Domestic violence is one of those crimes that used to be swept under the rug because of stigma. But in the past few years, as a call to action is being done worldwide for victims of all types of abuse to come forward, the shame starts to go out of the door as victims become more empowered.
Today’s session is dedicated to providing a deep-dive into the crime that is domestic violence, and this course’s instructor, Mahri Irvine, is more than qualified to shed light on the matter. Mahri is an educator and researcher with an interest in gender-based violence, physical and psychological harm, violence prevention and culture change. Mahri is also the founder of THRIVE Research and Education, LLC – a consultancy provider for gender-based violence response and prevention.
Mahri will review the concepts of power, manipulation and control, and the factors that victims play against when trying to leave an abusive relationship. Some of the points she discussed are:
- The definition of domestic violence and which sectors are affected by it.
- The types of domestic violence that varies based on the frequency and reason for the violence and zeroing in on Intimate Terrorism.
- A look into the power and control wheel that illustrates the way an abuser is able to control his/her victim.
- The causes of intimate terrorism that look into culture including:
- A person’s childhood experiences that shapes beliefs.
- Social pressures brought about by a myriad of environmental stressors.
- Facts and figures from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) conducted by CDC that highlights:
- The prevalence of domestic violence.
- The higher number of female victims and male perpetrators.
- Questions and statements that people unconsciously say that perpetuates victim-blaming without looking at the circumstances that the victim is in.
- Psychological manipulation as the gateway to intimate terrorism.
- How isolation makes the victims more vulnerable and easier to manipulate.
- The patterns of abuse in intimate terrorism where the batterers abuse but show remorse at first until it becomes a vicious cycle of violence.
- Common forms of intimate terrorism that abusers commit and case examples that demonstrate how it is done.
- The power of threats in intimate terrorism where the batterer threats harm to the victim and everything and everyone that is important to them – including threats of suicide from the batterer.
- Outing threats that aim to shame by revealing information and activity that could compromise the victim.
- Sex-related forms of intimate terrorism through sexual violence as in rape, sex trafficking or reproductive control.
- Stalking as a form of harassment that instills fear to the victim, and statistics exhibiting stalking cases segmented by gender.
- The psychological, physical and social barriers why DV victims find it hard to just leave the horrible circumstance they are in.
- The concept of femicide, how it happens, statistics, and the link between stalking and femicide.
- Trauma-informed responses to the issue of DV that focuses on raising awareness, extending compassion and empathy, and believing the victims to encourage DV reporting
- The concepts of the primary and dominant aggressor and questions to ask that looks at the history and context of the relationship and abuse when handling DV cases.
- The webinar participants had questions for Mahri related to:
- Identifying an offenders tipping point.
- Recommended approaches for a victim of an offender who is a law enforcement officer.
- Verbiage to express to the victim that you believe them.
- Correlation between failing to prosecute and recidivism.
- The nuances on the definitions and inclusions of situational couple violence.
- The probability of skewed statistics due to lack of reporting.
Resources Mentioned During Webinar: