Click the button below to download a brochure outlining the Dynamics of Domestic Violence.
Domestic Violence occurs when one person in an intimate relationship seeks to dominate and control the other person. An abuser will use fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to wear down and gain control over the victim. Domestic abuse is NOT the result of an abuser's lose of control over their behavior, but a DELIBERATE CHOICE made by the abuser to maintain control over the victim. Drugs and alcohol intoxication is NOT a legitimate excuse for abusive behavior because it does NOT cause someone to become abusive, otherwise everyone who had a bit too much to drink or overdid the cold medicine would start terrorizing the neighborhood, however, intoxication can escalate the intensity the abuse.
Victims of domestic violence should trust their instincts. If the nagging voice in your head is trying to tell you something or the hair on the back of your neck is standing on end, you already know you are in trouble. Listen, react and protect yourself. Tell your family and friends about your concerns and seek help. Choose NOT to be a victim. Our hotline number is 706-375-7630.
Tactics An Abuser Uses To Control
Physical: pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping, punching, choking, biting, pinching, hair-pulling, hitting, burning, clubbing, stabbing, shooting, threatening with a weapon.
Emotional/Psychological Violence: Destruction of property or pets- Violence without touching the victim. Destroys property with great meaning to the victim to punish. Purposely harms the family pet or threatens to kill the pet if things don't go their way. Kills family pet as a warning.
Dominance: Treats victim like a servant, child or possession. Makes every decision for the family and expects to be obeyed without question. Keeps all the money.
Humiliation: Insults, name calling, shaming and public put-downs causing loss of self-esteem and feelings of powerlessness.
Isolation: Keeps the victim from seeing family and friends. May prevent victim from working or attending school. Victim has to ask permission to go anywhere and has an expected time of return if allowed. Abuser watches mileage on car.
Threats: May threaten anyone who has meaning to the victim (children, parents, friends, pets, etc.) or harm to victim. Abuser may threaten to commit suicide, bring false charges against victim or report them to child protective services.
Intimidation: May include carrying a gun around, smashing things, throwing things, punching holes in wall or door near the victims face or body.
Denial or blame: Abuser will blame victim for being "forced to punish" as if the victim deserved it. Abuser will minimize or deny the abuse to the victim or others. Abuser will use excuses such as it was a bad day at work, childhood trauma, or simply state that it wasn't that bad.
Sexual: Physical rape or rape with object, abuse of genital area or breast, unwanted touching or pinching of private areas, forced third party sexual activity, forced sexual relations accompanied by violence or threats. This includes marital rape.
Characteristics of a Batterer
Batterers are difficult to spot because they exhibit vastly different behaviors in public and private. Publically, they may even exhibit very courteous behaviors such as opening doors and sending flowers. Abusers, however, frequently share certain personality characteristics:
Deny responsibility for self
An extreme need for control over others
Phases of Abuse
Tension Building: Small outburst. Mounting tension. Victim has to "walk on eggshells".
Acute Battering Incident: Victim cannot prevent an attack regardless of behavior. Abuser releases tension with physical attack.
Relief Period: Period of reduced violence and calm. Some abusers ask for forgiveness and make false promises to stop the abuse. This period is sometimes referred to as the "honeymoon" period.
**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 for much longer periods, rarely dropping to lower levels.
**Not all relationships with abusers will follow a specific cycle. There are some abusers that do not show signs of a tension building stage. They can appear quite calm and light-hearted before a sudden and unexpected physically violent act. Others may never show remorse of have a "honeymoon" period.
Screening for Domestic Violence
Sometimes you have a feeling that something is not quite right with a friend or family member. You may suspect domestic violence, but you are afraid to broach the subject. Here are some ideas that may help.
Things to Look For: Scratches or bruises that look like fingerprints around the neck, arms and waist.
Noticeable lack of interaction with friends/family.
Exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, sleep disturbances, anxiety. Significant changes in mood or body language especially when partner is around.
Loss of confidence.
Wearing clothes that are out of season to cover bruising.
Significant difference in the way the person dresses (modest to showy or showy to modest).
Missing work frequently.
Receive a high volume of phone calls or text from partner for no specific reason.
Overly cautious about making even minor decisions without consulting partner.
What To Say:
Make sure you let them know that it is not their fault.
Let them know you are on their side, even if they decide to stay.
Reinforce that they don't deserve to be treated this way.
Help them safety plan in case they need to escape in a hurry.
Give them a number to a hotline: 1-800-33-HAVEN (1800-334-2836) or 1-706-375-7630.
Let them know that it never hurts to know your options. It doesn't mean you have to do anything this second.