The Truth About Abusers, Domestic Violence, and What to Do
William Dunbar, a psychologist from Arkansas Psychological Association told us how to recognize a domestic tyrant even before creating a family with him and how not to raise an abuser in your own son.
Household tyrants are a topic that only picks up steam every year. Women and children become hostages to the aggression of their own husbands and fathers. About 150 people have already visited the shelter for victims of domestic violence in Arkansas this year. They are forced to hide from their relatives, who have turned their lives into hell.
Dr. Dunbar says that it is important to break off relations with a tyrant even before the moment when they develop into physical violence.
– Who is an abuser? Do abusers differ from tyrants?
– In principle, there are no major differences. The tyrant demands obedience and exercises power. An “abuser” is a broader concept. Such a person manifests not only physical violence but also psychological, economic, sexual. He deprives his victim of financial freedom, even being in a relationship, forcing a partner to intimacy. Abusers are dangerous because they systematically destroy the psyche of their victims. I would like to note that both men and women can be tyrants and abusers. Men who are henpecked are victims of women who are abusers.
– Nevertheless, when they talk about abusers, they often mean men. How to recognize an abuser even before marrying him?
– In fact, it is quite difficult to recognize an abuser. But there are some “cues” to watch out for. If a person strongly idealizes you, then you need to be prepared for the fact that he will either “pull” you to this ideal, or he will be disappointed and begin to take out his anger. Another sign is that your partner does not respect you as a person. That is, he makes decisions for you, even in how you will spend your day off. He does not ask about thoughts and feelings, but immediately makes a verdict, his judgments are categorical. He pays no attention to your needs.
– If violence has already appeared in marriage, what steps should a woman take to protect herself?
– It all starts with little things. It is important to immediately defend your positions, your opinion, your point of view, not to give up your interests. A woman cannot agree to take care of only home and children in exchange for financial support. Jealousy is another sign of an abuser. In marriage, a woman should remain autonomous, not completely dependent on her husband. You need to continue your studies, communicate with friends, have your own interests and financial resources.
– Why do women often continue to live with partners who abuse them?
– A victim is often a person with certain psychology. She cannot leave for various reasons: because of pity, fear, low self-esteem, which is further destroyed in a relationship with an abuser. The victim is weak-willed. At the same time, she fits the personality of the abuser like a piece of the puzzle. Each victim needs their own aggressor. This has a definite benefit to them. The sacrificial position is also manipulative. Such a person pretends that she is failing. Often it is convenient for some and they do not agree to leave the sacrificial state. In this case, it is necessary to distinguish between the real victim of the tyrant and the victim who benefits from this position.
– How can a woman get out of an abusive relationship?
– Victims of domestic abusers live in fear, they believe that their husband is great and terrible and nothing can be done about it. In fact, this is not the case. In such cases, psychological help is needed. You need to help overcome your fear. As a rule, the real victim has an obstacle that does not allow the woman to leave and which is used by the abuser. Accordingly, it is necessary to collect information on how to overcome this and follow the chosen strategy. There are centers that help victims of domestic tyrants. You can secretly save money so that you can leave. It is important to leave the abuser right away. If you have no money and no time to save it, you can take out payday loans in Arkansas. These are easy to access online loans that are designed to help people deal with their unexpected money issues. Funds can be used for whatever purpose, including to buy food, clothes and rent an apartment. Eligibility criteria are relaxed and you do not need to have a good credit history to get accepted. The application process is purely online and takes a few minutes. If accepted for a loan, you should expect to have the money in your bank account as soon as the same day or the next day. But make sure you will be able to repay the debt in 1-4 weeks in order to avoid penalties. Payday loan amounts in Arkansas are usually small and do not exceed $1,000. But some lenders allow a borrower to have up to $5,000 for personal financial purposes. It is easy to check loan terms and rates in Arkansas online. For example, you can easily find legit lenders and study the rates, terms and regulations related to payday loans Little Rock AR from the comfort of your home. The link also contains payday loan reviews from genuine borrowers.
The police in Arkansas has a department – the Arkansas Department of Public Safety – that deals with crimes against women and children. There are free “hot lines” providing free psychological and legal advice.
– Often, wives hide the facts of violence or forgive the offenders in the hope that the man will change. Can an abuser change?
– A person can change his psychological attitudes either in an extreme situation, or he needs a religious or psychotherapeutic experience when he changes something in himself. Otherwise, there can be no talk of any change. The abuser’s assurances that he will be different are characteristic of the so-called honeymoon phase. Let me explain: domestic violence can be roughly divided into several stages. At first, everything is calm in the relationship, then – the accumulation of tension, breakdown and then “honeymoon”. After that, tension builds up again and each subsequent breakdown is stronger and stronger. If such a picture is observed in a relationship, then they need to end as quickly as possible.
– From the psychologists’ point of view, why do men become abusers?
– The reasons are different: from mental illness to social inheritance. The abuser may not have seen other relationships in his family. It happens that people with strong inner complexes become abusers. And at the expense of violence, they act out their self-esteem or psychological trauma. Modern approaches to working with domestic violence: working not only with the victim but also with the aggressor.
How do you parent a son who has experienced abuse?
– Start with yourself. Do you hear the child’s needs? Do you know how to negotiate and find a common solution in difficult, conflict situations? Do you know how to talk with your child? This is not talking about conniving in the upbringing or allowing him to do whatever. The child needs to be taught to respect other people’s needs and accept the other person’s point of view. And at the same time, teach him to show his own. If such a harmonious relationship is built with a child, then he will never become an abuser himself.
– Survivors of domestic violence often find it difficult to build relationships. What can you advise?
– If a woman ended a relationship in which she was a victim, then it is highly likely that she will reproduce the same in the next relationship. It is important to take a course in psychological counseling. You need to work with yourself so as not to choose such people. It is necessary to mature personally in order to build harmonious, partnership, functional relationships.
– And finally, how can victims of domestic abuse get help in Arkansas?
If you are a victim of abuse in Arkansas and need help urgently, you can call the listed phone uber to get further instructions:
- Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence – 800-269-4668
- Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault – 501-246-3276
- Arkansas Crime Information Center – 501-682-2222