Navigate:

What are some of the warnings of domestic violence?

Sometimes a husband or boyfriend does not strike his wife or girlfriend, but gets his way by throwing things during arguments or even abusing pets. Sometimes an abusive partner destroys clothing, prized objects or damages the home while in the grip of anger or rage. Sometimes an abuser takes out his anger by hurting or killing a pet owned and loved by the victim -- a proxy act of violence that is transparent in its hostility.


Very often through all this the abusive partner does not physically harm his partner.


The danger is that in many cases, outbursts of anger may become more and more violent. Thus, the abuser is a danger, not only to his partner, but also to himself. Each year, at least 1,500 woman are killed by a current or former husband or boyfriend. According to the FBI, four woman a day are murdered by a former partner.


In her book The Battered Women, Lenore Walker describes a three-phase cycle of violence that prevails in some two-thirds of the violent households. In the first phase, tension in the abusive man begins to build and the woman walks on eggs trying to preserve the peace. She tolerates minor acts -- slapping and name calling -- in an attempt to keep things "on an even keel" even as he becomes more abusive and controlling. In the next phase, a "violent outburst with acute battering" may be triggered by small and inconsequential actions on the part of the women. In phase three, "loving contrition" brings temporary relief, for the man is remorseful and apologetic. "It is a period of profound relief for both partners," according to Dawn Bradley Berry, the author of The Domestic Violence Sourcebook.


Alas, however, the cycle of violence starts anew.


Sometimes, the victim makes excuses for her partner, even though she becomes afraid for herself and the children, and she may back down from arguments just to keep the peace. Thus, the atmosphere never really clears, and nothing is resolved, so underlying tensions again build.


A woman who feels "afraid to cross" her husband is in a dangerous situation because it will deteriorate. She should get help.


10. Is manipulation a form of domestic violence?


For sure, manipulation is a form of domestic violence directed at forcibly controlling a wife or girlfriend. A spouse who hides his wife’s medication or prevents her from seeking medical attention is using violence, albeit more subtly perhaps.