Friday, April 8, 2011


 *The Types of Abusive Men

*The Abusive Man and Breaking Up

*Abusive Men and Their Allies

Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life…”
– Jimmy Carter

 I chose to blog about these topics because I think it is important to understand every aspect of domestic abuse.  The Types of Abusive Men is interesting to me because it is nearly impossible to determine an abuse person just from looking at them and abuse happens in a variety of different ways.  The Abusive Man and Breaking Up is an important topic to understand because it is so common for abuse to continue even after an abusive relationship ends.  Women are at a 75% greater risk after they have left so it is important to understand the patterns of abusive men after the relationship is over.  Last, I chose to blog about Abusive Men and Their Allies.  I think this topic will help shed a light about why individuals who are close to abusive men often end up defending them as opposed to stopping them.

Abuse happens for a number of reasons.  While it is hard to pin point exactly what drives abuse, some of the most common reasons a person is abuse are:
*They think it is "normal" to act that way.
*They think that being abusive will get them what they want.
*They do it to manipulate and control their partner.
*They have insecurity problems and need to feel a sense of control.
*They become angry when their partner can not live up to their unrealistic expectations.
*They have untreated mental or emotional problems.
Abuse happens for any number or combination of these reasons and for many more.  Never the less, abuse is wrong.

Every 9 seconds a women in the United States is abused.  That is almost 7 women every minute.  Considering those statistics, I wonder how many people in my life has suffered from abuse and learning about domestic violence has made me question some of my past relationships.  Unfortunately, it has become just a fact of life for many women and because abuse occurs in so many different ways and because people are not educated on the topic, it is often difficult to identify.

The Abusive Man and Breaking Up

I chose to blog about this topic after watching Sin by Silence and reading some of the articles on Mydeathspace.  I feel like there is a large misconception that once a woman leave her abusive relationship she is safe from further harm.  This is not the case however.  The film Sin by Silence put forth a shocking statistic.  Women who leave an abusive relationship are at a 75% higher risk after they have left.  That became apparent when i was reading articles on Mydeathspace.  I was shocked at the number was cases that happened after the woman had left.  On average, women try to leave their abusive relationship 7 times.  this puts the woman in a very dangerous situation because it angers and scares her abusive partner and gives him the satisfaction that he still has control over her.  Women who leave need to have a thorough plan in order to be safe and secure.

One reason many women have a difficult reason leaving their abusive spouse is because of a manipulative process used by the abuser called traumatic bonding.  Women who are abused they feel a natural rush of love and gratitude to anyone who brings them relief.  Because abusive men are rarely abusive all the time, they are most often the ones who bring relief.  That causes a twisted sort of dependence for the woman.  They have illusions that he is the only one who really knows them or that no one understands them the way he does.  Traumatic bonding is one of the most manipulative tactics used by abusive men to keep their partner from leaving.

So maybe I’m a masochist
I try to run but I don’t wanna ever leave.
Til the walls are goin’ up in smoke with all our memories.
Love The Way You Lie (Part 2) – Rhianna Ft. Eminem

 Bancroft makes the point that abusive men are extremely manipulative and controlling.  When a woman threatens to or makes an attempt to leave, the abusive man uses manipulation and fear to make her stay.  He may promise to change, apologize, threaten to commit suicide, physically or sexually assault her, spreading rumors to turn friends and family against her etc.  If the woman does succeed in leaving, the abusive man often become irrationally angry and feels that they no longer have control.  That can lead to stalking, damaging their property, assault, and even murder.  Abusive men tend to have the mentality that "you continue to be mine, and I retain my rights to your body until I decide otherwise."

This site goes into dept about the psychological attachment that is involved in traumatic bonding.  It offers further information on why abused women are so prone to staying with their abuser.

I really like this site.  It gives a run down on every detail a woman needs to cover before leaving her abusive partner.  It also addresses the fact that the abusive spouse may "change" after the woman has left in order to reel her back, a point that Bancroft also covered.  The main message of this site is Safety First.

This site offers a good overview of what to expect after a woman leaves an abusive relationship.  It goes through the possible responses of an abuser.  It especially focuses on the responses of both the abuser and the abused in terms of children.

The Types of Abusive Men

"Look, I don't even know what I'm supposed to say to you.  You think that just because you don't yell, you're not mean? This is mean!"
                                                                                         -Knocked Up
The chapter in Bancroft's book titled the Types of Abusive Men interested me for a couple of reasons.  First, I think it is important to understand that abuse does not happen in a cookie cutter way.  In fact, there are no cases of abuse that exactly the same.  Second, it is important to understand that there is not a single "type" of man who is abusive.  They can be of any race, age, religion etc.  There is no way of looking at a man and knowing they are abusive.  This chapter helps clarify the different types of abusive men as well as the different types of abuse.
I had no idea there were so many different kinds of abusive men.  Bancroft breaks down the types into 10 different forms based on two thousand men studied.  They are:
*The Demand Man
*Mr. Right
*The Drill Sergeant
*Mr. Sensitive
*The Player
*The Victim
*The Terrorist
*The Mentally Ill or Addicted Abuser
Abusive men are often to fall into more than one of these classifications and they may not fall into any.  Abuse is different for every man.  Although the types of abuse are different, they all have the same core similarities.  "Assaults on the woman's self-esteem, controlling behavior, undermining her independence, disrespect."  I think it is important to understand that nearly any man can be abusive.  There is not a "type" of man to look out for, anyone has the capacity to be abusive.

I found this website very informative, in particular, the section headed "Violent and abusive behavior is the abuser's choice."  It breaks down different forms of abuse that abusive partners use.  It does a nice job of driving home some of the main ways Bancroft covered on how men abuse their partners.

This site is particularly valid to the types of abusive men because it talks in depth about verbal abuse.  Verbal abuse is used as a manipulative degrading tactic by all types of abusive men and is commonly thought of as the worst form of abuse.

This site offers a deeper understanding of three different types of abusive men: the rapist, the incestuous offender, and the wife batterer.  Each of these kinds of abusers have a different persona that are similar to the ones outlined by Bancroft.     

Final Note

This is not love. It is a crime, ... You can't look the other way just because you have not experienced domestic violence with your own flesh.
~ Salma Hayek

Treating abusive men is a tricky matter.  It can be scary to confront an abusive man for fear that he may deny the facts, play the victim, or become even more violent.  Often times, help and treatment is not accepted until the man admits he has a problem and seeks help for himself.  It is important to remember that an abuser is not born; he is made.  No matter how wearing it is, ending the abusive cycle is possible.  There are four elements to bring about change : consequences, education, confrontation, and accountability.  Those 4 core elements are played out in 13 general steps to assist an abusive man change.

1)   Admit fully to his history of psychological, sexual, and physical abusiveness toward any current or past partner whom he has abused.
2)   Acknowledge that the abuse was wrong, unconditionally.
3)   Acknowledge that his behavior was a choice, not a loss of control.
4)   Recognize the effects his abuse has had on you and on your children, and show empathy for those.
5)   Identify in detail his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes.
6)   Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes to replace the abusive ones he is stopping.
7)   Reevaluate his distorted image of you, replacing it with a more positive and empathic view.
8)   Make amends for the damage he has done.
9)   Accept the consequences of his actions.
10)   Commit to not repeating his abusive behaviors and honor that commitment.
11)   Accept the need to give up his privileges and so so.
12)   Accept that overcoming abusiveness is likely to be a lifelong process.
13)   Be willing to be accountable for his actions, both past and future.

Although these steps can be highly effective in helping to end the cycle of abuse, it is imperative to keep in mink that an abuser who does not relinquish his core entitlements will not remain non abusive.  He must truly believe he needs to and wants to change in order to stop being abusive.

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Abuse Help
Allies Leaving
Anger Love
Controlling Traumatic Bonding
Emotional Types

Abusive Men and Their Allies

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time. Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.”
– Nicole Kidman

Abusive Men and Their Allies helped me understand why so many men get away with being abusive.  Bancroft first outlines the tactics an abusive man uses to get allies.  An abusive man needs allies in order to protect himself.  He doesn't want to have to explain his behavior and is looking for validation because he feels guilty.  The abuser looks for allies from a variety of different places, generally from individuals who are close to both himself as well as his partner.  They can be relatives, police, psychologists, friends etc.  For some of the abuser's allies, the side with him because they do not want to believe that he is abusive.  For others, generally those closer to the victim, the abuser takes his time to get close to them in order to manipulate them into believing that he is a good guy.

"Stay away from people who aren't good for you, who don't understand, who say things that push you down into self-blame."
-Lundy Bancroft 

Besides the individuals within the abusers web of allies, society plays a key roll in the abusers ability to get away with his wrong doings.  There is a stigma in society that says women are supposed to make their marriage work.  If something is wrong in the relationship, it is the woman's fault.  Women also have the stereotype of being irrational, emotional, and over dramatic which plays into the abuser's ability to get people to side with him.  The silence surrounding domestic violence is only just recently beginning to be broken, making it more difficult for abusers to get allies.      

This area of study needs more research.  It is difficult to find any hard facts about abusive men and their allies.  Most of the information i was able to find was intertwined in other pieces of work relating to domestic violence.  I think it is an important area of study and hopefully as issues surrounding domestic violence become less taboo, more information will be available.

This website presents the opinions and questions of people who witness as well as an explanation of why those opinions and questions are not rooted in reality.  Many of the questions have the tone that accusatory tone that society has determined such as "I know him-he would never do that" and "well she must be doing something to provoke it."

I included this website because it talks in depth about emotional abuse and the rights of people involved in an abusive relationship.  I feel like emotional abuse is an important topic to emphasize because it is to easily overlooked and ignored.

This article addresses the negative side effects that abused women encounter when trying to seek help.  I found it relevant because many of the negative effects are caused from the women having self doubt and guilty feelings that are instilled in them from their abusive husband's allies.