Domestic Violence & The Courtroom
Understanding The Problem... Knowing The Victim


Do Not Blame The Victim

A victim of domestic violence may act in ways that seem incomprehensible to people not aware of the dynamics of abuse. The victim may not understand his or her actions, denying the abuse in a desperate attempt for self preservation.

The abuser's control of a victim may affect the simplest decision a victim may need to make. Domestic Violence is a crime by the perpetrator, not the victim. A batterer must take full responsibility for his or her violent behavior. Mutual restraining orders are not appropriate.

Abuse escalates in frequency and severityover time. It does not go away without intervention.

Research suggests that a short period of incarceration, followed by court ordered counseling, may stop the cycle of violence. The counseling must be specific in nature and targeted to stop the abusive situation. There is, however, no guarantee that an abuser will desist even with the best counseling.

A victim of domestic violence will often lose the ability to view other people's behavior in an objective or neutral light. A victim loses the ability to trust other people. Thus, he or she often feels isolated.

Many people believe that the victim of violence must somehow have invited it, encouraged it, or even found some kind of satisfaction from it. No victim likes to be abused. Victims have the same expectations of love, trust and a fulfilling relationship, as we all do.

Studies show in more than half of all battering incidents, the batterer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While drugs and alcohol do not cause the violence, they are often used as an excuse for the violence.

Batterers are not all the same. Some also commit other crimes; they may have a long history of disobeying the law and violent behavior. Others may respond to psycho-educational programs that help them learn about proper sex-role socialization, anger and violence management, and advance techniques that can be used to effectively eliminate violence in their relationships .

The National Institute for Criminal Justice Statistics data indicate that 70% of all reported incidents of domestic violence take place after separation from the batterer. Although, from 1976-1987, 38,648 individuals aged 16 and older were killed by their partners. More victims are killed by their male partners who previously abused them, and 39% were men killed by their female partners.



    

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