When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse

Overview


Since its initial publication, this far-reaching reference has provided professionals and victims of abuse with guidance on everything from indicators of an abusive relationship to domestic violence legislation, from antiburnout tips for helpers to advice on leaving an abusive partner.

This updated edition addresses new research and programs, adding information on date rape drugs, stalking, cyber-stalking, pregnancy and domestic violence, and the effectiveness of batterer ...

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When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse

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Overview


Since its initial publication, this far-reaching reference has provided professionals and victims of abuse with guidance on everything from indicators of an abusive relationship to domestic violence legislation, from antiburnout tips for helpers to advice on leaving an abusive partner.

This updated edition addresses new research and programs, adding information on date rape drugs, stalking, cyber-stalking, pregnancy and domestic violence, and the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs. Current controversial social and legal issues such as mutual battering, child welfare and "failure to protect" policies, child custody and visitation rights for batterers, mandatory arrests, and welfare reform are also covered.

Two new chapters devote attention to domestic violence in the military and to the challenging and rewarding role of those who work with battered women and their children.

New resources have been included to reflect the ever-evolving wealth of books, web sites, and agencies available to both helpers and those in need.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This comprehensive reference will be a valuable resource to both battered women and their caregivers. Wilson, who went underground for a few years to escape a dangerous relationship, draws on her experience as director of the Austin Center for Battered Women to provide immediate aid to victims and guidelines for helpers. She discusses the indicators of an abusive relationship; its effects on children and teens; substance abuse; how the workplace, medical, and religious communities can help; treatment programs for batterers; anti-burnout tips for helpers; and advice on living underground. A final chapter presents a history of misogyny. Wilson is sensitive to cultural differences and their impact on women from various backgrounds. An appendix offers myriad resources in the form of support groups and print materials. Full of practical advice from someone with extensive experience in the field of domestic violence, this is strongly recommended for all collections. &#8212 Valerie Diamond, Univ. of Maryland Sch. of Law, Baltimore, Library Journal
Library Journal
This comprehensive reference will be a valuable resource to both battered women and their caregivers. Wilson, who went underground for a few years to escape a dangerous relationship, draws on her experience as director of the Austin Center for Battered Women to provide immediate aid to victims and guidelines for helpers. She discusses the indicators of an abusive relationship; its effects on children and teens; substance abuse; how the workplace, medical, and religious communities can help; treatment programs for batterers; antiburnout tips for helpers; and advice on living underground. A final chapter presents a history of misogyny. Wilson is sensitive to cultural differences and their impact on women from various backgrounds. An appendix offers myriad resources in the form of support groups and print materials. Full of practical advice from someone with extensive experience in the field of domestic violence, this is strongly recommended for all collections.Valerie Diamond, Univ. of Maryland Sch. of Law, Baltimore
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897934558
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 410,864
  • Product dimensions: 7.24 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author


K. J. Wilson, Ed.D., is both an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and a social change activist. She has over sixteen years experience in the field of violence against women. Co-founder, and past co-chair, of the Austin (Texas) Metropolitan Ministries Task Force on Family Violence, Dr. Wilson also served for 5 years on the Texas Council on Family Violence Conference Committee which organizes and implements a yearly statewide conference on family violence.

Currently serving as an adjunct professor with the University of Maryland (University College), Dr. Wilson is also a consultant and trainer for various universities, grassroots and non-profit programs throughout the U.S. Dr. Wilson provides presentations and workshops on a variety of topics including violence against women, self-care, advocacy, and empowerment, and a is a contributing author in Family Violence: Current Controversies (Greenhaven, 2001.)

A devoted advocate for survivors of violence, Dr. Wilson is herself a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her presentations, workshops, and writing reflect almost two decades of work and research, as well as her own intimate understanding. She lives in Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

When Violence Begins at Home

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse
By K. J. Wilson

Hunter House Inc., Publishers

Copyright © 2006 K. J. Wilson, Ed.D.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-89793-455-8


Chapter One

The Dynamics of Abusive Relationships

Family violence is a simple phrase, but it encompasses a horrifying list of abusive behaviors, both physical and psychological, inflicted by one family member on another.... The list is endless. There is seemingly no end to the horrors some human beings can inflict on those whom this society calls their "loved ones." - The American Medical News, January 6, 1992

Martha was twenty-seven when she met Phillip. The manager of a small business in a rural community, Martha was also attending night classes to complete a graduate degree. Phillip was self-employed and was well known in the community. He was handsome, charming, and witty. Unfortunately (as Martha saw it) he was also married. Three years passed and Phillip got a divorce. During that time Phillip had spent a lot of time around Martha's place of business. He would drop by to see the owner of the company and inevitably end up in Martha's office. When Martha learned of his divorce, she was secretly pleased. Here was heropportunity to go out with the man she was so drawn to. When Phillip asked her to lunch, she didn't hesitate.

They immediately began to see each other every day. Martha was so thrilled with all the attention that she didn't notice Phillip's irritation when she occasionally turned down lunch dates with him to meet her girlfriends. The first few months of their relationship were exciting and romantic. Phillip showered her with gifts and affection. Soon, however, Martha began to feel smothered by Phillip's constant demands on her time and attention. When Martha told Phillip she could no longer see him, he was furious and vowed to win her back. Then began a flood of flowers, gifts, telephone calls, and letters. Martha stood firm in her decision for a while but eventually began to miss Phillip. She finally agreed to see him again.

Shortly after their reunion Phillip moved in with Martha, and his attempts to control her escalated. He began telling her what he considered appropriate dress. He encouraged her to gain weight because he liked women with "meat on their bones," and then he made fun of her because her clothes were becoming tight. His constant phone calls continued, but now he required her to outline her whereabouts on a minute-by-minute basis. If she told him she would be home at five o'clock, the phone would be ringing as she walked in the door. If she was late, even by a few minutes, he would interrogate her. He began accusing her of having affairs.

Two years later Martha was ready to end the relationship. Phillip, however, wanted to marry her, and her refusals sent him into rages. Initially he threw or hit things, but eventually he began to push her when he was angry. Martha begged Phillip to leave. He moved in and out of her house so many times that she lost count. Each time he left he would harass her at home and at work so persistently that she would give in and let him return. She grew more and more afraid of him.

As Martha continued to refuse Phillip's proposals, he became increasingly abusive. Holidays were the worst. The last Christmas Eve they spent together, Martha found herself trapped under a seven-foot Christmas tree. While he held the tree on top of her, Martha felt the lights burning her arms. She silently prayed that she would never have to spend another holiday in fear.

Martha considered herself an intelligent, responsible woman. She held a professional position, attended graduate school, and was respected in her field. Privately, however, she was embarrassed and humiliated. Phillip had been born and raised in the area and was well liked there. He had friends in the police department and the county attorney's office, so Martha didn't feel safe approaching them about her situation. She thought about contacting the local battered-women's shelter, but Phillip's cousin worked there and Martha was afraid she would tell him. Her shame and fear prevented her from seeking help.

During the fourth and final year of their relationship, Phillip's abusive behavior reached its height. One evening, after another refused proposal of marriage, Phillip drove his truck into the back of Martha's car, pushing it into the closed garage door. It was three in the morning and the crash could be heard throughout the neighborhood; still, no one called the police. Phillip told Martha she would never be able to leave him. He threatened to kill both her and himself if she tried. He taunted her and said if she tried to get a restraining order against him, he would ignore it. Nothing would keep him from her.

Being abused and humiliated had become a way of life for Martha, but the final straw was the last time Phillip attacked her. Dragging her across the kitchen floor, he repeatedly kicked her in the stomach, back, legs, and arms with his steel-toed boots. Picking her up and throwing her into the kitchen table, Phillip held her down while he stomped on her hands.

When his rage had passed, Martha was left crumpled on the floor, bruised and bloodied. Phillip quietly approached her, crying, and said that if she had just done what he had wanted this wouldn't have happened. "You made me do this," was Phillip's explanation for his behavior. "If you don't marry me, I'll have to kill you. If I can't have you, no one else can either!"

Martha was now sure that if she didn't do something Phillip would kill her. Afraid to go to the local authorities, she decided to literally run away. She secretly planned her escape. She found the courage to tell her friends, family, and coworkers about her abusive relationship. Thankfully, all were supportive and offered help. Finally, after months of planning, Martha packed a bag, got into her car, and drove away. She left her home, her friends, her job, and her possessions. She had her life, however, and she was safe. She stayed on the run for the next few months, living out of a suitcase. Looking for a job was difficult, but she eventually found employment in another part of the country. Today Martha celebrates her new life and her peace. She knows what it is like to live in fear and has vowed never to live that way again.

What Is Abuse?

The strongest risk factor for being a victim of domestic violence is being a woman. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 691,710 reported acts of nonfatal violence committed by current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends in 2001. In 85 percent of these assaults, the crimes were committed by men against women. A Commonwealth Fund survey reports that nearly one-third (31 percent) of American women report being physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.

Most people do not clearly understand the word abuse. Visions of broken bones and black eyes are the generally held impressions. Certainly these severe physical indicators are signs of abuse; however, abuse can be much less noticeable and much more insidious. It is not uncommon for women who have participated in workshops on domestic violence to approach me and confide that they have just realized that their ex-partners were abusive. They knew something was terribly wrong-they just didn't have a name for it.

To be effective advocates for battered women, we must have a working understanding of exactly what constitutes abuse. For our purposes abuse can be considered any repeated attempts to control, manipulate, or demean another individual using physical, emotional, or sexual tactics. The terms abuse, battering, family violence, partner violence, intimate violence, and domestic violence will be used interchangeably in this book.

Let's take a closer look at each of the three categories of abuse listed above: physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is any use of size, strength, or presence to hurt or control someone else. Although some of the behaviors listed below are clearly more dangerous than others, all show a lack of respect and an attempt to control the other's behavior. It is not necessary to use physical violence often to keep a partner in a constant state of fear. A batterer may actually use violence infrequently, as a last resort.

Abuse Involving Physical Contact Between People

Pushing Pulling Slapping Biting Choking Shoving Grabbing Pinching Spanking Kicking Spitting Hair pulling Arm twisting Forced kneeling Burning Shooting Stabbing Restraining Backhanding Pushing into/pulling out of a car Banging partner's head on wall or floor Abuse of children Abuse of animals Hitting partner while she's pregnant Standing or sitting on partner Pinning partner against wall Forcibly carrying partner Punching with a fist Attacking with an object or a weapon Murder

Abuse Involving the Use of an Object

Throwing things Breaking personal items Driving recklessly Trying to hit partner with car Slamming doors Tearing clothes Breaking objects Punching walls or doors Sweeping things off tables or from drawers Kicking furniture, car, or walls Threatening with an object Threatening with a weapon

Abuse Involving the Use of Size or Presence

Chasing Unplugging phone Stalking Standing behind car to prevent driving away Taking car keys Sabotaging car Taking credit cards, money, or checkbook Trapping Clenching fists as a threat Standing in doorway to prevent exit Locking partner out of house Abandoning partner in dangerous places Refusing to help partner when she is sick, injured, or pregnant

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is any use of words, voice, action, or lack of action meant to control, hurt, or demean another person. This type of abuse is usually harder to define than physical abuse. At some time in their relationship almost all couples shout or scream things they later regret. Emotionally abusive relationships, however, are defined as involving repeated hurtful exchanges with a disregard for the partner's feelings.

While some emotionally abusive relationships do not involve physical abuse, all physically abusive relationships contain some emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is much more than name-calling. One of the dangers of this type of abuse is that it is frequently subtle and insidious. Many battered women describe emotional abuse as just as damaging as physical abuse, if not more so. According to one battered woman, "If you get beaten you at least have the bruises to prove it. With emotional abuse all you know is how much it hurts inside. That's where the scars are. How can you show that to someone? It comes down to your word against his."

Types of Verbal Abuse

Threatening to kill Threatening to use violence Making threats to children Accusing partner of unfaithfulness Calling names like whore, bitch, and slut Leaving nasty messages on answering machine Making insinuations Making statements like: "You're dumb." "You're stupid." "You're ugly." "You can't do anything right." "No one else would have you." "Whose baby is it?" Yelling Using insults Being sarcastic Name-calling Withholding approval, appreciation, or affection as a punishment Sneering Growling Criticizing Ignoring Humiliating Laughing at partner Insulting family or friends Threatening family or friends

Emotionally Abusive Actions

Being irresponsible with money Controlling access to money Displaying intense jealousy Isolating partner from friends and family Keeping partner up all night Checking up on partner Taking others' possessions Making faces Manipulating with lies Threatening to divorce Having affairs Constantly questioning partner about activities Not working Keeping partner from working Threatening to take custody of children Denying access to phone Threatening suicide Threatening to harm self

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any sexual behavior meant to control, manipulate, humiliate, or demean another person. This is a confusing area for many people. For too long women have been taught that sexually submitting to the husband is a wife's duty. Historically, women have had little say about when, where, how, and with whom they engaged in sex.

Sexual violence is common in abusive relationships. Sex in these relationships is often used as a means to exert power over the female partner and to further shame and humiliate her. Frequently women are raped after a beating. Sexual deviancy, too, often occurs in these relationships. One battered woman reported being tied and bound with barbed wire while her husband and his friends repeatedly raped her.

Types of Sexual Abuse

Unwanted touching Sexual name-calling Unfaithfulness False accusations about infidelity Withholding sex as a punishment Forced sex with partner Forced sex with someone other than partner Forced sex with animals Hurtful sex Insisting partner dress in a more sexual way than she wants to Forcing partner to strip Forcing partner to watch others have sex Rape with an object Unwanted sadistic sexual acts

Dispelling the Myths

Domestic violence, like other forms of violence against women, has long been shrouded in myths and fallacies. Many of these myths focus on the misconception that the woman has somehow caused her battering. They also serve to protect and isolate others who believe that "domestic violence could never happen to me." In addition, these myths sometimes offer comfort to rescuers who have been thwarted in their efforts to help battered women.

One of the problems for couples in abusive relationships is that they, like the general population, believe and promote these fallacies. Dispelling the myths helps couples understand the realities of their relationship and helps abused women begin to understand how they have been blamed for their own abuse. We must shatter these myths if we hope to understand abusive relationships and to help battered women empower themselves.

MYTH 1

Women are just as violent as men.

Fact

There are female batterers. There are women who batter their female partners and there are those who batter their male partners. However, data reported by the U.S. Department of Justice illustrate that women are five to eight times more likely than men to be hurt by an intimate partner. Sociologist Richard Gelles notes that women are the recipients of more acts of intimate violence and suffer more serious injury than their male counterparts. While domestic violence may be about the abuse of power in a relationship, it is also very clearly about gender violence.

Those claiming that women are just as violent as men frequently cite a 1985 National Family Violence Survey in which they say that the data revealed that there are as many (or more) battered men as there are battered women. In fact, however, there are fundamental flaws with the instrument that was used in the study, the "Conflict Tactics Scale" (CTS), which was originally developed to capture the dynamics of interpersonal conflict in marital relationships. One of the problems with the original instrument is that the questions did not distinguish between intent and effect. In other words, the CTS equated a woman pushing a man in self-defense, for example, with a man pushing a woman down the stairs. The second problem with the CTS involved the rank ordering of the violent acts. The manner in which the violent acts were ordered did not take into consideration the degree of injury sustained as a result of the violent act.

Since 1985 the CTS continues to be evaluated and improved upon to better reflect survivors' experiences of domestic violence. Consistent, reliable data reported since then continue to prove that while some men do get battered, domestic violence is overwhelmingly a problem for women.

MYTH 2

Battered women are helpless, passive, and fragile; have little or no education, no job skills, and numerous children; and are usually women of color.

Fact

Our extensive work with battered women teaches us that, while the above may be true for some women, it is not applicable to all battered women. If anything is truly equal opportunity, it is battering. Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, educational, age, and religious lines.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from When Violence Begins at Home by K. J. Wilson Copyright © 2006 by K. J. Wilson, Ed.D.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 The Dynamics of Abusive Relationships 5
2 The Effects of Family Violence on Children 30
3 Teen Dating Violence 39
4 The Intimate Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence 58
5 Battered Women and the Legal System 74
6 Living Underground 88
7 The Oppression that Binds: Barriers to Living Violence Free 101
8 Friends, Family, and Loved Ones: When Someone You Know Is Being Hurt 134
9 Domestic Violence and the Workplace 147
10 Battered Women and Their Health: The Response of the Medical Community 163
11 Battered Women and Communities of Faith 179
12 Creating a Community Response to Domestic Violence 195
13 Intervention Strategies for Battered Women and Their Children 208
14 Intervention and Prevention Programs for Batterers 218
15 Loving Ourselves: Self-Care for Helpers 227
16 The National Domestic Violence Hotline 245
17 A History of Violence Against Women 252
App. I Safety 294
App. II The Advocacy Wheel 296
Notes 297
Additional Resources 331
Index 383
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