What is Battering?
Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation,
often including the threat or use of violence. Battering happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another.
Assault, battering and domestic violence are crimes.
Abuse of family members can take many forms. Battering may include emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, using
children, threats, using male privilege, intimidation, isolation, and a variety of other behaviors used to maintain fear,
intimidation and power. In all cultures, the perpetrators are most commonly the men of the family. Women are most commonly
the victims of violence. Elder and child abuse are also prevalent. Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more
of the following categories:
Physical Battering - The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder.
It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks.
Sexual Abuse - Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the
woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity.
Psychological Battering -The abuser’s psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment,
excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and
destruction of personal property.
Battering escalates. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, violence in her presence (such as punching
a fist through a wall), and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, slapping, and/or pinching.
The battering may include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, throwing. Finally, it may become life-threatening
with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of weapons.
The batterer begins and continues his behavior because violence is an effective method for gaining and keeping control
over another person and he usually does not suffer adverse consequences as a result of his behavior.
Historically, violence against women has not been treated as a "real" crime. This is evident in the lack of severe consequences,
such as incarceration or economic penalties, for men guilty of battering their partners. Rarely are batterers ostracized in
their communities, even if they are known to have physically assaulted their partners. Batterers come from all groups and
backgrounds, and from all personality profiles. However, some characteristics fit a general profile of a batterer:
A batterer objectifies victim.
He does not see women as people.
He does not respect women as a group. Overall, he sees women as property or sexual objects.
A batterer has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He may appear successful,
but inside he feels inadequate.
A batterer externalizes the causes of his behavior. He blames his violence on circumstances such as stress,
his partner’s behavior, a "bad day," alcohol or other factors.
A batterer may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence, and is often seen as a "nice guy" to
Some behavioral warning signs of a potential batterer include extreme jealousy, possessiveness, a bad temper,
unpredictability, cruelty to animals and verbal abusiveness.