Dr. Romance on Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violen

By

Dr. Romance on Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violen
Dr. Romance addresses the issue of when to get involved with domestic violence.

Last month, Dr. Romance received the following letter from a reader:

“A topic I would like you to cover/explore is that curious phenomenon which permits otherwise independent women to be dominated...even abused...by males with whom they share some sort or relationship. Why is it that a seemingly strong, intelligent woman would allow herself to be hurt...her life to be altered in a negative way by some guy with whom she has some sort of relationship?  I currently know a couple such women and feel completely helpless with regard to alleviating their problem (which they apparently fail to see).

“I realize we/you could attack this from the other angle: Why would a man want to completely dominate a female to the point where she fails to exist as an individual?  But, for now......help me understand this from the female perspective.”

I’d be happy to, and I hope the following information answers your questions.

Of course, every person involved in violent situations has his or her own reason for living that way. Usually, women who remain in abusive or violent situations are more afraid of being alone than of being with the abusive husband. She may also be afraid of what he’ll do if she leaves. She’s usually financially dependent on him. If the couple has children, the woman feels even more invested and trapped – she believes she’s protecting the children.  The more time passes, the weaker, more dependent and “stuck” she becomes.

Abusive men are narcissistic – they have “Jekyll and Hyde” personalities, which means that they can be very charming when they’re not being abusive. Women who stay in abusive situations focus on this charm, and deny the abuse. They also have experience of their husbands smoothly talking their way out of any responsibility for misbehavior, for example if she once called 911 and he got the police to believe nothing was wrong.

In this situation, the woman feels hopeless and helpless, that no one will believe her or help her get out. She’s also ashamed, and doesn’t want people to know her misery. Various women have combinations of all or some of these reasons for staying.

The question here that concerns most of us would be: “What can I do to help?”

Here are some steps you can take when you believe a friend or family member is in this situation.

1. Get informed about options. Before attempting to help, make sure you know what the options are for the woman and her children. Obtain a domestic violence hotline number, (National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) the Child Abuse Hotline or call 1-800- 4 A Child and ask for numbers for local women’s shelters. Call the numbers, explain that you want to help a female friend, and find out what information these organizations need to help your friend or family member. Make a list of the information she’ll need to provide.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

Attitude Adjustment

By

I have written in this column recently about emotional hygiene, and doing the necessary maintenance on feelings as well as your physical body and household. Health reminders tell us to wash our hands frequently to prevent transmittal of diseases. Did you know you can “wash” your mood, too, and give yourself an attitude adjustment whenever you want ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: On my death bed, I will not be in the mood to e

By

Dear Dr. Romance: I read your newsletter "How to Heal a Rift with an Adult Child" with joy, how you simplify things for us. I already tried by email, but it got more complicated. I received two emails, the second one, had a picture with the message ''see what you are missing''. This did hurt me, it was out of context, so I ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: I'm Nothing Normal

By

Dear Dr. Romance: Thank you for your free articles, you have a lot of good stuff in there. A couple of the girls at work and I read your articles and get a good laugh. You're giving advice assuming that our lives are what YOU consider normal. You have a good job, make good money, live in a nice house, wear nice clothes, probably have good make-up, have ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB