There are so many theories as to why men abuse women. We do have to note that not all men do, but those that do may have any number of reasons. It could be an inordinate need for control. It could be that they are narcissistic and feel they are entitled to exceptional treatment. It could be any number of personality disorders. No matter what the underlying reason is, the ultimate problem is that they can.
He will usually start with emotional abuse, which is a crime with no consequences to him whatsoever. In fact, they have much to gain from it. His victim is so busy trying to figure out what’s wrong with her, that she doesn’t realize something is actually wrong with him until it’s too late to recover her self-esteem, and in some cases, her self-respect. He can’t be arrested or punished for this in any way as it is a crime that leaves no physical scars.
By the time that the physical abuse starts, he has her believing that she is lucky to have even him, and could never do any better. There are usually children involved by this time, because that ties her to him more completely. In fact, many abusers wait until they do have children with their victim before the serious abuse begins. If your partner refuses to use birth control or to let you use anything, but says that he’s not ready for children, this could be a serious warning sign.
Incidents of physical abuse may be few and far between, but any physical abuse is too much. Physical abuse does not have to involve physical contact either. It could be anything from brandishing a knife, punching a wall, or actual physical contact as in hitting, shoving, even throwing. He likely will not have to worry about doing these things for a long time as, depending upon which study you look at, they will not be reported until after 33-35 incidents of physical abuse, not including the countless incidents of emotional abuse.
When it finally is reported, they rarely receive more than a slap on the wrist and sometimes no even that. If abuse is alleged during divorce proceedings, it is not even investigated. In divorce proceedings, if abuse is alleged, it increases the chances that an already distraught victim is going to lose her children, and everything else. He still doesn’t have a downside to his abuse, except that now, he can only get to her through her children, and usually does.
In order to stop this, we need to start recognizing and investigating all abuse claims, whether or not we initially believe them. If it happens during divorce proceedings, give her custody until the claim has been investigated. Previous allegations should be brought to the family court’s attention, and should not be ignored. If the evidence proves to be inconclusive, then visitation should be monitored, possibly even on both sides. Police need to take down reports for every single incident, even if they think it’s insignificant. Take all reports seriously, even if a woman thinks she’s being stalked. She’s probably right.
If we do these things, perhaps we can help women who are being abused. Perhaps the fight against domestic violence will become more than just lip service. Those that perpetrate domestic violence are criminals and need to be treated as such. Until they are, domestic violence will continue to be more and more of a problem.