Dr. Ducharme’s Blog June 24, 2019 Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence 

June 24, 2019
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On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime .

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.

Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.

30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion

 

This is not news. We have known this for a very long time. What we have not been able to figure out are two things:

How to stop this from happening

How to stop judging woman who stay in abusive relationships

 

Over 30 years ago I made a significant clinical error. I was seeing a woman who was being badly abused. I told her she had to get out. She left her husband and the next day called to tell me that he had found her and beaten her very badly. I have learned a lot since then. Very few clinicians knew much about the cycle of violence then. But thanks to a wonderful psychologist, and a woman that I now feel honored to call a friend, Dr. Lenore Walker, we have all learned a great deal about domestic violence. Here are a few important facts.

 

The first two years after a woman leaves she is at very high risk for being killed by her partner.

The violence increases over time.

Telling a woman to leave is extremely judgmental and basically dangerous if a safety plan has not been worked out.

Many individuals have neither the financial or psychological resources to leave.

Marital therapy is not the recommended treatment for abusers. They need anger management and treatment for behavioral control.

 

Real men do not hurt their wife or kids. It is not that we expect people to never get mad at each other or argue. Anger is a normal feeling. It is what we do with our anger that matters. We need to help people recognize their feelings and become better problem solvers without the use of violence, physical or emotional.

Too many of us are willing to put up with abusive behaviors in the name of love, out of fear or even thinking that these behaviors are normal. Here are the Red Flags of Abusers:

Red Flags of Abusers 

   •     Jealousy

   •     Controlling behavior

   •     Quick involvement with very intense courtship

   •     Unrealistic expectations

   •     Isolation from family and friends

   •     Blames others for all his/her problems

   •     Blames others for his/her feelings

   •     Hypersensitivity

   •     Cruelty to animal or children

   •     "Playful" use of force during sex that makes the partner feel uncomfortable or having sex with sleeping partner

   •     Verbal abuse

   •     Rigid sex roles

   •     Jeckyl and Hyde personality

   •     Past history of battering

   •     Threats of violence

   •     Breaking, striking objects and/or throwing things

   •     Any force/intimidation during an argument ex: "You will do as I say" or "You will listen to me"... 

 

 

If you are in a relationship where these things are occurring please see or talk to

someone trained in working with victims of intimate partner violence. If you are thinking of leaving make sure you have a safety plan like the one I have posted on my website (drelaineducharme.com) Remember you are not alone. There is help. Here are some numbers to contact for help.

THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at 1-800-799-7233

THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE AT 1-800-656-4673

THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE AT 1-866-331-9474