Domestic Violence Topics

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Domestic Cycle of Violence
 
Incident
* Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)
Tension Building
* Abuser starts to get angry
* Abuse may begin
* There is a breakdown of communication
* Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
* Tension becomes too much
* Victim feels like they are 'walking on egg shells'
Making-Up
* Abuser may apologize for abuse
* Abuser may promise it will never happen again
* Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
* Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims Calm
* Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
* Physical abuse may not be taking place
* Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
* Victim may hope that the abuse is over
* Abuser may give gifts to victim

 
The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. 

It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the 'making-up' and 'calm' stages disappear.    

Adapted from the original concept of:  Walker, Lenore. The Battered Woman. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.

COMMON MYTHS AND WHY THEY ARE WRONG 
 
Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.
* Michigan State Police records from 1997 show that a woman is killed by a partner or former partner about once a week in Michigan. * In 1998, the Michigan State Police reported more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence in Oakland County. Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color. * Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Some people deserve to be hit.

* No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser. * Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law. Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence. * Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. * Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse. * Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife. * Domestic violence affects everyone.

* About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. * In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. * 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. If it were that bad, she would just leave.

* There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim wants to be abused. * Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.

MANY VICTIMS DO LEAVE AND LEAD SUCCESSFUL, VIOLENCE FREE LIVES.

Who Are The Victims?

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.

Since abuse can happen to anyone, people can have special concerns. All resources listed in this book understand...
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