Did you know...
In Massachusetts, it's a crime for any person to threaten, beat,
assault or otherwise harm another person, even if they are married.
Domestic Violence is more than just a "family problem"... it
is a crime!
Battering is not exclusively a crime against women, but they do
constitute the majority of victims.
Although we have few statistics on the
incidence of domestic violence,
we do know that:
Approximately 30 percent of female homicide victims in the
are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
Females are much more likely than males to be killed by their spouse.
Domestic violence affects at least one out of every four American
From 1973-1981, the U.S. Department of Justice Statistics reports that
2.2 million women reported abuse by a mate.
Why Do They Stay?
The most frequently as question concerning a bettering
situation is "why
does she stay?" While reasons cover the range from children,
love, guilt, fear, pride, embarrassment, financial dependence... or a combination thereof,
very possible the woman is unaware that she may be locked into a violence
Three-Phase Theory of Family Violence
The family violence cycle consists of three phases:
During this phase the woman senses her mate's
increasing tension. He is
"edgy," and perhaps challenges her and tells her she
is stupid, incompetent,
etc. The woman may internalize her appropriate anger at the man's
and experience physical effects such as depression, tension, anxiety and
headaches. As the tension increases, minor episodes of violence increase, such
pinching, slapping or shoving.
The tension-building phase ends in an explosion of
violence. The woman
may or may not fight back following the battering because she is in a
state of physical and psychological shock. The man may discount the episode and
underestimate the woman's injuries.
Loving Reconciliation Phase
During the last phase of the family violence cycle,
both parties have a
sense of relief that "it's over." The man is often genuinely
sorry for what
happened, and is fearful his partner will leave him. He apologizes and may
"shower" her with love and praise that helps her repair her shattered
self-esteem. He tells her he can't live without her, so she feels responsible
well-being and guilty for her actions and blames herself for what led
up to the abuse.
Increasing Spiral of Violence
Once the violence has begun, it continues to increase
in both frequency
and severity. Understanding the psychological consequences of her
violent relationship can help the woman take power and choose constructive
as well as aid those who intervene to help her.
If you become a Victim of Domestic Violence
Call the police or sheriff.
Make sure you are safe from another beating. Whenever you believe
are in danger, leave your home and take your children with you.
Also, take important papers such as your birth certificate, vehicle
Get medical attention. Don't try to treat yourself, you may be injured
much more seriously than you realize.
Seek Assistance. Whether or not you file charges against your batterer,
you may need to talk to a professional about your situation. Contact your
local battered women's shelter, women's support group or victim
Save all the evidence (proof) you can. (You may even want to take
photographs of your injuries.) Whether or not you file charges, you may
later change your
mind and will then need proof that you have been
A way out
Everyone has the right to be safe from threats and
beatings, but you must
take that first step. Once you recognize that it isn't your fault
and it is possible
to change your situation ... seek help. You need to correct your
Lynn Police Department
Domestic Violence Unit
300 Washington Street
Lynn, MA 01902