Myths and Facts: Why do domestic violence perpetrators do what they do?

Commonly held misconceptions about why batterers batter
Alcohol and/or drugs cause the violence
• Stress causes the violence
• Uncontrollable anger
• The batterer witnessed his father abusing his mother
Why do batterers batter?
• Because they can
• Because it gets them what they want
• Opportunity and self-interest
Common characteristics of batterers:
• Exhibits discrepancy between public and private behavior
• Uses obfuscation to minimize or confuse survivor about behavior
• Externalizes by blaming others and using external factors to justify behavior
• Uses controlling behaviors to get survivor to do, or stop doing, something
• Feels a strong sense of ownership over the survivor
• May use controlled substances
• Is resistant to change
Factors that increase the likelihood of male violence against women
• Ideology of familial patriarchy
• Male peer support
• Alcohol consumption/use
• Exposure to pornographic media

 

We live in a society where:
° Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. (Population Reports, Series L, No. 11, December 1999).
o Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are women. Women are significantly more likely than men (60% and 30%, respectively) to be stalked by intimate partners. (Center for Policy Research, Stalking in America, July 1997).
o Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women. In 1999, women accounted for 85 percent of the victims. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99, October 2001).
o On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 1999, 1,642 murders were attributed to intimates; 74 percent of the murder victims were women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99, October 2001).
MCADSV New Service Provider Training Manual and Resource Guide (May 2006)
• Hold rigid sex role stereotypes

Warning Signs
• History of Violence
Substance abuse
• Breaks or strikes things in anger
• Jealousy
• Controlling Behavior
• Quick Involvement
• Unrealistic Expectations
• Isolation
• Use of Privilege
Cruelty to Animals or Children
• Rape or use of force in sex
• Blames others for Problems
• Blames others for Feelings

MCADSV New Service Provider Training Manual and Resource Guide (May 2006)