Category Archives: Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment

Lethality assessment is the attempt to identify the circumstances when a batterer is most dangerous by evaluating the batterer’s beliefs and patterns of violence, coercion, and control. The following information was developed by Barbara J. Hart, Esq. In Assessing Whether Batterer’s Will Kill. The assessment looks at a number of predictors. The underlying assumption is the higher the number of predictors, the higher the potential for the batterer to commit a homicide or engage in potentially lethal behaviors.

Predictors of Lethality Include:

  • Threats of suicide or homicide including killing himself, the victim, children or relatives.
  • Fantasies of homicide or suicide in the guise of fantasizing “who, how, when and/or where to kill.”
  • Weapons owned by the perpetrator who has threatened to used them or has used them in the past (the use of guns is a strong predictor of homicide).
  • Feelings of “ownership” of the victim.
  • “Centrality” to the victim (idolizing and extreme dependence).
  • Separation from the victim (this is an extremely dangerous time when perpetrators make the decision to kill).
  • Dangerous behavior increases in degree with little regard for legal or social consequences.
  • Hostage-taking
  • Depression
  • Repeated calls to the police.

Lethality assessments are more an art than a science and cannot be considered precise by any means. They are not a tool for certain prediction, but rather one for risk assessment and safety planning or intervention. Social service providers should error on the side of caution and inform their clients that any abuser can potentially be lethal.

13 Steps to an Abusive Man’s Process of Change

1. Admit fully to his history of psychological, sexual, and physical abusiveness toward any current or past partners whom he abused. Denial and minimizing need to stop, including discrediting your memory of what happened. He can’t change if he is continuing to cover-up, to others or to himself, important parts of what he has done.

2. Acknowledge that the abuse was wrong, unconditionally. he needs to identify the justifications he has tended to use, including the various ways that he may have blamed you, and to talk in detail about why his behaviors were unacceptable without slipping back into defending them.

3. Acknowledge that his behavior was a choice, not a loss of control. For example, he needs to recognize that there is a moment during each incident at which he gives himself permission to become abuisive and that he chooses how far to let himself go.

4. Recognize the effects his abuse has had on you on your children, and show empathy for those. He needs to talk in detail about the short-and-long term impact that his abuse has had, including fear, loss of trust, anger, and loss of freedom and other rights. And he needs to do this without reverting to feeling sorry for himself or talking about how hard the experience has been for him.

5. Identify in detail his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes. He needs to speak is detail about the day-to-day tactics of abuse he has used. Equally important, he must be able to identify his underlying beliefs and values that have driven those behaviors, such as considering himself entitled to constant attention, looking down on you as inferior, or believing that men aren’t responsible for their actions if “provoked” by a partner.

6. Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes to replace the abusive ones he is stopping. You can look for examples such as improving how well he listens to you during conflicts and at other times, carrying his weight of household responsibilities and child care, and supporting your independence. He has to demonstrate that he has to come to accept the fact that you have rights and that they are equal to his.

7. Reevaluate his distorted image of you, replacing it with a more positive and empathetic view. He has to recognize that he has had mental habits of focusing on and exaggerating his grievances against you and his perceptions of your weaknesses and to begin instead to compliment you and pay attention to strengths and abilities.

8. Make amends for the damage he has done. He has to develop a sense that he has a debt to you and to your children as a result of his abusiveness. He can start to make up somewhat for his actions by being consistently kind and supportive, putting his own needs on the back burner for a couple of years, talking with people whom he has mislead in regard to the abuse and admitting to them that he lied, paying for objects that he has damaged, and many other steps related to cleaning up the emotional and literal messes that his behaviors have caused. (At the same time, he needs to accept that he may never be able to fully compensate you.)

9. Accept the consequences of his actions. He should stop whining about, or blaming you for, problems that are the result of his abuse, such as your loss of desire to be sexual with him, the children’s tendency to prefer you, or the fact that he is on probation.

10. Commit to not repeating his abusive behaviors and honor that commitment. He should not place any conditions on his his improvement, such as saying that he won’t call you names as long as you don’t raise your voice to him. If he does backslide, he cannot justify his abusive behaviors by saying, “But I’ve done great for five months; you can’t expect me to be perfect,” as if a good period earned him chips to spend on occasional abuse.

11. Accept the need to give up his privileges and do so. This means saying good-bye to double standards. to flirting with other women, to taking off with his friends all week-end while you look after the children, and to being allowed to express anger while you are not.

12. Accept that overcoming abusiveness is likely to be a life long process. He at no time can claim that his work is done by saying to you, “I’ve changed but you haven’t,”  or complain that he is sick of hearing about the abuse and control and that “it’s time to get past all that.” He needs to come to terms with the fact that he will probably need to be working on his issues for good and that you may feel the effects of what he has done for many years.

13. Be willing to be accountable for his actions, both past and future. His attitude that he is above reproach has to be replaced by willingness to accept feedback and criticism, to be honest about any backsliding, and to be answerable for what he does and how it affects you and your children.

Author: Lundy Bancroft Why Does He Do That?

Child Sexual Assault Myths and Facts

WCADV Beth Balo

  • MYTH: Child Sexual Assault is most often committed by strangers.
  • FACT: Over 90% of child sexual assault victims know their abuser.
  • MYTH: Child Sexual Assault is a rare occurrence.
  • FACT: 1 in 4 females and 1 in 7 males will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
  • MYTH: The average age of the onset of child sexual assault is 6-8 years of age.
  • FACT: The average age of sexual assault to a boy is 4.
  • FACT: The average age of trafficking a child is 9
  • MYTH: You can tell a sex offender be looking at him/her.
  • FACT: Sex offenders come from all walks of life, can be male or female, all age groups.

FRIGHTENING NUMBERS

  • CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12 COMPRISE 46% OF THE CASES OF FORCIBLE RAPE IN THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR.
  • 88% of the incidents of child sexual assault go UNREPORTED.
  • The FBI reports that only 2% of reported child sexual assault cases are false.

ALWAYS…ALWAYS….BELIEVE THE CHILD FIRST!

Child Sexual Assault

By: Beth Ballo Prevention Specialist Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Wisconsin Child Sexual Assault Laws

  • First Degree Sexual Assault
  • A. Sexual contact or intercourse with a person not yet 13, and causes great bodily harm.
  • B. Has sexual intercourse with a person who has not yet attained the age of 12.
  • C. Has sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 by use or threat of force or violence.

( Class A Felony Mandatory Arrest Minimum=25 yrs)

  • Second degree Sexual Assault:
  • Anyone who has sexual contact with or intercourse with a person who has not reached age 16.
  • Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older.
  • Engaging in repeat acts of sexual assault with the same child.
  • Incest with a child.
  • Sexual Assault of a child by a school staff person or a person who volunteers or works with children.
  • Child Enticement
  • Causing a child to listen to or view sexual activity.
  • Sexual Assault of a child for prosititution.
  • Sexual Assault of a child placed in substitute care.
  • Exposing genitals or pubic area.
  • Female genital mutilation.

Examples of Child Sexual Assault

  • Obscene phone calls
  • Internet Solicitation
  • Exposure to pornography
  • Exposure to Sexual Acts
  • Voyeurism
  • Photographing a child in sexual poses
  • Touching a child’s genitals; making a child touch someone else’s genitals. (inside and outside of clothing)

The Mystery

Authored By Lundy Bancroft
Book Title: WHY DOES HE DO THAT?

LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF THESE WOMEN:
He’s two different people. I feel like I’m living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
He really doesn’t mean to hurt me. He loses control.
Everyone else think’s he’s great. I don’t know what it is about me that set’s him off.
He’s fine when he’s sober. But when he’s drunk, watch out.
I feel like he’s never happy with anything I do.
He’s scared me a few times, but never touches the children. He’s a great father.
He calls me disgusting names, and then an hour later he wants sex. I don’t get it.
He messes up my mind sometimes.
The thing is, he really understands me.
Why does he do that?
These are the words of women who are describing their anxiety and inner conflict about their relationships. Each of these women knows that something is wrong-very wrong-but she can’t put her finger on what it is. Every time she thinks she’s got her partner figured out, that she finally understands what is bothering him, something new happens, something changes. The pieces refuse to fit together.
Each of these women is trying to make sense out of the roller-coaster ride that her relationship has become.

Searcher “Do abusers love their victims?”

This is my response to the searcher who ask the above.
Abusers are MASTERS of deception,
“All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.”
Author: Robert Southey, manipulation, “For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night.”
Author: William Shakespeare, and the only love they feel is for themselves and their property.
HOW CAN YOU LOVE THE THING YOU COVET AND AT THE SAME TIME BEGRUDGE THEIR HUMANITY?
What do I mean by humanity…..the gifts bestowed you by your creator….your gift of sight that views beauty in another human being or creation, the gift of touch that makes you spontaneously reach out to touch another human being, the gift of scent or the gift of sound. He/she is with out fault but you may have many, it is human to have fault is it not?

THE DEFINITION OF LOVE.
by Andrew Marvell

I.
MY Love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis, for object, strange and high ;
It was begotten by Despair,
Upon Impossibility.

II.
Magnanimous Despair alone
Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble hope could ne’er have flown,
But vainly flapped its tinsel wing.

III.
And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended soul is fixed ;
But Fate does iron wedges drive,
And always crowds itself betwixt.

IV.
For Fate with jealous eye does see
Two perfect loves, nor lets them close ;
Their union would her ruin be,
And her tyrannic power depose.

V.
And therefore her decrees of steel
Us as the distant poles have placed,
(Though Love’s whole world on us doth wheel),
Not by themselves to be embraced,

VI.
Unless the giddy heaven fall,
And earth some new convulsion tear.
And, us to join, the world should all
Be cramp’d into a planisphere.

VII.
As lines, so love’s oblique, may well
Themselves in every angle greet :
But ours, so truly parallel,
Though infinite, can never meet.

VIII.
Therefore the love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the mind,
And opposition of the stars.

Source:
Marvell, Andrew. The Poems of Andrew Marvell.
G. A. Aitken, Ed. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1892. 73-74.

PROPERTY HAS NO HUMAN VALUE!

This is an interesting quote it is uncanny that most abusers deny that they are abusive.
“It is twice the pleasure to deceive the deceiver.”
Author: Jean De La Fontaine

Predictors of a Batterer with the potential to be a Murderer

The most prominent lethality assessment was crafted by Jacquelyn Cambell of Johns Hopkins University. It relies on a 2003 study that compared hundreds of homicides committed by an intimate partner to hundreds of abuse cases where the victim lived.
1. The physical violence increases in severity or frequency over the last year.
2. The victim has broken up with the offender after living together during the last year.
3. The offender is unemployed.
4. The offender has threatened to kill.
5. The offender has used a weapon against the victim, or threatened the victim with a weapon.
6. The victim has a child who is not the offender’s.
7. The offender has forced the victim to have sex.
8. The offender has tried to choke (strangle) the victim.
Rugala, an FBI profiler turned consultants says, “It’s not an exact science but their are behaviors that can help predict homicide.”