It's almost impossible to identify domestic abusers, since these individuals come in all shapes and sizes. Perpetrators of domestic violence simply hail from different backgrounds, personalities, educations, and upbringings. The one common thread they all share in common, though, is maintaining abusive relationships with their partners.
Why Do Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Hurt People?
There's no one surefire answer to explain why perpetrators of domestic violence hurt others, but a number of theories exist to help understand the actions behind the abuse. Sometimes it's as simple as being a learned behavior. These domestic abusers grew up in a home where they were abused. They were constantly surrounded by it and witnessed their world being shaped by two types of people: victims and abusers. Having spent their childhood as a victim, they may resort to the role of abuser, never even realizing the pain they're causing others.
Mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse problems are not believed to be a factor in creating domestic abusers, but instead a side effect. Many abusers actually believe they're victims themselves, and feel completely justified in their violent actions. They crave control and will quickly use alcohol or drugs as an excuse for their actions, even though removing these vices does nothing to stop the abuse.
Control is the Key for Domestic Abusers
The one factor experts agree on is that domestic abusers crave complete control. They enjoy battering their victims because they strongly believe men should be dominant in a relationship. They need control. They crave control. They strive for control and find it through such violent acts as pushing, shoving, slapping, punching or something far worse. The abuse can take on various forms besides the obvious physical ones, such as sexual, emotional and even psychological (Types of Domestic Abuse). Whatever actions an abuser takes, his sole purpose is to control the situation in order to get what he wants. It doesn't matter one bit if he hurts someone else in the process.
Can Domestic Abusers Change Their Tune?
While anything is possible, it's highly unlikely for domestic abusers to change. They just crave the control too much to completely give up their violent ways. Many times, they don't even view themselves as abusers, but instead as victims. They feel they've been wronged in a relationship and their actions are more than justified. Without seeking serious help from a therapist and attending various anger management-type classes, perpetrators of domestic violence are merely going to continue the abuse.
Domestic abuse is a vicious cycle both within a violent relationship, as well as within an abuser's entire life. Childhood factors, in addition to serious control issues, can lead an individual towards a lifetime of doling out abuse. With proper treatment, batterers can renounce their ways, but it's a difficult struggle that very few, unfortunately, ever achieve. You can find more information on batterers intervention, help for batterers, here.
- Created: 27 July 2012
- Last Updated: 14 January 2014