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Patterns that lead to domestic violence

By Greg Cornwell - 31 May 2016 22

The Jacka residence in which the boy was killed in February.

The ACT Government has released three reports upon domestic and family violence. They are comprehensive complex documents which highlight the need for much greater cooperation between the many agencies addressing this serious social problem.

Please note there is nothing new about this violence. People, mainly women, have been walking into doors for years and showing the bruises of the ‘accident’. It is only recently society has, rightly, recognised the issue and sought to do something about it. These three local reports are steps in the right direction.
Worthy as these and other moves are to deal with the scourge, I have yet to see any attempt to address why this problem occurs and why it appears to be increasing.

The rise in incidents can be put down to more publicity and encouragement for victims to speak up knowing there are now avenues of assistance available. However the increase in reporting also shows the extent of the matter and we still don’t know why it occurs.

Personal relationships are disappointing. The rosy courtship gives way to the reality of marriage and children before couples are either emotionally or economically on their feet. Immaturity and adjustment to changed social circumstances (not going out with the boys/girls for drinks).

Culture shock, poor housekeeping/cooking skills and an inability to handle money can feature in dissatisfaction leading to antisocial behaviour.

Power and the desire to dominate have also been cited, perhaps from workplace frustrations and cases where men believe they are downtrodden by women in general.

There may have been a realisation too that a promising future is not going to develop, that they are stuck in a dull existence, possibly explains why domestic violence takes time to develop as the situation gradually becomes clearer.

Maybe there is family history and mental health issues and how much do contemporary standards play a part, particularly as shown by impossible advertising lifestyles: the young attractive wife, handsome husband, pigeon pair children, cuddly family dog and spotless modern house – an attractive dream for vulnerable couples.
Then there is perceived neglect where the husband now finds his wife also is a mother and her priorities have changed leading to jealousy and tragedies, often in young de facto relationships.

We welcome the reports, the publicity and increased help being offered to victims but even if the examples above are part of the explanation for domestic violence we still haven’t sought and thus addressed all of the reasons why it occurs.

Pictured above is the Jacka home in which 8-year-old Bradyn Dillon was found gravely injured in February this year. The boy died of his injuries, and his father, Graham Dillon, was charged with his murder, sparking an ACT Government inquiry into system responses to family violence. Photo: Charlotte Harper

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22 Responses to
Patterns that lead to domestic violence
Maya123 1:13 pm 03 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

cea075 said :

Wow – so many generalisations – I’m amazed I’m still alive and am not a psychokilier or anything.

I am the product of a single mother, who didn’t work. I graduated from high school as the dux in French, with my mother encouraging my love of languages and the social sciences in history and the like. I graduated from uni with a degree in economics. I met and married a wonderful man, had a child and lived an extraordinarily lucky life.

But tragedy struck. I’m now a single mum too. I was suddenly widowed at the age of 40 after a 20 year marriage. But I work hard to raise my young son to be respectful, kind and to be the best he can be.

I’m so scared because based upon the comments below…. it appears my son and I will become an abuser because we’ve grown up in a single parent family (although my circumstance is NOT BY CHOICE).

We will both become criminals (Gosh – hope that doesn’t affect my security clearance)

It’s not ok for me to raise my child alone (someone – please get me another husband… quick! pronto! Just think of the children… pulllllleeeaaaasssseeeeeeee.)

I mean, if I don’t get me a man soon, then my son is going to grow up to become a serial killer. Just look at that compelling evidence given in this thread – the Port Arthur gunman’s dad died – and he went on just a few years later to become our nation’s worst mass murderer.

And…my son is not going to know where the social boundaries are because he only has a mother to raise him. Oh that poor child. What will become of him?

OMG – do I just hand us both into the police now for the future crimes we are likely to commit, ala Minority Report?

I feel so depressed reading totally and utterly unfounded and misguided comments like some of these. Unless you’ve lived it, then please refrain from making such statements.

Thanks!

PS – Dear Male Readers – since I’m going to need a new husband real soon before I turn bad, please send me private messages directly to me with your marriage proposal. I’m only doing this to make the world a safer place for us all to live in.

PPS – The only girl I knew who ‘got herself pregnant’ in high school came from a lovely, respectable, two parent family. How did that happen? Go figure???

Interesting point. You deny the generalisations of what many have seen and read studies on, on the basis that they are generalisations. However you expect us to take your story and generalize it about all single parents?

Which is it, you can’t have it both ways.

For the record the argument put forward was the assertion that most abusers and criminals come from ‘broken homes’/single parents. Your answer to this was an example of a broken home of whom didn’t result in an issue. This is a logical fallacy, its called fallacy of the inverse.

Let me make a generalisation too. It’s mainly males here who are so concerned and complain about households without a male.
Re Apsara comment about the only girl she knew who ‘got herself pregnant’ in high school came from a lovely, respectable, two parent family. In my high school class, two girls’ boy friends got them pregnant. Both the girls came from two parent families.

Most of the difficulty that single parent families face is economical. People without children in low economical situations also have difficulties. Only for those without children the difficult lifestyle does not go beyond themselves, as it does to those with children. I have tried to find some research to compare single parent (often lowly educated) households in low economical situations, with single parent households with an educated parent and in a comfortable economical position. This would usually be an older, more stable parent; who is most cases would have wanted the child, and perhaps in the case of a professional woman who fears her fertile years are running out, planned to conceive a child. This against a younger woman who might have found herself pregnant without planning or wanting it, and certainly not being in a financial position to support a child, or particularly emotional mature yet. I haven’t been able to find any such study.

HenryBG 9:50 am 03 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

cea075 said :

Wow – so many generalisations – I’m amazed I’m still alive and am not a psychokilier or anything.

I am the product of a single mother, …etc…

PPS – The only girl I knew who ‘got herself pregnant’ in high school came from a lovely, respectable, two parent family. …

For the record the argument put forward was the assertion that most abusers and criminals come from ‘broken homes’/single parents. Your answer to this was an example of a broken home of whom didn’t result in an issue. This is a logical fallacy, its called fallacy of the inverse.

Her argument is indeed an assault on formal logic, but the even more glaringly obvious logical fallacy is
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/anecdotal

I always find it flabbergasting how widespread this kind of thinking really is – a professional once replied to my, “Narrabundah caravan park is a breeding ground for car thieves” with “I know a person who had to move there and he wasn’t a criminal”.
What do you say to people who think like this?

gooterz 9:13 pm 01 Jun 16

cea075 said :

Wow – so many generalisations – I’m amazed I’m still alive and am not a psychokilier or anything.

I am the product of a single mother, who didn’t work. I graduated from high school as the dux in French, with my mother encouraging my love of languages and the social sciences in history and the like. I graduated from uni with a degree in economics. I met and married a wonderful man, had a child and lived an extraordinarily lucky life.

But tragedy struck. I’m now a single mum too. I was suddenly widowed at the age of 40 after a 20 year marriage. But I work hard to raise my young son to be respectful, kind and to be the best he can be.

I’m so scared because based upon the comments below…. it appears my son and I will become an abuser because we’ve grown up in a single parent family (although my circumstance is NOT BY CHOICE).

We will both become criminals (Gosh – hope that doesn’t affect my security clearance)

It’s not ok for me to raise my child alone (someone – please get me another husband… quick! pronto! Just think of the children… pulllllleeeaaaasssseeeeeeee.)

I mean, if I don’t get me a man soon, then my son is going to grow up to become a serial killer. Just look at that compelling evidence given in this thread – the Port Arthur gunman’s dad died – and he went on just a few years later to become our nation’s worst mass murderer.

And…my son is not going to know where the social boundaries are because he only has a mother to raise him. Oh that poor child. What will become of him?

OMG – do I just hand us both into the police now for the future crimes we are likely to commit, ala Minority Report?

I feel so depressed reading totally and utterly unfounded and misguided comments like some of these. Unless you’ve lived it, then please refrain from making such statements.

Thanks!

PS – Dear Male Readers – since I’m going to need a new husband real soon before I turn bad, please send me private messages directly to me with your marriage proposal. I’m only doing this to make the world a safer place for us all to live in.

PPS – The only girl I knew who ‘got herself pregnant’ in high school came from a lovely, respectable, two parent family. How did that happen? Go figure???

Interesting point. You deny the generalisations of what many have seen and read studies on, on the basis that they are generalisations. However you expect us to take your story and generalize it about all single parents?

Which is it, you can’t have it both ways.

For the record the argument put forward was the assertion that most abusers and criminals come from ‘broken homes’/single parents. Your answer to this was an example of a broken home of whom didn’t result in an issue. This is a logical fallacy, its called fallacy of the inverse.

Apsara 5:57 pm 01 Jun 16

Wow – so many generalisations – I’m amazed I’m still alive and am not a psychokilier or anything.

I am the product of a single mother, who didn’t work. I graduated from high school as the dux in French, with my mother encouraging my love of languages and the social sciences in history and the like. I graduated from uni with a degree in economics. I met and married a wonderful man, had a child and lived an extraordinarily lucky life.

But tragedy struck. I’m now a single mum too. I was suddenly widowed at the age of 40 after a 20 year marriage. But I work hard to raise my young son to be respectful, kind and to be the best he can be.

I’m so scared because based upon the comments below…. it appears my son and I will become an abuser because we’ve grown up in a single parent family (although my circumstance is NOT BY CHOICE).

We will both become criminals (Gosh – hope that doesn’t affect my security clearance)

It’s not ok for me to raise my child alone (someone – please get me another husband… quick! pronto! Just think of the children… pulllllleeeaaaasssseeeeeeee.)

I mean, if I don’t get me a man soon, then my son is going to grow up to become a serial killer. Just look at that compelling evidence given in this thread – the Port Arthur gunman’s dad died – and he went on just a few years later to become our nation’s worst mass murderer.

And…my son is not going to know where the social boundaries are because he only has a mother to raise him. Oh that poor child. What will become of him?

OMG – do I just hand us both into the police now for the future crimes we are likely to commit, ala Minority Report?

I feel so depressed reading totally and utterly unfounded and misguided comments like some of these. Unless you’ve lived it, then please refrain from making such statements.

Thanks!

PS – Dear Male Readers – since I’m going to need a new husband real soon before I turn bad, please send me private messages directly to me with your marriage proposal. I’m only doing this to make the world a safer place for us all to live in.

PPS – The only girl I knew who ‘got herself pregnant’ in high school came from a lovely, respectable, two parent family. How did that happen? Go figure???

carpediem 1:12 pm 01 Jun 16

What is wrong with a woman raising a child on her own? Often wives/partners leave abusive husbands and take their child/children with them. The problem begins when that woman takes on another live in “boyfriend”.

There is plenty of evidence and examples of kids being mistreated by their “step” parents. This happens with both sexes but predominately stepfathers for the reasons already outlined here. I’m often astounded to hear about single mothers from abusive past relationships, who continue to partner with abusive men. Why does this happen?

dungfungus 11:38 am 01 Jun 16

This is about the worst macho-male culture can get.
It was in SBS2 last night. Very distressing stuff.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3272079/The-dangerous-place-woman-hell-Honduras.html#m4gerous-place-woman-hell-Honduras.html

Obiter_Dictum 8:46 am 01 Jun 16

HenryBG said :

Things like easy abortion and single parent support payments have bread a culture of single, stay at home mothers who raise some of the worst children.

Its fairly easy to pick a boring guy like Ted in accounting that won’t be an abuser. But its not as trendy as Steve who spends all day in the gym.

1. Easy abortion does the exact opposite of what you suggest. Easy abortion in fact lowers the crime rate by removing ‘unwanted’ children. There are lots of links, but a good discussion is here: http://freakonomics.com/2005/05/15/abortion-and-crime-who-should-you-believe/.

2. I doubt there is any great chance that Ted in accounting will less likely to be abusive than Steve at the gym. There is certainly no greater chance that Ted will be respectful of women. Steve may well have a healthy self image and sufficient confidence that he is not threatened by a successful woman, while Ted in accounting spends his days posting on mens rights boards and complaining about the indignity of a female boss, and then eventually transfers that anger to his partner. No doubt the signs of an abusive relationship are there early in some cases, but in others yhe victim will really only find out about the controlling behaviour or mental health issues or narcissim once they get into the relationship, and perhaps not even for a while after that. Profiling potential abusers by career and past time is not likely to be very successful. The key is to ensure help is available for anyone trapped in a poor relationship who needs to get out.

HenryBG 5:54 am 01 Jun 16

bobzed57 said :

Gooterz – blanket shaming the mother for the father’s absence is pretty weak.

…except he did no such thing.
He pointed out the reality that one particular domestic living arrangement is spectacularly effective at achieving poor outcomes in the children that grow up in it.
I think what needs to be added to his comment is something along the lines of, “Somewhere along the line we told men it was ok to abandon your childnre”.

In London, almost 2/3 of black children have been abandoned by their fathers.
The usual rate is 1/4 children growing up with no father (and therefore highly unlikely to succeed).

gooterz 10:26 pm 31 May 16

bobzed57 said :

Gooterz – blanket shaming the mother for the father’s absence is pretty weak. Why aren’t you also asking why the father can’t be there for their kids? And there’s no such thing as an easy abortion. It’s this sort of lazy thinking which blames women for their vulnerabilities, and we have pretty strong indications above as to where that attitude can lead.

I said there was a link, I didn’t blame all single mothers for it.
Port Arthur, father committed suicide 3 years earlier son wipes out the town.

Sure there are men that walk out, there are mutual dissolutions, there are also women that force the father away.
Then there are those that get pregnant by choice. They even make movies about them. (Pregnancy pact). More women are having children by choice and raising kids alone.
However it doesn’t change the fact that there are many single mothers with low income.

I personally know someone who claims to have fathered at least 10 children to 10 ladies, not staying with any of them.

Any of the ways that someone becomes a single parent is a situation where a child has increased possibility of missing out on learning about boundaries. Not all kids, just an increased proportion of them.

Sadly like many things its not politically correct to point out links such as these. Usually when wrong doing occurs the person is held to account and society overlooks their influence on how that warped sense of thinking came about.

All the DV campaigns put the blame solely at men. Yet you point out that perhaps there are other causes and everyone takes that as an attack on women. We’ll only fund certain studies anything else isn’t PC. Lot of people commit suicide however that’s not a PC issue to talk about.

One of the biggest issues is that the only people whom have time to raise kids are the ones who’s incomes are low. Those with the income and financial advantage have very little incentive to have big families.

How could it be that a child who grows up in a house where there aren’t any working parents has so little respect for others. Could it be that there is perhaps a link between a child seeing a parent work hard for a living and not being an abuser later in life?

huayu 7:16 pm 31 May 16

Gooterz – blanket shaming the mother for the father’s absence is pretty weak. Why aren’t you also asking why the father can’t be there for their kids? And there’s no such thing as an easy abortion. It’s this sort of lazy thinking which blames women for their vulnerabilities, and we have pretty strong indications above as to where that attitude can lead.

gooterz 5:26 pm 31 May 16

madelini said :

HenryBG said :

Aren’t 70% of criminals coming from a single mother home? The increase in DV is also related to an increase in divorce.

I thought that divorce figures had gone down now that “common law” relationships (with the same legality as marriage) was all the go?

Somewhere along the line we told women it’s ok to raise a child alone. We now bear the consequences of that choice.

What is wrong with a woman raising a child on her own? Often wives/partners leave abusive husbands and take their child/children with them. The problem begins when that woman takes on another live in “boyfriend”.

Things like easy abortion and single parent support payments have bread a culture of single, stay at home mothers who raise some of the worst children.

There is no “easy abortion”. Single parent support payments?

Its fairly easy to pick a boring guy like Ted in accounting that won’t be an abuser. But its not as trendy as Steve who spends all day in the gym.

Abusive men (and women) come from all walks of life. Mister CEO in a suit and tie with lots of money, is just as able to be a CONTROLLING individual and an abuser, as is a guy who works in a factory, or is unemployed.

Nobody owns another person … including your children.

Its a myth that abusers come from all walks of life. Mostly it occurs in low income households. The myth exists to stop people looking at the causes of abuse.
Also the myth that its all about control is weird. The most abusive relationships are ones with two women in them. How does that fit control.

If you go by The definition of school and include things like verbal abuse and threatening to leave, withholding access to children it would be clear who the biggest perpetrators are.

However when one gender does this its never promoted as domestic violence. As when this happens they bring out the control and limit it by physical size meaning the man is always at fault.

Maya123 4:24 pm 31 May 16

HenryBG said :

Aren’t 70% of criminals coming from a single mother home? The increase in DV is also related to an increase in divorce.

Somewhere along the line we told women it’s ok to raise a child alone. We now bear the consequences of that choice.

Things like easy abortion and single parent support payments have bread a culture of single, stay at home mothers who raise some of the worst children.

Its fairly easy to pick a boring guy like Ted in accounting that won’t be an abuser. But its not as trendy as Steve who spends all day in the gym.

I would guess, as you appear to be, that most come from economically struggling homes, and it is likely that many of those might be single parent households with single mothers. It does not necessarily equate that because there is only one parent there that is the cause of delinquency in the child, but rather it’s likely to be the low social economical situation.

dustytrail 3:56 pm 31 May 16

HenryBG said :

Aren’t 70% of criminals coming from a single mother home? The increase in DV is also related to an increase in divorce.

I thought that divorce figures had gone down now that “common law” relationships (with the same legality as marriage) was all the go?

Somewhere along the line we told women it’s ok to raise a child alone. We now bear the consequences of that choice.

What is wrong with a woman raising a child on her own? Often wives/partners leave abusive husbands and take their child/children with them. The problem begins when that woman takes on another live in “boyfriend”.

Things like easy abortion and single parent support payments have bread a culture of single, stay at home mothers who raise some of the worst children.

There is no “easy abortion”. Single parent support payments?

Its fairly easy to pick a boring guy like Ted in accounting that won’t be an abuser. But its not as trendy as Steve who spends all day in the gym.

Abusive men (and women) come from all walks of life. Mister CEO in a suit and tie with lots of money, is just as able to be a CONTROLLING individual and an abuser, as is a guy who works in a factory, or is unemployed.

Nobody owns another person … including your children.

gooterz 3:08 pm 31 May 16

Aren’t 70% of criminals coming from a single mother home? The increase in DV is also related to an increase in divorce.

Somewhere along the line we told women it’s ok to raise a child alone. We now bear the consequences of that choice.

Things like easy abortion and single parent support payments have bread a culture of single, stay at home mothers who raise some of the worst children.

Its fairly easy to pick a boring guy like Ted in accounting that won’t be an abuser. But its not as trendy as Steve who spends all day in the gym.

RKP 1:39 pm 31 May 16

I reckon family history is a big factor. At least it is in my situation, and a few others I’m closely aware of. Recently I had a Genogram built for me by someone. The layout wasn’t the thing… the discussions about relationships and dynamics between people and what it revealed was… it was the patterns of behaviour that came out of the discussion, and how common patterns within a family generate common patterns within the kids…. and so on. Which isn’t a surprise, but is useful.

So, in my experience if there is behaviour that promotes or accepts DV up the line, its likely that anyone below that will have a tendency to that same behaviour. No real surprises there either when you think about it. If dad teaches or shows a son to treat women of any age a certain way, that will be there for the son later. Damage. But what’s useful, for me, is that those behaviours aren’t necessarily evident until you really get to know someone, and if a little more thought went into this early in a relationship, I think the chances of avoiding negative behaviours are heaps better. Avoiding could mean staying away from the situation altogether, or it could mean being more aware for signs and agreeing with a partner to be aware of them too… and to discuss boundaries around what is and isn’t OK a bit more mindfully than without the insight an analysis of the past can provide.

If you look back a while at gender stereotypes in Australia,(sometimes you don’t have to go back far, or at all), it seems to me that our culture (more than some others) has pushed a certain dynamic of male and female behaviours. And that dynamic, to me, has to change if the DV rates in general are going to change. Awareness and some of the programs I hear about (but haven’t seen) are a good start.

Disclosure: I lost two children through DV. They’re not dead. They’re lost.

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