Family Violence 3

Intimate partner violence (domestic violence, spousal abuse, battering)
is violence committed by a current or former spouse, opposite-sex cohabiting partner, same-sex cohabiting partner, date or boyfriend/girlfriend. Takes many forms and it is often repeated.
Sexual abuse-sexual violence may include:
: forcing a partner to perform sexual acts, telling the partner that she asked for sexual abuse, and rape.
Emotional and psychological abuse-
: verbal abuse such as calling of names, criticizing, play mind games, humiliating the partner, reinforcing internalized homophobia, and creating forced stress.
Economic abuse- economic control
creates financial dependency. It may include: keeping the partner from getting a job, getting the partner fire from a job, making the partner ask for money, taking the money he or she has earned
Battered Women’s movement
1. victims identified-majority of victims are women. 2. Heightened public awareness-no longer seen as a private matter. 3. intervention strategies-shelters, hotlines, and information centers. 4. Protection and prevention- criminal and civil laws and protective orders. 5. Batterer’s programs- Anger management classes and counseling. 6. Increased awareness of violence against lesbian and gay partners and males-violence in dating relationships
Poor women fleeing intimate partner violence are more susceptible. Battered women who live in poverty are often forced to choose between abusive relationships and homelessness. 1 in 5 homeless women report domestic violence as one of the primary reasons they are homeless.
Injury and Trauma-
abused women have higher levels of health care use when compared with those with no history of abuse. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men are injured due to intimate partner violence. Women are the majority of emergency room patients who seek treatment for intentional injuries caused by an intimate partner.
Quality of Life Issues
the consequences of intimate partner violence can last a lifetime. fearful or concerned about their safety. productivity and the earning potential of victims are affected by intimate partner violence. 1 in 10 survivors miss work or school.
Hotlines and shelters-
the first hotline for battered women was created in St Paul, MN in 1971. The first shelter for batter women started in St Paul, MN in 1974.
Violence against women
she comes from every walk of life, age, race, ethnicity, and social class. Working women, or those making more money than their partner are at a higher risk for abuse. Higher arrest-as an unintended effect of police training. Law seeking the “primary aggressor.”
African-American Women
Experience intimate partner violence at a slightly higher rate compared to white women. High rates of witnessing violence at home. Fear of perpetuating negative stereotypes of black men is a source of pressure to not report an abuser. Their encounters with racism are believed to contribute to mistrust and reluctance in accessing mainstream systems.
American Indian and Alaska Native Women-
experience violence at a higher rate than any other population. 40 to 50 percent of females report victimization due to poverty, alcohol abuse, and cultural stress.
Hispanic Women-Half of Latinas
have experienced some form of intimate partner voice. 66 percent experience re-victimization. Latina women are more likely to be tolerant of intimate partner violence because of Marianismo. Women are in charge of the dynamics of the family, and keeping them together.
Undocumented Hispanic women-
the fear of deportation inhibits some victims to report their victimization to police. Fear of deportation for the victim and offender. Undocumented victims of domestic abuse (or other serious crimes) are protected under the law.
The Military and Violence against Women-
intimate partner violence occurs in about 1 percent of the military family population. Males were the perpetrators in about 2/3 of cases. Intimate violence handled on two separate tracks: the military justice system and the family advocacy system.
Violence against men-
men are also victimized. One study found that males are more likely to experience emotional abuse rather than physical. Stigma of being male victim and the fear of not being believed are the reasons men are less likely to report abuse and seek services. Some men do experience significant injury.
Four factors leading to husband abuse-
1. ineffective communication between spouses- there’s a correlation between shared decision and husband abuse. 2. struggle over control and power in the relationship or perception of lesser power. 3. husband abuse is evidenced as a form of social disorganization. Higher family stress leads to family violence. 4. the decision to injure a partner is made with the knowledge that the apprehension is slim.
Socialization factors that make it difficult for men to achieve recovery.
1. Treatment (unlikely to get help)
2. Minimization (“Abuse is not a big deal”)
3. Shame (“Should have protected myself”)
4. Masculine identity (strong, macho image)
5. Male intimacy (homophile)
6. Sexual identity (maybe considered as passive)
7. Power and control dynamics (effort to control others)
8. Externalization (external feelings that lead to the victimization of others)
9. compulsive behaviors (alcohol and drug abuse)
Why the lack of studies concerning male victims of domestic violence?
According to Straus, research concerning intimate partner violence has purposely and systematically been biased by researchers because: failing to record data on assaults by women; failing to question female offending; trivializing violence committed by women.
The Batter Women by Lenore Walker: Cycle of Violence Theory:
1. Phase I: tension phase- poor communication and minor acts of violence.
2. Phase II: Acute battering- the abuser senses a loss of control and abuses the victim
3. Phase III: Honeymoon-the abuser acts with kindness and loving behavior.
Learning Helplessness Theory
women accept their powerlessness due to gender-role socialization that induces a false belief that they cannot escape from the situation (repeated battering.) The feeling of powerlessness may be reinforced by the “happy family” expectations. Victims who are isolated from family or friends may accept their abusive situations.
Feminist Sociopolitical theory
Refers to the social system that recognizes the complete dominance of men over women. Gender inequality leaves women powerless within the family unit. the dominant theoretical explanation for family violence since the 1970s.
Individual based theories-
Ascribe family violence to psychological problems such as personality disorders or biological disposition. Studies in recent years have refuted this thesis, less than 10 percent of abusive parents were found to be emotionally maladjusted
Why do intimate partner violence victims stay?
the fact is women do leave their abusers. On average women leave and return to an abusive partner 5 times before permanently leaving the relationship. More proper question: Why do victims leave then come back to the abuser? Battered women experience shame, embarrassment, isolation. There are many reasons why a victim may not leave. Fear, lack of support, difficulties of single parenting, reduced financial circumstances, lacking a safety plan, isolation, rationalization, etc.
Social-Psychological Model-
An integrated theory that brings together three approaches to crime causation:
Social learning: learned through direct instruction, modeling, and reinforcement
Unequal power relations: abusive behavior will be tolerated, born through feminist contribution
Personal choice theory: acts out the violence instead of using alternative methods of conflict resolution
Marital Rape
a widespread form of sexual abuse – unwanted intercourse, or penetration obtained by force or threat of force
Most states did not consider this a crime till 1970’s
In 1993, it is now a crime in all 50 states
Punishment prescribed is often lighter than for other types of rape
Date Rape
Includes unwanted intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or other sexual contact through the use of force or threat of force by casual or intimating dating partners
Social term used to describe, not a specific crime called “date rape”
The use of date rape drugs (Rohypnol— roofies or “forget pill”)
Common experience among young adult women (high school and college women)
Dating Violence Victims
Younger individuals are at risk for this form of violence
Violence that occurs in a dating or courtship relationship
Dating couples more likely to be violent than married couples
Reason? Frustrations of intimacy
High rates found among university students
Factors Contributing to Assaulting Partners:
Anger management
Antisocial personality
Conflict with partner
Communication problems
Criminal history
Negative attributions about the partner
Neglect history
Sexual abuse history
Stressful conditions
Violence approval
GLBT populations
are particularly vulnerable to the harms of marginalization and devaluation in our society. The majority of family violence is perpetrated by men against women. It is a gendered phenomena. This, however, is different in homosexual relationships. Same-sex relationships fall within the category of intimate partnerships. GLBT relationships constitute a nontraditional family with a legal status and protection that varies greatly from state to state. Gay, Lesbian, bisexual, and transgender partner abuse is difficult to reconcile due to societal preconceptions about a battered victim and relationship expectations. Homophobia.
Estimates suggest that 6 percent of the population is homosexual.
Approximately 646,464 registered in the 2010 U.S. Census.
We many never know the true number of GBLT individuals.
15-25 percent of gay men and lesbians reported at least one incident of violence in their intimate relationship: report being hit, kicked, punched, and having things thrown at them, sexual abuse: 15 percent of gay men were raped by their intimate partners.
Same-sex IPV rates are similar to that of heterosexuals.
physical body that we are born with.
The set of behaviors that we are socialized into and develop in order to assert our sex.
How is sexual orientation determined?
There are currently two debates about a person’s sexual orientation.
Those who believe that a person’s sexual orientation is determined at birth. Gay men have lower sex hormones than straight men.
Those who believe that sexual orientation is a choice (shaped and influence by social factors.) Prison homosexuality. “Gay for pay” (AVN Study: 85% of actors claimed they were straight). Female victims of domestic violence.
Lesbian Continuum
Kinsley argues that many women (even those who identify as heterosexual) establish primary emotive relationships with other women.
Compulsory Heterosexuality- Males can provide income and a sense of protection, therefore women can generate a romantic connection with a man even though they are sexually and emotionally attracted to women.
Has the acceptance of homosexuality gone up
Factors that influence homosexual views: Males, conservative, Protestant, and Less than High School education.
Pop culture: Katy Perry “I kissed a girl”
Tila Tequila’s “A Shot of Love”
Homosexual behavior by women is more accepted than homosexual behavior by men
Why the lack of studies on GLBT?
Small sample group or convenience from GLBT communities.
There are four reasons for this:
Most nationally representative surveys do not ask respondents about their sexual orientation.
Most GBLT respondents don’t reveal their sexual orientation, even when asked in surveys.
Most police reports only document an incident of domestic violence without properly identifying the relationship between the victim and offender.
The continuum of human sexuality makes it difficult to capture intimate partner violence in any given time period.
Lesbian Intimate Partner Violence
A pattern of violent or coercive behaviors whereby a lesbian seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of an intimate partner or to punish the intimate for resisting the perpetrator’s control.
Gay Male Survivors
Factors that influence intimate partner violence in gay relationships: Lower self-esteem, education, socioeconomic status.
Why do male victims stay in abusive relationship?
Fear was found to be the most powerful reason to stay in abusive. Example: Losing children to their mothers.
Lesbian Survivors
Why do they stay in abusive relationships? Lack of social support.
Leaving the relationships may not be economically feasible.
Leaving abuser may mean leaving the scant support for her lesbian identity.
41 Percent
One study reports that ______ of young gay and lesbians reported violence at the hands of family members, peers, or strangers.
Situational Battering
Renzetti argues abuse is experienced only once or twice as a result of a conflict solution.
Alternatively been labeled “common couple violence” because of a belief that it was more common than other forms of couple violence.
Often considered of low-level violence from both parties, situational violence differs from other types because there is a lack of desire to control the partner.
Chronic battering-
chronic lesbian battering represents the category of violence that typically escalates in its severity over time. are characterized by two or more occurrences of physical violence that demonstrate increasingly destructive behavior
The form of lesbian partner violence is consistent with heterosexual women battering
Gay Male Intimate Partner Violence
• Refers to any unwanted physical force, psychological abuse, acts design to gain power and control or material/property damage inflicted by one man on another
• All forms of abuse (physical, emotion, identity) regardless of the sexual orientation of the individuals
Gay Male Survivors
• Intimate partner abuse is the third leading health problem facing gay men today, second to substance abuse and AIDS
• Additional problems for these victims are the silence about same sex battering and the risk of a homophobic response
• These factors contribute to the tendency for gay and bisexual men not to report intimate partner abuse
Lesbian Survivors
• Women in lesbian relationships may experience all forms of IPV
• Lesbians are twice as likely to be victimized by IPV compared to heterosexuals
• The epidemic of intimate partner violence in the lesbian community remains largely hidden
Forms of Abuse
• Same-sex intimate partner abuse is similar to heterosexual abuse in many ways
– The forms of intimate partner abuse are inclusive of physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and identity abuse
• Some intimate partner violence is severe; victims report the use of weapons such as firearms, bottles, vehicles, rope, and the use of an attack dog
Renzetti’s Three Types of Abusive
Lesbian Relationships
• Situational battering
• Chronic battering
• Emotional or psychological battering.
Emotional or Psychological Battering
• Emotional or psychological battering consists of verbal or psychological abuse rather than physical violence
• Though emotional or psychological abuse is typically a component seen in chronic battering, it does not constitute criminal behavior
• Emotional and psychological abuses include
– verbal abuses such as calling of names, criticizing, playing mind games, humiliating the partner, and reinforcing
internalized homophobia
Identity Abuse
• Unique to same-sex partnerships is identity abuse, which consists of the threat of “outing”
– Outing is the act of exposing someone as a homosexual
• Concealment of the identity is a frequent method of coping with anticipated rejection by society (“passing”)
• Telling family, boss, or neighbors about a victim’s identify may jeopardize the individual’s personal relationships and sometimes the victim’s job
• Threatening to “out” someone is a manipulative form of emotional abuse; it can cause anxiety and increase the victim’s isolation
Feminist Approach
– Oppression causes stress, which causes violence
Psychological Model
Intimate Partner Violence is learned
Social-Psychological Model
Homophobia causes intimate partner violence
Internalized Homophobia
Internalized stress due to homophobia
Criminal Justice Interventions
• One study found police refused to take a complaint in 5 percent of cases that were reported.
• A mere 5 to 7 percent of lesbian victims called the police.
Factors in Reporting to the Police
• Fear of Police Hostility
• Element of Shame or Humiliation
• Not wanting to be “outted”
• Past experience with police
• Victim feels he or she will not be believed
• Reporting abuse to police may result in dual arrest
– 26.1% (Same-Sex) compared to 0.8% (Male/Female)
are the least likely to become victims of violent crime. Property crime, not personal violence, provided the highest percentage of crime against persons aged 65 or older. Older population is expected to grow.
The American Bar Association and the National Center on Elder Abuse
both refer to older adults as aged 60 and above. The Bureau of Justice Statistics differentiates older crime victims as being aged 65 and above.
Elder Mistreatment or Abuse-
: 1. Intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the older adult or, 2. Failure by a caregiver to satisfy the older adult’s basic needs or to protect the older adult from harm.
Elder Abuse or Intimate Partner Abuse
Much of the abuse that occurs against older adults does consist of intimate partner abuse. Abuse against older adults can overlap either as elder abuse or domestic violence or both. #1 factor: Diminished mental and/or physical capacity.
Adult Protective Services (APS):
Services provided to older adults and people with disabilities who are in danger of being mistreated or neglected, or are unable to protect themselves, and have no one to assist them. All states have an APS program. APS is the first responder for allegations of abuse or neglect against an older adult.
We do not know the exact numbers of individuals affected by elder abuse. Studies provide approximations, considered to be very low because of underreporting. Estimated that 14.1% of older adults are victimized by physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse and neglect.
Three Categories of Abuse:
Family or Domestic Elderly abuse:
Institutional Elder Abuse:
Self-neglect or self-abuse-
Self-neglect or self-abuse-
behavior that threatens his or her own health or safety. Involves the failure to provide adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene.
Institutional Elder Abuse
: abuse of the older person who lives in a residential home for older persons such as nursing home, foster home, or a group home.
Family or Domestic Elderly abuse
refers to several forms of maltreatment by someone who has a special relationship with the older person.
Family Abuse:
Intimate partner constitutes a significant number of cases of abuse against adults over the age of 50. Frequency of spouse abuse in older couples is significantly less than in younger couples. 90% of cases, perpetrators are family members. Stress, care giving, and age-related issues triggers IPV.
Patterns of Abuse
Spouse abuse grown old- victims have been abused for most of their adult life.
Late onset cases- abuse begins late in life by partners who had not previously been abusive. Cases involving women who enter into abusive relationships late in life, frequently the second or third spouse or intimate partner.
Situations in which pervious abuse existed in the family, and women are now battered by their sons or daughters.
Misuse of Restraints
It involves the chemical or physical control of an older adult beyond a physician’s order or outside accepted medical practice. Restraints may be used in nursing homes under two conditions: 1. a person is confused and unable to comprehend or remember that by moving about, he or she may harm their self or someone else. 2. A person is unable to maintain his or her position because of a severe physical handicap such as paralysis.
Self-Neglect/ Self-Abuse
refers to the inability or failure of an older adult to adequately care for his or her own needs. Is the most common form of elder abuse/maltreatment and must be differentiated from abuse by another person. Requires APS intervention, may accompany other types of abuse for which there are criminal consequences.
Signs of Self-Neglect
Lacking food or basic utilities. Refusing medications. Hoarding animals and/or trash. Unsafe living conditions or vermin-infested living space. Inability to manage finances. Disorientation, incoherence. Alcohol and drug dependence.
Signs of possible physical abuse
bruises or grip marks; rope marks or welts; repeated unexplained injuries.
Emotional abuse:
Inflicting mental pain anguish or distress on an older adult through verbal or nonverbal acts. May involve name-calling, using intimidating and threatening language, causing fear, mental anguish, and emotional pain to the older adult. Signs: uncommunicative and unresponsive, unreasonable fearful or suspicious, lack of interest in social contacts.
Sexual Abuse
Seriously underestimated. Nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind defines sexual abuse. Older victims less likely to report than are younger victims. Signs of possible sexual abuse: Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding; torn or bloody underwear; bruised breasts; venereal disease or vaginal infections.
Financial Exploitation
: Illegally taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets. Signs of possible financial exploitation: life circumstances do not match the size of estate; large withdrawals from bank accounts, switching accounts; signatures on checks do not match older adult’s signature.
It is the refusal or failure to provide food, shelter, healthcare, or protection for a vulnerable older adult. Signs of neglect may include: sunken eyes or loss of weight; extreme thirst; bed sores. Some neglect may be caused by caretakers who are too young or inexperienced to take care of an older person with special needs.
Is the intentional and permanent desertion of an older adult in any place or leaving the person without means or ability to obtain necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care, or financial support. Risk factors for abandonment include: Absence of available significant other or peers; advanced age; decreased health status; depression; impaired psychosocial health; inadequate personal resources.
The Victims of Abuse
Age: typical victim 80 years old, frail, and dependent.
Sex: During the older age, men and women are equally likely to become victims of physical abuse.
Race: Difficult to assess the risk of abuse.
Cultural differences: Shame and embarrassment are frequent reasons why older adults across cultural boundaries are reluctant to report domestic violence.
people aged 80 and older, and women of all ages, are at greater risk. Older adults dependent on others for basic care are particularly vulnerable. Reasons why people may not seek help: Uncertainty about who to talk to; Uncertainty about what can be done; fear of not being believed; fear of getting involved.
Undue Influence
occurs when people use their role with the older adult to exploit the trust, dependency, and the fear of others. Deceptive use of power is used to gain control over the decision making of the vulnerable adult. Not related to the person’s intelligence, but cognitive impairment may make the manipulation easier to accomplish.
Consequences of Abuse against Older Adults
Severe emotional distress. Highest rate of suicide of any age group is among the older adult. High rates of depression. Psychic trauma of victimization. Possible physical injuries. Loss of dignity. Shame. Self-blame and guilt.
Scammers and their Scams
Personal Relationship Scams- “Sweetheart Scams”- Seeking marriage without a prenuptial agreement. Seeking employment to gain access to finances, and/or turn the elder against their family.
Interpersonal and Large Target Scam Tactics- Scanning obituaries and casing neighborhoods for isolated elders. Business fraud (overcharging, misuse of position.)
Stress Theory Model
Elders create high levels of stress for caregivers.
Dependency Theory Model
The elder’s dependency on the abuser.
Social Exchange Model:
Interacting with elders who need caretaking is costly and rarely pays off.
Lesbian Survivors
Why do they stay in abusive relationships? Lack of social support.
Leaving the relationships may not be economically feasible.
Leaving abuser may mean leaving the scant support for her lesbian identity.

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