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Tip of the Iceberg: The Dynamics of Domestic Violence

1 in 4 women will experience Interpersonal Violence Abuse at somepoint in her lifetime in the United States. This Prezi examins the key dynamics that fuel the power and control present in all domestic violence relationships.

Meghann Shaffer

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of Tip of the Iceberg: The Dynamics of Domestic Violence

Tip of the Iceberg

Meghann Shaffer
Crossroads Safehouse Education and Outreach Liaison
The Dynamics of Domestic Violence
Make Up
Tension Building
Crossroads Services
24/7 Crisis Line
Emergency Shelter
Transitional Housing
Legal Advocacy and Representation
Resident and Non-Resident Advocacy/Support Groups
Youth Program
Not All
Are Men......Not all Women Are
"If I only knew then what I know now......."
DV affects only a small percentage of the population and is rare
Men are always the perpetrator of domestic violence
DV occurs only in poor, uneducated and minority families
Alcohol and drug abuse cause DV
DV is usually a one time, isolated occurrence
DV victims are masochistic and provoke the abuse. They must like or they would leave
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of physical, verbal, sexual or psychological violence on a current or past intimate partner.
Abusers attempt to change their victims from subjects into objects.
Also known as Intimate Partner Violence
Domestic violence crosses ALL socio-economic, gender,
religious, age, ethnic and sexual orientation lines. Men are
far less likely to disclose that they are being abused by an
intimate partner.
Approximately 835,00 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually each year -American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence
1 in 7 men will be abused by an intimate partner in his lifetime -National Center for Disease Control
1 in 4 women will be abused by an intimate partner in her lifetime -National Center for Disease Control
Red Flags
An individual has verbalized fear of their partner
An individual is hesitant to go anywhere without their partner
Frequent harassing phone calls and/or texts from an intimate partner
Low-self esteem
An individual has a sudden change in appearance and/or attitude regarding their appearance
An individual often makes self-deprecating comments and/or blames self for other's actions.
Victims describe feeling as though they are "walking on eggshells".
The victim knows that their abuser may choose to become abusive at any moment.
Many victims describe wanting to create a situation where their partner will become abusive so that they can "just get it over with".
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Verbal Abuse
Financial Abuse
Throw Objects
Block Exits
Using the physical body to intimidate, threaten, coerce, cause harm and control an intimate partner
Using sexual force and tactics to threaten, coerce, cause harm and control and intimate partner
Tampering with contraceptives
Sending unwanted sexual texts and pictures
Sexual coercion
Using words to intimidate, threaten, coerce, cause harm and control and intimate partner
Name calling
Put Downs
Threats Profanity
Using intimidation, coercion and control to diminish an intimate partner's sense of person hood and self-worth
With holding affection
Using unwanted obsessive attention, monitoring of actions and activities and/or harassment as a tool to intimidate, threaten, coerce, cause harm and control an intimate partner.
Low Jacks
Harassing Family and Friends
Hidden Audio and Video Recorders
Using finances, possessions and property as a tool to intimidate, threaten, coerce, cause harm and control an intimate partner.
All debt goes in the victim's name
Abuser maintains full control of the bank acct
Victim is forbidden to work
Abuser is parasitic
Abuser criticizes every expendature
The period in the cycle where the abuser attempts to make up for the violence to maintain their control over the victim.
Conditional apologies.
Gift giving with attached expectations.
In the calm phase, the relationship may feel healthy.
The victim may be hesitant to leave during this period and often believes that the abuser has made a lasting change.
It Takes an Average of 7 to 11 Times for a Victim to Successfully Leave an Abusive Relationship
The belief that the abuser will change
Low-self esteem
Friends and family do not see the abuse or believe the victim
Economic stability
Fear of losing children to the "system" or to the abuser
Fear of being deported
"When you're born a light is switched on, a light which shines up through your life. As you get older the light still reaches you, sparkling as it comes up through your memories. And if you're lucky as you travel through time, you'll bring the whole of yourself along with you, gathering your skirts and leaving nothing behind, nothing to obscure the light. But if A Bad thing happens part of you is seared in place, and trapped forever at that time. The rest of you moves onward, dealing with all the today's and tomorrows, but something, some part of you, is left behind. That part blocks the light, colors the rest of your life, but whats worse than that, its alive. Trapped forever at that moment, and alone in the dark, that part of you is still alive."
-Michael Marshall Smith, "Only Forward"
Trauma and the Victim's Brain
Trauma can effect the organization of the brain and it's neuron pathways in the womb, early childhood and through an individuals adult life.
The brain is constantly organizing and re-organizing itself for efficiency and self-preservation.
Normal stress, situational stress, traumatic stress.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Stem - Fight, flight, faint, freeze
Lymbic System - Feelings
Frontal Lobe - Problem Solving

Domestic violence is a learned behavior. Abusers become very skilled at learning what forms of abuse will help them to gain, and ensure that they maintain, power and control over their intimate partner. Domestic Violence is not caused by:
Drug and alcohol use
Anger management issues
Mental illness


Allow the individual to tell their story without judgement or prejudice.
Offer resources, do not tell the individual what you think they should do or make empty promises.
Accept what the individual is telling you as the truth and their reality. Do not second guess or minimize the person's experiences.
Crossroads Safehouse 24/7 help line:
1-888-541-SAFE (7233)
Find us on the web at:
We are also on
A Victim's Perspective

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