Partner Abuse - two perspectives
This isn't a blog designed to point the finger, although the topic suggests that a lot of finger pointing occurs when it comes to partner abuse. This blog is simply because, while studying further into Abuse Counselling, I often come to ideas that seem interesting enough to share, and what better medium than through a website that is designed for us all to gain a higher view on ourselves, our loved ones, friends, associates and the communities we live in. If we can raise our own awareness, and that filters to our world, then surely we are seeding a higher consciousness for a greater world for ourselves and everyone. Hence this blog... and more to come.
There are two commonly proposed theories for partner abuse.
a) The main focus of this view is that men are inclined to the patriarchal hierarchy in the home, where the man rules and controls and therefore the woman has to fall into line. Historically, the man hunted and brought in the food so there was a lot to be owed to him. Since then, woman have been known to be a man’s possession, to be his chattel, to rule her with a rod, and to make submissive. Literature and the justice system is evidence of these ideas.
Some cultures continue to encourage the dominance of the man in the home.
Some work environments still separate the sexes as unequal despite a huge shift towards equality for women, yet this is not worldwide.
Religion also can inspire the patriarchal belief that the man is the head of the woman and therefore he rules her.
This type of inequality has been known throughout time and is still current. This has influenced the sons in a family to be raised with their fathers views on how to treat their woman. Men don’t always encourage their boys to show feelings or even acknowledge the importance of feelings. Reduction in sensitivities to the relevance of emotions especially women’s, exacerbates the distance between the understanding of the sexes and to some extent continues to add to the ruling of women in the home.
Where any of the above are taken to extremes, the man can dominate unjustly and abuse can occur in its many forms or levels.
b) Systems Perspective
The other view partner abuse is seen from a family systems perspective, where the family is looked at dynamically and how the interactions of the individuals, the events and the interactions of the individuals compound or influence the cause of abuse. The victim of the abuse may be at more risk because of the perpetrator’s influence by externals such as substance abuse, work stress, lack of appropriate communication from childhood or other influences apart from the victim such as the perpetrators childhood abuse or neglect. A presence of a continuing pattern of negative influences will increase the likelihood of abuse despite the victim’s input. No victim deserves to be abused, and therefore the accountability is squarely on the perpetrator though there are influences which increase the chances of abuse occurring.
Social influences such as violent movies and video games can desensitize a person to the acceptable level of abuse that they apply to their victim.
Violent or inappropriate behaviours can come from both parties and can stimulate the other party to decide to ‘up the ante’ and be abusive. This is not always the case and nor should it be an excuse for the abuser to start abusing, ie: ‘she made me do it’.
Though there are many influences as to the causation of and ultimate decision to take the humane rights of another and become abusive, there is no justification for the initiation of abuse.
Finally, there are ways to overcome abuse and its affects, whether you are the abused or the abuser. If you find yourself in this situation, then take action now, and stop the patterns. Assist yourself and others by changing the energy flow inside yourself and around you so that you create a better world in which to live.
It starts with you.