Intimate Partner Violence is:
o Violence is when a person uses pain, fear, or hurt to make you do something.
o Violence is using words to scare, bully, embarrass, call names, or put someone down.
o Violence is hurting a person’s body or the things a person cares about.
o Violence is when someone touches you or asks you to touch them in a way that doesn’t seem right to you.
Marilyn Foote, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and
Behavioral Health Director and Moriah Miranda, ASW, and Social Worker both from Redwoods Rural Health Center were the guest speakers at last week’s Garberville Rotary Club meeting. They were joined by RRHC’s Jim Gergtis BS, and Financial Officer.
A very effective PowerPoint presentation explained the complexities of IPV in today’s society and is presented here.
True or False: Intimate Partners sometimes push each other around when they get angry, but it rarely results in anyone getting seriously hurt.
False: IPV is the number one cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44 in the U.S. - more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Of the women murdered each year in the U.S., 30% are killed by their current or former husband or boyfriend.
One out of 14 men has been physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. It is estimated that 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually.
True or False: People abuse their partners because they can’t control their anger.
False: People who abuse are usually not out of control. They do it to gain power and control over the other person. They often use a series of tactics besides violence, including threats, intimidation, psychological abuse and isolation to control their partners. People who abuse often have high levels of impulsivity and dependency. Feeling disrespected and abandoned are huge anger triggers.
True or False: If a person is being abused, it’s easy to just leave.
False: There are many very complicated reasons why it’s difficult for a person to leave an abusive partner. One very common reason is fear - women who leave their abusers are at a 75% greater chance of being killed by the abuser than those who stay.
True or False: A pregnant woman is at an even greater risk of physical abuse.
True: Pregnant women are especially at risk for abuse. It is estimated that more than one-third of pregnant women are abused. It is common for physical abuse to begin or escalate during pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a catalyst for violence due to extreme stress. A key factor is how the father feels about the the baby.
The Cycle of Violence
First stage: honeymoon period begins here with a blissful period lasting six to 12 months
Second stage: tension building, which is described as walking on eggshells.
Third stage: aåßcute battering incident begins. Typically each time a couple goes through the three stages the acute battering incident becomes more violent and frequent.
Causes of Intimate Partner Violence
o Learned behavior
o Learned through observation
o Learned through experience and reinforcement
o Learned in culture
o Learned in family
o Learned in communities: schools, military, peer group etc.
IPV Not Caused By
o Alcohol and other drugs
o Out-of control behavior
o Behavior of the victim or problems in the relationship
o IPV occurs in all segments of society, but not with equal prevalence.
o Higher risk association with low socioeconomic status
o High levels of stress and low supports
o Higher drug/alcohol use
o Young families under age 30 with children under the age of six are particularly at risk
IPV and Homicide
o Nearly 50% of female murder victims were murdered by an intimate vs. 5% of male murder victims
o 75% of female IPV-related murder victims experienced abuse prior to the murder
o Most of these murders involved a firearm, alcohol or drug intoxication, serious prior acts and threats, and recent separation or threat thereof
Nearly 50% of victims sought health care in the year before her death - usually with somatic complaints
Recognizing the Signs
o Poorly explained injuries
o Stress-related physical complaints
o Depression, anxiety, substance abuse
o Partner who insists on accompaniment wherever you go
o Victim vague, reluctant, evasive, or meek
o Victim may refer to “fighting” or partner’s “temper”
o Social isolation
o Denial, minimizing of problem’s severity
Impact Upon Children
o 40% of women who were battered had a child under the age of 12 in the household
o Half of IPV-exposed children are also directly physically abused by at least one parent
o 30%-40% of these children will be involved with IPV as an adult, replaying the pattern
Why People Stay Early in the Relationship
o Love: victim is in love with the abuser
o Hope: victim believes abuser will change
o Victim does not perceive self as battered
o Good outweighs the bad
Why People Stay as the Cycle Becomes Chronic
o Fear of leaving
o Immobilized by abuse
o Concerns for the children
o Lack of resources
o Victim feels trapped with nowhere to go for help
Barriers to a Survivor Leaving
o Batterer’s behavior...
o Escalating violence, stalking, harassment, hostage taking, threats against children, animals, self, and other members. Also includes control of car, money, and other resources that a survivor could use to leave.
o Lack of safe options: housing, jobs, basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, schooling, information, etc.
o Lack of community support: pressures to stay in relationship, religious/cultural values, family/children, and victim blaming attitudes of community.
o Overwhelmed: by the immediate physical and psychological trauma.
o Hope for change: love, attachment to positive qualities of relationship, belief that love will change the person, promises that abusive behavior will change.
Barriers to Disclosure
o Fear of batterer
o Fear of losing children
o Previous inappropriate response by provider
o Fear of provider response
o Immigration status
o Language, age, and sexual orientation
o Cultural or religious constraints making it difficult to discuss with outsider community
o Distrust of the system
Guiding Principles in Responding to Intimate Partner Violence
o Regard: the safety of survivors and their children as the highest priority
o Respect: the integrity and authority of all survivors of domestic violence over their own life choices
o Hold: the abusive person responsible for the abuse and for stopping it
o Advocate: on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and their children
How to Support a Survivor
o Ask if something is wrong
o Express concern
o Listen and validate that you believe there is a problem
o Offer help
o Support his or her decision
_o Wait for him or her to come to you
o Judge or blame
o Pressure him or her
o Give unsolicited advice
o Place conditions on your support
o Wish 923-4100 or 1-800-211-1188
o Humboldt Domestic Violence Services 441-3190 - crisis
o Humboldt County Cal Works 269-4179
o New Beginning Christian Residential 442-8750
o Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council of Humboldt County 444-8012
o Sequoia Humane Society 444-8551
o Redwood Community Action Agency 269-2075-TLP
o MEND/WEND 441-8630-52 week classes
o Breaking the Cycle 442-7006-support group
o Coast Counseling 443-8951
o Humboldt Family Service Center 443-7358
o Humboldt County Public Health 445-7214
o The Emma Center 825-6680-services and referrals
o VINE - 1-877-331-8463 (Victim Information Net)
o Harrington House 465-3013 - Shelter
If you or someone you know is being abused, please seek help through either one of these agencies or through your local clinic and health care providers. They are discreet and are there to help you and any children who may be being abused.
REDWOOD TIMES PHOTO BY SUSAN GARDNER
Garberville Rotarian and Redwoods Rural Health Center’s Chief Financial Officer Jeanie Eldridge, left, presents Marilyn Foote and Moriah Miranda from RRHC with a book to be presented to the Garberville Library. Foote and Miranda were assisted by Jim Gergtis, also from RRHC.