"WISDOM FOR WOMEN" -
DETAILS YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Knowledge is Power
ABUSE OR BATTERING MEAN?
When the terms "wife assault" or
"battering" are used, we often think of physical violence or injury.
Abuse is not always physical. Other forms of abuse can be just as
harmful. Abuse includes assault and battering and all other forms of
mistreatment and cruelty, such as constant threatening and
psychological violence. All types of woman abuse have one thing in
common--they are used to create fear.
If your partner does
any of the following things, you may be a victim of abuse. He
Cut off your contact with friends and stop you from making
Read your mail.
Threaten to hurt anything that is
special to you, like a pet or something you treasure.
Make personal insults.
Strike you with his hand or
with any object.
Threaten to have you deported.
Force you to
do things you do not want to do for his sexual pleasure.
of assaults begin when the woman is pregnant.
WHAT KIND OF MAN ABUSES HIS
Men who abuse
their partners come from every part of society. They may believe
that they have a right to hit and control their partner. They may be
very jealous and possessive. There are ways in which society
encourages these attitudes.
Abusive men often blame others
for their acts or make other excuses. They may feel pressured in
their jobs. They often drink before they assault, but drinking does
not cause the violence. Some men believe that violence is an
acceptable way of dealing with anger. They may feel guilty when they
see the damage they have done, but this does not stop them from
doing it again. Between the episodes of abuse they can be extremely
loving and caring.
Some men are able to change with
professional help. Success depends almost entirely on their
recognition that they have a problem and their willingness to
change. This type of help is available in many
It can be very difficult to leave an abusive
relationship. There are many decisions to make, and many problems to
overcome. You will have to think about protecting yourself and your
children when you leave and where you can stay in the short term and
long term. You must also think about how to support yourself. Do you
have a job that pays enough to support you and your children? Will
your partner pay support? Will you be able to get Social Assistance?
How will you explain your decision to your children?
need help to make decisions and plans for the future. If you are not
ready to leave yet, you can talk with someone you trust, like a
doctor, a nurse, or a social worker. You can also contact the
Assaulted Women's Help line in your area (check the front inside
cover/page of your telephone book for listings) or other counseling
services or agencies that offer support and advice.
know your partner. You need to assess the risk you face if you stay,
and the risk you face if you leave. Abusive men often become more
dangerous when their partner actually leaves, or when it becomes
clear that she is serious about leaving.
Whether or not you
choose to leave your partner, your safety is the most important
thing. You need to think about how to protect yourself and your
children and know what to do and what to
PROTECTION WHILE YOU
Tell neighbors & friends to
call the police if they hear fighting or loud noises or see anything
Tell people you can trust about the abuse.
counseling agency or crisis line to discuss your situation and get
help in planning to leave (you do not have to give your
Memorize the telephone number of a shelter or safe
Develop a safe escape plan.
Be prepared to call 911 or
the police if you or your children are in
SAFE ESCAPE PLAN:
Think about where you can go that
is safe and he will not know to look for you. To a friend or
relative; to a shelter, safe home, or hostel; to another town or
Put some money away in a safe place a little at a time.
Move some of your things out a little at a time (for example,
identification and other things he will not notice). Contact your
local welfare/Social Services office to find out about the Community
Start-Up Benefit or other help they can give you. Get legal advice
about your situation.
Clothes for a few days for you
& the children.
The children's favorite toys or
Things like toothpaste, diapers, soap.
Any medication you or the children need.
birth certificates, health cards, passports, immigration documents,
your driver's license & credit cards.
Any court documents,
either from family law proceedings or previous peace bonds or
Other documents such as the deed for the house,
apartment lease, bond certificates, SIN or Social Security card,
marriage certificate. A copy of your partner's last income tax
return is helpful but not necessary.
Any proof of the abuse like
photos, threatening notes, or taped telephone messages.
numbers of police officers you have called in the
TAKING THE CHILDREN:
If there is a court order
concerning custody and access to the children, check with your
family lawyer about whether you can take the children.
isn't a custody order, consult a family lawyer as soon as possible
after you have left your home with the children.
Leave a note for
your partner that states you have left with the children, that they
are safe, and that your lawyer will contact him in the near
Keep a copy of this
WHEN TO LEAVE:
Only you can decide when the time
is right for you to leave, but it is best to try to leave when he is
not at home. Abusive men often become more violent when their
partner leaves or when they realize she is about to
Each situation is unique and requires different
solutions. For legal advice concerning your particular situation you
should consult a lawyer/legal aid.
CAN HE MAKE EXCUSES TO
DEFEND HIS ACTIONS?
He may try to excuse himself by saying
he was provoked, he was drunk, or he was defending himself.
no defense for him to say you provoked him. Provocation can only be
used when he is being sentenced after he is convicted, or when the
charge is murder.
He cannot excuse his acts by saying you caused
ALWAYS, ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, YOU ARE
NOT ALONE, YOU ARE NOT A LIAR, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR
PARTNER'S BEHAVIOR AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAY AND DO AND THINK AND
FEEL IS NOT WRONG!
If you're afraid
of your husband, because he has assaulted you, threatened you, or
because he's just completely out of control and you know if you
don't get him out of your home he's going to seriously hurt you,
When the police arrive, tell them:
-you want to
talk to them privately
-exactly what happened, whether you
were assaulted, threatened or suffered any other forms of
-if it has happened before
-that he should be charged
-what, if any, weapons were used and whether
there are other weapons in the house
-if anybody saw or heard
-to take pictures
of your injuries
-to help you leave or take you to
-to give you their names &
IF YOU ARE HURT:
Ask the police to call an ambulance or
take you to a hospital or to a doctor that you know and trust. Tell
the hospital staff or the doctor exactly how you were
As soon as possible, make careful notes of
everything that happened. Write down what everyone said and make a
note of the times, dates, and names if possible. If you were hurt,
write down all of the details. Include:
-exactly where you
received the injuries (for example, the upper thigh or back of
-how you were hurt (for example,
with his open hand,
fist, or boot)
-how many times you were hit
-how severe your
injuries were (for example, bruises or cuts requiring
FOR THE COURT:
KEEP ANY/ALL EVIDENCE OF THE
ASSAULT IF THE POLICE DO NOT TAKE IT:
-addresses & telephone numbers
-photographs of your injuries
or property that was damaged during the assault
reports, officers' names & badge numbers
CATEGORIES OF ABUSE:
kicking, shoving, choking, pinching, forced feeding, pulling hair,
punching throwing things, burning, beating, use of weapons (gun,
knives, or any object), physical restraint - pinning against wall,
floor, bed. Running at you with the car.
demeaning jokes, unwanted touching, excessive jealousy,
comparison to others, inflicting pain during sex, withholding sex
for punishment, treating someone as a sex object, name-calling, any
forced sexual activity, sexual accusations, flaunted stories of
extra-marital affairs, unwanted exposure to pornography, pressuring
for sex after abuse.
smashing things, abusing pets, witnessing abuse, stomping out of
room or house, inducing fear through looks, actions, gestures.
Destroying victims' property, displaying weapons, sudden mood
swings, pounding fist through wall or on table.
angry outbursts, subtle
brainwashing, accusing, saying abuse didn't happen, denying anger,
attacking attitudes, beliefs, name calling, blaming, making light of
abuse, not taking victim's concerns seriously, telling victim they
caused abusive behaviors, belittling efforts of victim to improve
putting another down,
playing mind games, making another feel guilty, putdowns, removal of
decision-making power, no privacy tolerated, driving in a
frightening way, forcing another to do degrading things, ignoring,
discounting another's activities, making another feel bad about
themselves, making another feel as if they're crazy in public, or
private humiliation, scolding, shouting, disrupting routines,
forcing someone to "report to them", infantilization, denying basic
limited outside involvement, moving
residences, forcing someone to account for their time, making it
difficult for someone to get a job, withholding affection for
punishment, attempting to turn against their friends/family, forcing
victim to avoid people/friends out of embarrassment, criticisms,
humiliation in front of them, control of communication with others
(i.e. listening in on phone calls, opening & censoring mail,
reading private e-mail), using jealousy to justify isolation, being
kept in the home, monitoring where someone goes, restricting use of
the car, preventing someone from getting medical
withholding funds, theft of
money, fraud, forcing someone to ask for basic necessities,
preventing another from getting or keeping a job, not letting
someone know of or have access to family/personal income, rationing
money, theft of property, asking for receipts even for small
purchases, making someone account for all money
making and/or carrying out
threats, threatening suicide, threatening to report someone to
welfare, threatening loved ones, threatening to kidnap children,
legal harassment, threatening to find another partner, making
another drop charges against perpetrator, threatening to leave,
threatening homicide, making another do illegal things, threatening
to harm property or pets, threatening deportation, forcing someone
to "report" to them, threatening to come after partner if they
leave, threatening to use information abuser may have about
someone's past life against them, threatening to remove financial
support if partner won't have sex, terrorizing (i.e. driving
recklessly, tying noose around someone's neck, playing with a gun or
knife in victim's presence.)
not the norm or after abusive behaviors):
gifts, money, flattery, apologies, taking out to
ENFORCING TRIVIAL DEMANDS:
food preparation -
choice of purchases, time served, temperature of food;
duties - small details (i.e. amount of bath water used, wrong egg
making her feel guilty about
the children, using visitation to harass partner, using the children
to relay messages, threatening to take the children
USING PRIVILEGE FOR PURPOSE OF POWER OVER:
someone like a servant, acting like the "master of the castle",
making all the "big" decisions, being the one to define everyone
treatment, ignoring, forcing someone to say what abuser wants to
hear, treating another's concern as unimportant or a nuisance or
being angered by them; not listening, conditional
denial of situation, lying to
someone's friends, using Jekyll/Hyde personality, teaching someone a
"lesson", saying things like "You've never had it so good" and "I
have made you what you are." Tell someone they're crazy, finding
someone at fault for everything, telling small lies about
unimportant things, saying one thing and expecting something
deprivation of sleep, food, money.
Demanding too much sex, asking "Why are you tired?" (under these
circumstances). Not being allowed to be sick or have special needs,
enforcing unrealistic expectations, waking someone up to
inadequate hygiene, withholding medical
services, withholding or inadequate provision of physical
requirements (i.e. food, housing, medicine, clothing, physical
aids). Inadequate safety precautions taken.
VIOLENT & COERCIVE
everywhere, regardless of wealth, influence, color, creed. The
statistics are scary; it's just amazing the number of men who abuse
their wives and show no remorse, nor do they take any responsibility
for their actions.
PHYSICAL: assaults with weapons -
guns, knives, whips, tire irons, cars, tent poles, high-heeled
shoes, chair legs, broken bottles, pillows, cigarettes,
Assaults with the batterer's own body - biting,
scratching, kicking, punching, stomping, slapping, throwing down
stairs, smashing eye glasses on the face of the victim, locking the
victim in a closet or utilizing other confinement, tickling until
loss of breath or panic.
Sleep interference, deprivation of heat
SEXUAL: rape, sex on demand, sexual withholding,
weapons utilized or threatened sexually, forced sex with others,
involuntary prostitution, coercing monogamy or nonmonogamy, denying
reproductive freedom, physical assaults during sexual intercourse,
sexually degrading language.
PROPERTY: arson, slashing of car
tires, clothing, and furniture, pet abuse or destruction, stealing
and destruction of property, breaking and entering, pulling out
telephones, breaking household items.
THREATS: threats to
commit physical, sexual, or property destruction, threats of
violence against significant third parties, stalking,
ECONOMIC CONTROL: control over income &
assets of partner, property destruction, interfering with employment
or education, economic fraud, purchases of valuable assets in the
name of the batterer only, using credit cards without the partner's
permission, not working and requiring the victim to support the
PSYCHOLOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE:
degradation, lying, isolation, selection of
entertainment/friends/religious experience, telling the partner that
she is crazy, dumb, ugly; withholding critical information,
selecting the food the partner eats, bursts of fury, pouting or
withdrawal, mind manipulation.
MORE SIGNS OF
Making & or carrying out threats to do
something to hurt her, threatening to leave her, to commit suicide,
to report her to welfare, making her drop charges, making her do
Making her afraid by
using looks, actions, gestures; smashing things, destroying her
property, abusing pets, displaying weapons.
Putting her down, making her feel bad about herself,
calling her names, making her think she's crazy, playing mind games,
humiliating her, making her feel guilty, sleep
Controlling what she does,
who she sees & talks to, what she reads, where she goes,
limiting her outside involvement, using jealousy to justify
MINIMIZING, DENYING & BLAMING:
of the abuse & not taking her concerns about it seriously,
saying the abuse didn't happen, shifting responsibility for abusive
behavior, saying she caused it.
feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay
messages, using visitation to harass her, threatening to take the
children away, abusing the children.
Treating her like a servant, making all the big
decisions, acting like the "master of the castle", being the one to
define men's and women's roles.
Preventing her from getting or keeping a job, making her
ask for money, giving her an allowance, taking her money, not
letting her know about or have access to family
'BASIC' PROFILE OF ABUSIVE
Possessiveness - view their partners
as their own property.
Control & Power - believe they
have a right to control their partners, tell them what to do, and
expect obedience; feel justified in using force to maintain power
& control over partners, and get them to comply; feel their
partners have no right to challenge this.
Externalize Blame -
will not assume responsibility for their actions; projects the blame
for their anger or violence onto others (especially their
Tendency to Justify, Deny, Minimize, or Reframe
their behavior - for example "someone has to be in charge", "I have
never hit you", or "That's not the way it happened at all. You are
Unrealistic Expectations of Partners to
Fulfill Their Needs - expect their partners to make them feel happy,
make them feel complete.
Express Most Feelings as Anger in
the Form of Violence - don't know how to identify & express
hurt, frustration, stress, sadness, fear, etc. Chooses to express
them in the form of anger & abusive behavior towards partner;
displaces anger from others sources (work, finances, etc.) onto
An abuser may be impulsive & quick tempered but
is able to demonstrate extra ordinary control when to do so is in
his best interest i.e.. around people he is trying to impress, the
police, co-workers, the court, etc.
Isolation - tendency to
cut partners off from other relationships; tendency to have only
superficial friendships or contacts with others themselves;
difficulty in sharing problems or discussing deep personal
Abusive men in particular believe in traditional
male/female rolls; as man is breadwinner & ultimate decision
maker; to be a man one must be strong, dominant, superior &
Need to Maintain an Over-Adequate Facade -
inability to reveal vulnerability or anxiety (with the exception,
perhaps, of the period immediately after an abusive incident); avoid
their own feelings of dependence.
Alcohol Abuse Varies - 25%
abuse only when drunk; 25% when drunk or sober; 25% never drink; 25%
are social drinkers & not drunk when abusing. These stats may
vary slightly, but the abuse happens whether or not abuser is using
alcohol or drugs.
Socialized into Aggression - have been
taught directly or indirectly that aggression is an appropriate
means of problem-solving and of demonstrating authority in certain
Lacking Self Esteem - many people lack self
esteem and are not abusive. But abusers attempt to displace those
feelings through power & control over their partner.
Mentally Ill - the proportion of mentally ill battering men is no
greater than the proportion of mentally ill people in the population
ABUSIVE MEN KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND ALSO
HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OVER THEIR ACTIONS.
HOW TO HELP A FRIEND:
LISTEN, BELIEVE HER STORY. DO NOT
JUDGE. It's not your job to prove how it happened. It's your job, as
a friend, to listen & give comfort & support.
KNOW YOU CARE & WANT TO HELP. Use patience & understanding.
Let her decide what help she wants from you. It is very important
that she make her own decisions. You can listen & offer
suggestions & encouragement but she must choose what will be
best for her.
LET HER KNOW SHE IS NOT TO BLAME. You may need
to do this over & over again. It is important that she knows the
offender is to blame, not her. Avoid asking blaming questions such
as "Why did you go there with him?", "Why didn't you scream?",
RESPECT HER RIGHT TO PRIVACY by letting her be in
control of whom she wants to tell. You should not repeat her story
unless she has specifically asked you to.
PUT ASIDE YOUR
FEELINGS and deal with them somewhere else. It is very difficult to
listen to the hurt, anger, and pain someone close to you is having
without you feeling that way too. It is important that you talk
about these feelings with someone else because it is difficult
enough for her to deal with her own feelings without having to deal
with yours as well.
CYCLE OF ABUSE:
"I want what I want, when I want it".
Early in a
relationship, the abuser has few demands. It is when the
relationship relaxes that he starts to feel entitled. He takes his
friend/partners kindness and even temper for weakness.
knows he is wrong to be demanding, so he must force the situation
with belittling, fault finding, blaming and isolating his partner to
get more control.
Isolation technique: He begins to tell his
associates, friends and family twisted lies, to make others become
disenchanted and stay away.
Belittling and blaming: He uses
lies and tells his partner his anger is all their fault, that if
they had done this or that correctly, or better, or sooner that he
would not have gotten angry. The is the fault finding and
Fault finding: He starts looking for any little
imperfection in his partner and begins using that as his reason for
disgust and ill temper.
Just like the school-playground
bully, the abuser takes what he wants and uses hurt to get it. He
never matures past that attitude. So, inside the abuser has not
learned self-discipline like an adult; they are not in control of
their own selves.
Like a naughty child they have
toward other's feelings, or sharing, or if someone’s feelings got
And of course, when it is not possible to meet his demands
at the drop of a hat he becomes enraged and verbally abusive and
threatens to physically abuse as time goes by. If his victim does
manage to meet his demands, he no longer has a tool to control, so
he must, and does, make newer, more difficult and outrageous
When the victim is finally unable to meet the extreme
demands, naturally, the victim will begin the arguing stage, and not
care to please the abuser anymore.
Then the rage escalates
because of his realization he is not going to be able to control the
other person more and more. His failure to do so is what the rage is
That is why the rage will continue to escalate unless the
abuser gets counseling, and learns how to "grow-up" inside, and stop
demanding his every desire be met by other people. That is a huge
and difficult lesson to learn late in life.
When the abusers
demands are met, they are happy, and can be quite appreciative and
loving for a time (like normal people), until they think of the next
thing they want now. Then the cycle repeats, and repeats, and
THIS PART IS RARE TO NEVER
The only thing that
will ever stop the cycle is when the abuser stops wanting so much
from the other person. For the abuser, that is extremely difficult,
to be self reliant.
If the abuser can get therapy and become self
reliant, they will always admit that they are happier without the
bullying/abuse.... But getting them to go that route, and to get to
the end is a monstrous task that takes more than one person who
really cares, to unite in that effort.
If he is left to do it
alone, he may fail.
Most victims have suffered so much from
the belittling and isolation, and smashed-self-esteem and some
physical abuse too, that they have no interest, nor the strength to
consider helping the abuser.
The victim has a big enough job
helping themselves survive.
GOD BLESS US ALL