. NIJ Journal, (256). Marital rape may result in more damage than stranger rape because victims are pressured to stay with their abusive partner, victims may have difficulty identifying the act as a crime or their partner as a criminal, there are potential negative impacts on children living in the home, and there is a higher likelihood of repeat assault. RAINN

15 Co-Occurrence of Sexual Assault Women are often raped as a continuation of a beating, threatened with more violence if they fail to comply with their husband's sexual requests, or forced to have sex to oblige the abuser's need to 'make up' after a beating. Research indicates that men who both batter and rape are more likely to severely injure or kill their wives. Carol J. Adams, "I Just Raped My Wife! What Are You Going to Do About It, Pastor"?: The Church and Sexual Violence, in Transforming a Rape Culture 57, 65 (Emilie Buchwald et al. eds., 1993).

16 Why do victims stay? A victim may fear partner s actions if they leave. The effects of abuse may make it difficult to leave. A person may have concerns about their children. A partner s attempts to isolate a victim may make it difficult for them to leave or get help. A victim s personal history may have shaped their attitude toward abuse in relationships.

17 Why do victims stay? A person may be deeply attached to their partner and hope for change. Some women are taught that it is their job to maintain the relationship and support their partners, so they may feel guilty about leaving or feel they have failed. A victim may be economically dependent on their partner or their partner may be economically dependent on them. Our culture sends the message that a woman s value depends on her being in a relationship. Women without partners tend to be devalued. Domestic Abuse Project

18 What is trauma? Trauma is not the event itself, but our reaction to the event; loss of resiliency in the nervous system (Peter Levine) An overwhelming experience that impairs the integrative functioning of the brain (Dan Siegel)

19 What is Trauma? Traumatic experiences overwhelm our capacity to: Have a sense of control over ourselves and our immediate environment Maintain connection with others Make meaning of our experiences ** Our reactions determine whether or not an event is traumatic, not the severity of the event itself

20 Counterintuitive Responses to Trauma Victim did not fight back Victim showed no emotion when s/he talked about the assault Victim seemed angry with the helpers (police, nurse, etc.) Victim couldn t remember what happened Victim s story changed Victim displayed rage/laughter/inappropriate emotions after the assault

21 Trauma-Informed Care Give the survivor as much control as possible Begin by addressing the survivor s needs Building rapport/trust is not the same as being nice Begin with asking about well-being Don t assume silence means comfort Most are unsure about the justice process, carry guilt and shame about what happened, are likely confused, and are concerned about being judged Why? questions signal judgment

22 How do we hold perpetrators accountable and work to keep victims safe? - Does anger management really work? - Is addressing their substance abuse THE solution? - Recommend Batterers Intervention Programs (BIPP) -How to identify high-risk behaviors and attitudes, to prevent reoffending

23 Listen for/consider. INTENT / IMPACT / CONTEXT Who s most vulnerable? Who s afraid? Power inequities & access to resources Sense of entitlement Blaming Stalking behaviors Likely to inflict injury 2015 THE SAFE ALLIANCE 23

24 Discussion How do DV dynamics present in your cases? How might these be addressed? How can we ensure victim safety? Identify ongoing support services

25 Thank you! Sandra Molinari, M.A. Community Education Director SAFE Alliance

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