Domestic Violence: The Role of an Abuser Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Domestic violence is a bitter truth that exists behind many closed doors and unfortunately it is fairly a common practice among the masses today. Hoffman and Summers (2002, pg 39) observed that defining domestic violence is a difficult task and therefore no single definition exists for this concept. The definition varies greatly from culture to culture and is being studied from various different points of views. This acts as an advantage as the meaning of domestic violence is given more dimension and understanding which in turn can breed better ways to tackle this social nuisance. Domestic violence is referred to any act of violence against a family member that can be a spouse or children in various forms.

These acts of violence can be either strong physical blows which cause permanent or temporary physical damage or mental disruption that affects mental health of the victim. The characteristics of abusers are many and there is still no exhaustive list made which compiles all the possible characteristics, plus, there is no concrete evidence that these characteristics lead to abusive behavior if they exist within a man.

Bancroft and Silverman (2002) compiled a list of characteristics that included control achieved through the means of verbal abuse, criticism, financial control, and isolation. Then there is entitlement, selfishness and centeredness, a feeling of superiority to the women and seeing her as stupid. The list goes on to include the following: Serial Battering, Denial, Minimization, & Victim Blaming, Externalization of Responsibility, Contradictory Statements & Behaviors, and manipulativeness. 492 male and female patients from hospital were surveyed and from them 22% claimed to be victims of domestic violence that shows the extent of domestic violence that affects the lives of people.

Abusers tend to try and control their victim’s money supply as to limit their options of independence and encourage them to be more dependent on themselves. Commonplace behavior exhibiting this type of behaviors are showing up at the victim’s workplace to collect their paycheck often with the excuse that “I am better with money so let me handle it!”. Then they may even encourage you to not work at all wanting you to fall at the mercy of the abusers and becoming their puppet.   They are also manipulative both in a verbal manner and emotionally which can build up and lead to physical abuse eventually.

Usually, verbal abuse is the first sign that should raise red flags and identify a potential domestic violence practice. Verbal abuse may include insults aimed at degrading your self-esteem, humiliating in public, mocking their appearance, swearing or making obscene gestures at them. This also includes manipulating the words and twisting them in such a manner as to create friction amongst your loved ones and causing confusion in your mind regarding your conduct as they tend to rule the victim by keeping them in a state of confusion.

Welch, Donna M. (1993-1994) Serial battering is another phenomenon that is affecting one's society and a characteristic of domestic violence which has a string of relationship with the violence happening in all or most relations. In order to maintain their supremacy, they may switch partners so as to keep their dominance over them and feel righteous and better.  They often mistreat the property and animals of the victim to show their strength and their need to dominate over the victim’s mind, not many victims stand for long term abuse and escape. Thus, they change partners and find solace in dominating over other victims that fall prey to their victimization.

Family is the breeding ground for an abuser as he is born or he gets to know about domestic violence. It is school where children learn the most about domestic violence and a child witnessing abusive behavior will definitely practice it again in his life as a father or as a husband. This phenomenon has been explained quite clearly in social learning theory that clearly states that family is the base for a child to learn domestic violence. The social learning theory gives birth to different new theories that explain the reasons that are prominent in encouraging domestic violence.

Besides family, culture also plays an important role towards the learning of a child. A child learns different norms and values from the sub-culture groups and practices them as an adult. These practices then guide the child to believe that what he has seen in his childhood was correct and he should practice the same in treating his wife and children. The reasons explained in the theory and from some researches have been evident that people practice domestic violence because they have also suffered the same in their childhood..................................

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