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Violent Men: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Violence

Violent Men: An Inquiry
into the Psychology
of Violence

The Batterer: A Psychological Profile
The Batterer: A
Psychological Profile

The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics
The Batterer as Parent:
Addressing the Impact of
Domestic Violence on
Family Dynamics

Abusers, Batterers, Domestic Violence Offenders

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling MenWhy Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

In this groundbreaking book, domestic violence expert Lundy Bancroft uses his unique perspective as a therapist for abusive and controlling men to help women, their children, and other family members who have been touched by abuse understand why abusers behave the way they do and what can be done about it. Bancroft teaches women how to survive and improve an abusive relationship; how to determine how dangerous an abuser is and when it is impossible to rectify a situation; and how to get out of a relationship safely.

Bancroft identifies nine types of abusive men, addressing different styles, from the physical batterer to the strictly verbal abuser. He dispels the pervasive societal myths surrounding abuse, exposing common excuses used by abusers, such as having experienced an abusive childhood or substance addiction. Bancroft answers commonly asked questions, such as what warning signs of abuse to look for early in a relationship; what is and isn't abusive behavior; how to know if a woman and her children are in danger; and how to tell when a man is really changing. Kindle edition available.

Characteristics of Batterers

Often have low self esteem.

Even though a lot of batterers might appear to be 'tough", "strong", and "confident", more often than not they really suffer from low self-esteem. If they are emotionally "needy", and they have become dependent on their partner, the thought of losing that partner feels threatening and thus behaviors of controlling and jealousy follow. This holds true not only for heterosexual relationships, but in gay and lesbian relationships as well. For male abusers, they may feel that they fall short in the area of their own sex stereotype and so they overcompensate with hyper-masculinity.

Rush in to relationships

Many victims dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. Abusers can come on like a whirl-wind claiming "love at first sight", and using flattery such as "you are the only person I could ever talk to" or "I have never felt loved like this by anyone". They may need someone desperately, and will pressure the other partner to commit to a relationship before they are truely ready.

Are excessively jealous

Abusers often say that jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love; it's a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust. In a healthy relationship, the partners trust each other unless one of them has legitimately done something to break that trust. Of course not every twinge of jealousy is a sign of doom to come, but when that jealousy becomes a negative aspect or a disruptive force in a relationship, red flags need to be going up.

Exhibit controlling behavior

Often at the beginning, a batterer will say that this behavior is because they are concerned for your safety, a need for you to use time well or to make good decisions. Abusers will be angry if you are "late" coming back from the store or an appointment; you might be questioned closely about where you went, who you talked to. As this behavior gets worse, the abuser may not let you make personal decisions about the house, your clothing, or going to church. They may keep all the money; or may make you ask permission to leave the house. These types of behaviors mimick the parent/child relationship and thus be definition cannot be part of an equal and healthy relationship.

Have unrealistic expectations or demands

Abusive people often expect their partner to meet ALL of their needs: the perfect partner, lover, and friend. They say things like "if you love me, I'm all you need and you're all I need". They may expect you to take care of everything for them; emotionally, physically, and sometimes economically. However, this is not natural or healthy in a relationship. Instead, partners in healthy relationships encourage each other to pursue their dreams, to have friends and interests outside of the relationship and take pride in their partner in these things.

Use isolation to keep you centered on them

Frequently, an abusive person tries to cut the partner off from all resources. If you have friends, you are a "whore", a "slut" or "cheating". If you are close to family, you are "tied to the apron strings". Abusers will accuse people who are supportive of causing trouble, and may restrict use of the phone. They can gradually isolate you from all of your friends. They may not let you use a car (or have one that is reliable), and may try to keep you from working or going to school. Some abusers will try to get you into legal trouble so that you are afraid to drive or go out. Sometimes this process can take years and then suddenly a victim looks up and realizes that they've been moved across the country, away from family, friends and a support system and without a job or resources of their own - making them completely isolated and totally dependent on the abuser.

Believe in male supremacy and the stereotyped masculine role in the family.

Batterers are often obsessive about appearing to the "the man of the house" and they tend to hold very high and rigid rules about how they get act because they are "the man" - often leading them to feel the need to dominate and control and to expect their word and their needs to be catered to at all times, including in the bedroom. These abusers see you as unintelligent, inferior, responsible for menial tasks, and less than whole without the relationship. They will often tell you that no one else would want you or that you are nothing without them. They will remind you of their "provider role" - everything they have done for you...thus using guilt and convoluted "logic" to pressure you to into servile behaviors.

Use of force during sex

Abusive partners may show little concern about whether you want to have sex, and use sulking or anger to manipulate you into giving in to sex. They may start having sex with you while you are sleeping, or demand sex even when you are ill or tired. This should send the message that the abuser is just in it for themselves and/or they are enjoying the power of coercing sex knowing that you are less than willing. They may want to "make up" by having sex after they have just been physically or verbally abusive to you. Sex under these conditions is just an extension of the power and control exerted by the prior abuse.

Have poor communication skills

Some people talk with their words, while others talk with their actions (fists). Abusers typically have trouble with discussing "feelings", especially very strong ones like anger or frustration. Some may feel that "having feelings" and talking out problems goes against the sterotyped role that they have bought into (see above). Without the skills or self-permission to express themselves in constructive ways (ways that feels uncomfortable or where they feel inadequate), they can lash out with violence.

Use negative behaviors (drugs, alcohol, battering) to cope with stress.

Studies suggest that batterers, in general, have a higher incident of drug and alcohol abuse than non-batterers. This does NOT mean that drugs or alcohol CAUSE the abuse, rather it lowers inhibitions making an already frustrated and violence-prone person more likely to fall back on violence as a crutch, especially when confronted with their lack of communication skills and feelings of inadequacy.

Blame others for their actions.

Commonly, abusers use the actions of others as excuses for their own behavior. They blame the person who made them angry, as if that person were pushing some magic button that released violent behavior. How often have victims heard "why did you make me do that"? If your partner is chronically unemployed, someone is always doing them wrong or is out to get them. They may make mistakes and then blame you for upsetting them so that they can't concentrate on their work. They may tell you that YOU are at fault for almost anything that goes wrong. Abusive people will might say, "you made me mad" and "I can't help being angry". Although they actually make the decision about how they think or feel, they will use feelings to manipulate you. Abusers see themselves as the "victim" in the relationship, and do not take responsibility for their own feelings or behaviors.

Are prone to hypersensativity

Abusers are easily insulted, and may take the slightest setback as a personal attack. They will rant and rave about the injustice of things that are really just a part of living, such as having to get up for work, getting a traffic ticket, or being asked to help with chores.

Present dual personalities.

Often the most frustrating thing for the victim, many abusers are also excellent actors. They may appear to function well at work, with friends and family, etc. Sometimes only the victim is aware of the true "nature of the beast". This often makes it difficult for a victim to reach out for support from friends and family, because those persons may try to talk the victim out of thinking that their spouse is abusive. Often friends and family of the victim will go on and on about "what a great partner you've got there" - because the abuser has successfully hidden their violence at home. It's even MORE frustrating for the victim when members of their support system try to turn the tables and say things like "well, just don't make him/her mad". They're putting the blame on the VICTIM and not on the offender where it belongs! When this happens, the violent partner gets backup from the very people the victim NEEDS for support and they too fall into the trap of myths about the nature and causes of relationship violence!

Exhibit cruelty to animals or children

This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain. They may expect children to be capable of things beyond their ability. They may tease children until they cry. They may be very critical of other people's children, especially any children you bring in from a previous relationship. An abusive partner may threaten to prevent you from seeing children you have no biological rights to, or punish children to get even with you. About 60% of people who beat their partner also beat their children. Of course the OPPOSITE of this can be true also. Abused women often say that they stay "for the sake of the kids." Unfortunately, one parent abusing another is one of the greatest risk factors for child abuse as well as for children to sink into depression, anxiety disorder, other mental and physical illnesses, and criminal, even violent, behaviors of their own. Abuse also models the role of violence to the children as THEY grow up and into relationships of their own. Dr. Phil McGraw hits the nail on the head with his oft repeated line: "Children would rather be FROM a broken home, than LIVING in one".

Links About Batterers and Interventions

Recidivism Prediction And Parole Decisions: A Memorandum Opposing The Parole Of Sam And Joe

Assessing Whether Batterers Will Kill By Barbara J. Hart, Esq.

Do You Have a Problem With Violence?

Batterer Intervention: Program Approaches and Criminal Justice Strategies

Batterer Programs: What Criminal Justice Agencies Need to Know

Characteristics Of Batterers In A Multi-Site Evaluation Of Batterer Intervention Ssystem

American Psychological Assn.: Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You

Domestic Violence:The Court-Mandated Perpetrator Assessment and Treatment Handbook

Defining Psychological Maltreatment in Domestic Violence Perpetrator Treatment Programs: Multiple Perspectives

Discharge Criteria For Batterer Programs

Do Batterer's Programs Work?

Evaluating Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence

Evaluations of Advocacy Efforts to End Intimate Male Violence Against Women

Focus Groups of African-American Men: Perspectives on Addressing Domestic Violence

Guidelines for Men Who Batter Programs

Intervention for Men Who Batter: A Review of Research

Variables Associated with Success or Failure in a Court-Ordered Domestic Violence Treatment Program

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People

Whether it's your mate, your child, your boss, or a co-worker, if they know how to get the better of you and look good at the same time, you are being skillfully manipulated. To stop being a victim, you have to know how to spot these "wolves in sheep's clothing." Using case studies, Dr. Simon reveals the tactics manipulators like to use and tells you how to respond to them.

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Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them
Angry Men and the
Women Who Love
Them: Breaking the
Cycle of Physical and
Emotional Abuse

Toxic Attention: Keeping Safe from Stalkers, Abusers, and Intruders

Toxic Attention: Keeping
Safe from Stalkers,
Abusers, and Intruders

Domestic Abusers: Terrorists in Our Homes

Domestic Abusers:
Terrorists in
Our Homes

Honeymoon Mania: The Male Abuser's Best Weapon

Honeymoon Mania:
The Male Abuser's
Best Weapon
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Last Updated: March 4, 2011