Domestic abuse by its very nature is a private crime, committed behind closed doors.
Men who use violence in intimate relationships are very often articulate and socially appropriate outside of the family home, and obviously have a vested interest in leaving no clues as to their private behaviour. Assaults, for example, usually target areas of the body covered by clothes, or focus on parts of the head covered by hair.
Most importantly, the use of psychological violence and abuse that most women I have worked with over fourteen years describe as “the most damaging” leaves little external, objective evidence to mark its existence.
I propose to briefly outline the kind of behaviours that characterise domestic abuse, both in terms of the perpetrator and the victim. From this base I will discuss the impact of living with domestic abuse on children and why it is so important to factor this in throughout any assessment of contact and residence, and I will also detail how these experiences of abuse are likely to effect the current presentation.
Typically perpetrators of domestic abuse exhibit particular behaviours which express the attachment problems that underpin domestic abuse.
Some of these behaviours are as follows:
1) At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerates the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage.
2) He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and/or violence.
3) He is verbally and emotionally abusive.
4) He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This may include threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, to take the children, and/or to commit suicide.
5) He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, destroying partner’s possessions etc.).
6) He has been abusive in prior relationships.
7) There has been more than one incident of violent behaviour (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things).
8) He uses money to control the activities, purchases, and behaviour of his wife/partner.
9) He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a "tight leash," requires her to account for her time.
10) He refuses to accept rejection, often becoming obsessively jealous and enraged if an ex-partner shows any signs of forming a new relationship
11) He tells others that the woman is to blame for the situation, commonly suggesting that she has mental health issues is “premenstrual”, or the instigator of the violence
12) He may seek to discredit her with agencies, frequently citing drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and/or child abuse
13) He minimises incidents of abuse.
14) He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner.
15) He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his actions.
16) He uses "male privilege" as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like the "master of the house").
In terms of victim behaviour, research shows that
1. Women will, on average remain with a perpetrator for around seven years;
2. Women may leave and reconcile on more than one occasion before finally making the decision to leave, the average number of times is seven. In fact women do not leave until all hope is gone.
3. It is estimated that only around 2% of domestic violence is reported to the police
4. Women will experience somewhere between 35 and 50 assaults before telling anyone.
5. Family and friends tend to be the first people that women disclose to
6. 70% of women who experience domestic abuse approach their GP at least once
7. Women who live with domestic abuse are very significantly more likely than non-abused women to experience serious psychological problems including anxiety and depression and suicidal ideation ad complex forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder contingent on their experience of Type 2 (ongoing) trauma, particularly where levels of emotional/psychological abuse are high.
Because of all of the above, it is important to look at all the information in available a given case in order to make a decision about whether or not domestic abuse is occurring. Sadly bruises and/or police reports do not tell the whole story and in fact may not be present even in cases where women are terrified and desperate.
Unfortunately evidence of controlling, manipulative behaviour, including emotional and psychological abuse on the part of the perpetrator is not collected by agencies, or is dismissed, as is the level of fear, anxiety and apprehension exhibited by the victim. Emotional and psychological abuse invariably underpins domestic violence and should be routinely investigated in cases where allegations of abuse are being made, especially in cases of child contact.
SPECulative Society of Edinburgh Member
Non-Executive Chairman joined the board as chairman in 1996.Cairn Energy PLC
currently also non-executive deputy chairmanCairn India Limited
a non-executive director Member and Chairman of the Audit, Remuneration, Nomination & Corporate Governance Committees
British Polythene Industries PLC
Artemis Investment Management Limited
a non-executive director
Quality Care Homes
Scottish Radio Holdings
Barker & Dobson - (Drayton Consolidated Trust) - Alma Holdings
Scottish Highland Hotels
He has over 20 years' experience on public company boards, in a wide range of industries,
both in an executive and non-executive capacity, frequently with catastrophic consequences.
He has left:
a long trail of broken lives, betrayed staff, colleagues and women,
who have suffered from his emotional inadequacies and lack of maturity.
A weak and bullying individual, who brings shame and unhappiness to his children,
and those who misguidedly cared for him, as he sets out to prove his worth to himself.
Always acting egocentrically at the expense of those he can bully, exploit and control.
An emotional Narcissist & a manipulative sociopath.