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Domestic Violence: Batterers Tactics



What Other 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 children

  • Telling the victimized parent that no one will believe her and she will lose custody of the children because everyone will think she is crazy

  • 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 children

  • Abusing or killing the family pets

  • Threatening to commit suicide

  • Justifying the violence to the children

  • Driving recklessly with the children

  • and/or the victim in the car

  • 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

These 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.

Batterer Manipulations
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 parent:

  • 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 extremely cooperative).

  • Denying or minimizing his actions (e.g. she bruises easily or I just pushed her a little).

  • 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 together.

  • Presenting his behaviors as being misunderstood (e.g. he is protective of her).



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