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NCJ Number: 69098 Find in a Library
Title: PATTERNS IN FAMILY VIOLENCE
Journal: SOCIAL CASEWORK  Volume:61  Issue:6  Dated:(JUNE 1980)  Pages:339-346
Author(s): B STAR
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A GENERIC APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF FAMILY VIOLENCE REVEALS SIMILARITIES AMONG ASSAULTER CHARACTERISTICS, VICTIM CHARACTERISTICS, AND FAMILY INTERACTIONS UNDERLYING ALL FORMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE.
Abstract: FAMILY VIOLENCE IS THE THREAT OR ACTUAL USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE NUCLEAR OR EXTENDED FAMILY. TYPES OF FAMILY VIOLENCE INCLUDE CHILD AND SPOUSE ABUSE, INCEST, SIBLING VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL RAPE, 'GRANNY BASHING,' AND PARTNER BATTERING. THE SEVERITY OF ASSAULTS CAN VARY ALONG A 4-POINT CONTINUUM, RANGING FROM MILD TO FATAL. ASSAULTERS OFTEN VIEW THEIR VICTIMS AS THEIR OWN PROPERTY. THEY PROJECT THE BLAME FOR THEIR ANGER AND THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS ON OTHERS, AND SHIFT THE ANGER MEANT FOR OUTSIDE OR EARLY CHILDHOOD AUTHORITY FIGURES TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF SERIOUS REPRISAL. MOREOVER, ASSAULTERS, WHO LACK BOTH EMPATHY AND IMPUSE CONTROL, OFTEN HOLD DISTORTED PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR VICTIMS. VICTIM BEHAVIOR IS CHARACTERIZED BY THE DEGREE TO WHICH THEY INTERNALIZE THE BLAME AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE VIOLENT ENCOUNTER. MANY VICTIMS ALSO LACK SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS OF FRIENDS OR RELATIVES. ALTHOUGH COMPLIANCE OFTEN MEANS SURVIVAL TO THE VICTIMS, ASSAULTERS VIEW IT AS AGREEMENT AND TACIT APPROVAL FOR CONTINUED ACTS OF VIOLENCE. DESPITE THEIR PAIN AND ANGER, MANY VICTIMS REMAIN WITH THEIR ABUSERS AND OFTEN DEFEND THEIR ASSAULTERS' ACTIONS. THE FAMILY ITSELF BECOMES THE LEGITIMIZING FORCE FOR VIOLENT ACTIONS. USUALLY ONE PERSON, BUT PERHAPS SEVERAL FAMILY MEMBERS, ARE ALLOWED TO RESOLVE DISAGREEMENTS BY USING FORCE, WITH NO MORE THAN TOKEN CENSURE BY THE FAMILY GROUP. NEVER KNOWING WHAT WILL TRIGGER AN EMOTIONAL EPISODE, FAMILY MEMBERS MAINTAIN BOTH PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL DISTANCE WHICH FURTHER WEAKENS THE ALREADY INADEQUATE COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS. SOCIAL WORKERS WOULD BENEFIT FROM IN-SERVICE TRAINING SESSIONS CENTERING ON THE FORMS, DYNAMICS, WARNING SIGNS, AND TREATMENT OF FAMILY VIOLENCE. INPUT FROM OTHER COMMUNITY AGENCIES WHICH DEAL WITH FAMILY VIOLENCE PROVIDES ADDITIONAL VALUABLE PERSPECTIVES. SOCIAL WORKERS SHOULD ANTICIPATE THAT VIOLENCE OCCURS AND ASK ABOUT IT DIRECTLY, DOCUMENT CASE HISTORIES OF EACH CLIENT, AND INFORM CLIENTS OF ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES THAT MIGHT HELP THEM COPE WITH VIOLENCE. OVER 21 FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Abused women; Abusing spouses; Behavior patterns; Child abuse; Counseling; Crime Causes; Domestic assault; Domestic relations; Domestic violence causes; Elder Abuse; Family crisis intervention units; Family crisis training; Family offenses; Incest; Social workers
Note: PARTS OF THIS ARTICLE WERE PRESENTED AT THE 105TH ANNUAL FORUM OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL WELFARE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, MAY 23, 1978 AND AT THE ANNUAL PROGRAM MEETING, COUNCIL ON SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, MARCH 4-7, 1979.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69098

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