The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Faces of Domestic Violence

October 6, 2012

Cycle of domestic violence: How they control, why they stay

How they control

It isn’t about physical violence; it is about gaining power and control.

  • Intimidation: using looks, actions, gestures; throwing or breaking things; abusing pets; showing weapons
  • Emotional abuse: put-downs, name-calling, playing mind games, humiliation, making other feel guilty
  • Isolation: controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads and where she goes; not allowing her to talk to family and friends; using jealousy to justify actions
  • Minimizing, denying and blaming: making light of the abuse, not taking her concerns seriously, saying the abuse didn’t happen, telling her she’s to blame
  • Using children: threatening to take children away, relaying messages through the children, making her feel guilty about the children
  • Male privilege: treating her like a servant, making all decisions, acting like “master of the castle”
  • Economic abuse: preventing her from getting or keeping a job, making her ask for money, giving her an allowance
  • Coercion and threats: making or carrying out threats, threatening to leave or commit suicide, making her drop criminal charges, making her do illegal things

Why they stay

The fear of the unknown can be greater than the fear faced by staying at home.

  • She loves the abuser
  • She thinks she can change the abuser
  • Financial dependency on the abuser as she has been isolated from work, friends and family
  • Abusers often make a woman feel like she won’t be loved by anyone else or that she deserves the abuse
  • Sometimes she may have grown up in an abusive home and the abuse seems normal
  • Abuser threatens to hurt or kill the victim’s children or family

The cycle of violence is a hard one to break. It both begins and ends with the “Honeymoon” stage where the abuser is sweet, helps around the house, may send flowers or cards. This behavior is a way to make up for violent behavior. Often, the abuser is afraid he will lose the victim. He’ll make promises to stay, go to counseling and to change.

The “Tension” stage occurs when the victim feels like she is walking on egg shells. There is no way for her to predict what the abuser wants or what to do to keep from the violence. There is not usually physical abuse during this stage but emotional abuse, coercion, threats and intimidation. The “Violence” stage often includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The cycle then begins again with a “Honeymoon” stage.

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Faces of Domestic Violence
  • 1028 news Domestic Violence illustration06 - Copy.JPG Who can stop domestic violence? You

    The elimination of abuse in relationships — with time, cooperation and commitment — is possible, said Colleen Yeakle, coordinator of the Indiana Coalition of Domestic Violence’s (ICADV) prevention initiative.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Legislation comes a long way, but more change needed

    Each year the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence sets its legislative priorities based on year-round discussions with its members and legislators to see what needs are out there and what is going on in the field.

    October 27, 2012

  • 1028 news Empty Table Settings 18a.jpg Children affected by abuse too

    While some may think the atmosphere at Alternatives, the Anderson domestic violence shelter, would be a somber one, instead it is a building filled with laughter and joy.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Gissendanner, Kristy.jpg Kristy Gissendanner: 'Vivacious and sweet'

    Six-day-old Gabrielle Gissendanner and her 18-month-old brother Michael weren’t far from their mom when Harry Gissendanner shot and killed Kristy in their Anderson home in 2004.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • John Davis: ‘Defined by your actions and inactions’

    John Davis wants his pain to make a difference. He’s hopeful sharing what he experienced and witnessed growing up will empower someone else to leave a dangerous situation or avoid it altogether.

    October 27, 2012

  • ‘It was life-altering’

    Casey Huffman should have taken her son Camdon to his first day of kindergarten this year. She should be picking out a Halloween costume for him. She should be thinking about how to help him achieve his hopes and dreams. Instead, Casey mourns over his all-too-early death.

    October 27, 2012

  • Tomlinson, Tina.tif Tina Tomlinson: 'She was a hoot'

    Tina Tomlinson was just “plain fun,” her family recalled. The mother of two and dedicated grandmother was someone family could look to for a good time.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 1024 news Domestic violence forum 108a.jpg Domestic violence prevention is possible, expert says

    Gender stereotypes are just one thing that Todd Cawthorn and five other speakers, during a 90-minute panel discussion Tuesday night, talked about that create an environment where domestic violence is accepted.

    October 23, 2012 3 Photos

  • 1023 news Dating violence talk 33a.jpg Teens can be victims of domestic violence, too

    Dating violence has been seen locally in relationships as young as sixth grade, Alternatives Inc. prevention specialist Todd Cawthorn said.

    October 22, 2012 2 Photos

  • 1021 news pendleton town court 020.jpg Justice for victims

    While a protective order is an important piece of the legal puzzle that domestic violence victims have to solve, Judge Stephen Clase stresses to each that it is, after all, “just a piece of paper.” “They won’t stop a knife or a bullet,” he said. “I tell them they need to be on guard at all times.”

    October 20, 2012 1 Photo

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  • Where to find help

    Alternatives Inc., 24-hour crisis line
    (765) 643-0200 or (866) 593-9999
    Kandi Floyd, Christy Clark, Dara Tracy -- victim’s advocates
    Victims Assistance Program, Madison County Sheriff’s Department
    (765) 646-4078 or (765) 646-4079
    Gay Doss, Jaime Wilhoite -- victim assistance providers
    Victim Assistance Program, Madison County Prosecutor‘s Office
    (765) 641-9673
    Melinda Padgett, Karla Montgomery, Alison Lutz, Gracie Roman, Laura Evans -- victim assistance providers
    Victim Assistance Unit, Anderson Police Department
    (765) 648-6773, Lessa Johnson, Christy Jones -- victim assistance specialists
    Sowers of Seeds Counseling, Batters’ Intervention Program
    (765) 649-3452
    Vaughn Walker -- supervisor

    Anonymous The Herald Bulletin Fri, October 12
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