Violence: Batterers Tactics
Tactics Do Batterers Use?
There are numerous methods by
which a batterer may exert control over his intimate
partner. The following are a few to consider that directly
relate to co-occurrence issues:
Battering or threatening to
hurt or kill the victimized parent in front of the
Telling the victimized
parent that no one will believe her and she will lose
custody of the children because everyone will think she is
Telling the children that
the abused parent is to blame for the violence/abuse
Not permitting the abused
parent access to proper health care for the children
Using other relatives to
speak negatively about the victim to the children
Yelling at the victim when
the children "misbehave"
Getting the children to
take his side
Physically abusing the
Abusing or killing the
Threatening to commit
Justifying the violence to
Driving recklessly with the
and/or the victim in the
Abusing drugs/alcohol in
front of the children
Threatening to make false
reports for abusing or neglecting the children
Threatening to call the
police and have her arrested
tactics are not directed only to the adult victim or
children. Domestic violence is about power and control.
Batterers are able to decide when, where and how they are
going to inflict abuse. This means that many professionals
will never see the violent side of an individual. In fact,
many professionals report that men who batter are quite
charming in their interactions and are able to manipulate
situations in their favor.
As systems and professionals
become involved with a family, the abusive partner may look
for ways to get these individuals to collude with him
against the victim. In some cases, perpetrators actively
employ the legal system as a means of maintaining ongoing
control of their victims. Simultaneous misuse of the child
protection system is not uncommon in these cases; excessive
reports to the Department of Children and Family services
(or equivalent) on minimal grounds for concern may indicate
this tendency to use official systems for harassment
purposes. You may find the battering
Presenting as the victim.
Using statements of remorse
or guilt as a way to avoid consequences.
Describing the protective
actions by the victim (e.g. leaving or calling police) as
ways to make him look bad, get a leg up in court, or hurt
him (e.g. retribution for infidelity).
Presenting as the more
stable and calm partner (e.g. using her anger about the
situation as an example while on the other hand, he is
Denying or minimizing his
actions (e.g. she bruises easily or I just pushed her a
Blaming his partner for the
abuse (she knew she wasn’t supposed to do that).
Avoiding responsibility by
blaming alcohol or other substances, stress, etc.
Alleging the partner is an
alcoholic or chemically dependent.
Alleging the partner has
mental illness (e.g. she is crazy).
Presenting himself as the
provider for the family, both financially and emotionally.
Presenting her behavior in
a negative way to get you to side with him.
Stating that the victim
parent has been the barrier to resolving the family’s
problems (e.g. she won’t go to counseling) and all he
wants to do is be a good father and keep the family
Presenting his behaviors as
being misunderstood (e.g. he is protective of her).