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Domestic violence

A study of men’s violence in close relationship

Katherine Batenga Christensen

Socionomprogrammet VT 2018 Examensarebete, C nivå

15 högskolepoäng

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Table of Contents

Domestic violence ... 1

A study of men’s violence in close relationship ... 1

Katherine Batenga Christensen ... 1

Abstract ...4

1. Introductions ... 5

1.1 Research aim and objectives ...5

1.2 Research questions ...6

1.3 Limitations ...6

1.4 Disposition ...6

2. Violence definitions and terms... 6

2.1 Forms of violence in society ...7

3. History and background ... 7

3.1 Earlier research ...9

3.1.1 Violence in numbers ...9

3.1.2 Men who exercise violence ... 10

3.1.3 Treatment of violent men ... 11

3.1.4 Cognitive behavioral and Process-psychodynamic groups ... 11

3.1.5 Cycle of violence ... 12

3.1.6 Violence normalization process... 13

3.1.6 Violence and self- esteem ... 14

4. Methods and Materials ... 14

4.1 Research method ... 14

4.2 Selection and Procedure... 15

4.3 Materials processing and analysis ... 16

4.4 Pre-Understanding ... 16

4.5 Interviewees and Ethical principles ... 17

5. Theory ... 18

5.2 Characteristics of violent men ... 18

5.2.1 Individual Psychological perspective ... 18

5.2.2 Gender perspective and control ... 18

5.2.3 Social learning theory ... 19

5.3 Motivation to change ... 20

5.3.1 Transtheoretical model ... 20

6. Result and analysis ... 20

6.1 The interview studies ... 20

6.2 Understanding violent men ... 21

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6.2.2 Violence and power dominance ... 23

6.2.2 Violence as learned behavior ... 25

6.2.3 Short analysis of Result... 26

6.3 Treatment and Interventions ... 27

6.3.1 Short analysis of treatment and intervention ... 29

7. Discussions ... 29

7.1 Result and analysis discussion ... 29

7.2 Treatment and interventions discussions ... 31

7.3 Method discussion ... 31

7.3 Recommendations ... 33

8. Referenser ... 34

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Abstract

The Aim of this study is to examine violence in close relationship

and to explore the different explanation on men’s violence as well

as the factors that contribute to their violent behavior. Violence in

close relationships can occur in different forms and anyone can fall

as a victim of both physical and mental abuse. Violence and

discrimination against women violates the principles of equal rights

and respect for human dignity. In Sweden, men's violence against

women and violence in close relationships is still a major problem

that requires great work and attention. It is one of Sweden's

responsibility to meet all people's equal values and rights and to fight

violence in close relationship.

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1. Introductions

The United Nations Charter confirms the belief in fundamental human rights, on human dignity and value, and on equal rights for men and women. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the principle of non-discrimination and declares that all human beings are born free and equal in value and rights, and that everyone is entitled to all those rights, regardless of sex, race, class, ethnicity etc. In spite of women's equal rights and freedoms, they are also the group that is particularly vulnerable to discrimination and oppression. Therefore, in December 1979, the legally binding convention adopted the abolition of all forms of discrimination against women, also known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Sweden ratified the convention in 1981 and Sweden is the first country to ratify the convention (Women’s convention, Sweden).

Heimer (2008) points out that violence against women is a legal, social and economic problem, a health problem and gender equality problem. Violence against girls and women is also a democratic problem as violence takes away girls and women from their self-esteem. Heimer believes that many women find, that because they are not entitled to their own body, they are also not entitled to influence their own lives. Violence also limits their ability to influence greater relationships, and thus pose a threat to the whole concept of “democracy and equality” that applies to all (Heimer, 2008). Violence and discrimination against women violates the principles of equal rights and respect for human dignity. In Sweden, men's violence against women and violence in close relationships is still a major problem that requires great work and attention. Violence in close relationships can occur in different forms and anyone can fall as a victim of both physical and mental abuse (ibid). It is therefore important to pay more attention to and discuss violence in close relation as well as the treatment and assistance they receive to prevent violence in close relationship. It is one of Sweden's responsibility to meet all people's equal values and rights and to fight violence in close relationship.

As Mona Eliasson (2000) points out that violence in close relationships tends to increase over time and become increasingly serious. The couple seems to be caught in a vicious circle as they have great difficulty getting out. It means that, the men have difficulty in ending their violence and the women have difficulty breaking up and leaving the man, even though leaving the man is necessary for the sake of their children's safety and their own safety. According to Eliasson (2000), violence towards women generally acts as an acute women's problem. Help and support is therefore the first priority for women who are vulnerable and to their children. This is obviously right and reasonable, but what has happened in the darkness is that the violence itself is also a men's problem. Getting the violence to end is a definite goal, but then, it is not enough to protect women and children. Therefore, it is best solution to include violent men in the treatment and interventions.

1.1 Research aim and objectives

The purpose of this study is to explore the different explanations to men’s violence and the factors that contribute to their violent behavior according to

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professionals as well as how crisis center in Malmö works to counteract domestic violence.

1.2 Research questions

For this research, the following questions have been raised:

• How does violence occur and trigger according to professionals?

• How does the municipality and crisis center work to counteract violence against women in close relationships?

• How does some men end up having violent behavior and how crisis center work on the effectiveness of approach and treatment to violent men?

1.3 Limitations

The limitation of this study is only to focus on the explanation of men’s domestic violence against women as well as the factors that contribute to their violent behavior according to professionals who works in crisis center and how they counteract domestic violence. Due to limited time I have not include children and women’s point of view. I also haven’t had the chance to interview men who exercise violence against women. I also didn’t dig deep to how treatment and method works and built. For ethical reason, this study also limits to describe in detail the activities that my informants work on with violent men. Due to the limited time, I only had the chance to do my research in Malmo crisis center.

1.4 Disposition

The thesis is divided into six different parts: First is the introduction which includes the aims and objectives of this study; Second is the history and background to the research, including a definition on domestic violence; The third presents, the theoretical approaches, which this study based on gender and power perspective , individual and psychological perspective and in social learning theory; The fourth deals with scientific methodology in which the method, selection and data processing is explained; The fifth will be the result and analysis; and finally the sixth will be the Discussions.

2. Violence definitions and terms

According to Barbara Fawcett (1996) violence and aggression are central to the historical development of mankind, for without these we would not have striven above the others. In old age aggression was originally required to protect ourselves from being eaten by other animals or killed by another clan and tribe (Fawcett, 1996). According Burgess (2010) domestic violence is often described as a family centered problem and generally understood as patterns of abusive and coercive behavior which may cause physical injuries, psychological and emotional disturbances, sexual intimidations as wells as financial oppression of the victim (Burgess, 2010). Domestic violence is classified as the act of maltreatment of one’s partner in the context of an intimate relationship or the act of violence and abusive behavior used by adults to control and dominate their intimate relationship (Heimer, 2008). The UN Declaration on Violence

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Against Women, adopted in 1993 by the UN General Assembly, defines violence against women in the following way:

“Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation” (Heimer, 2008, s.20).

2.1 Forms of violence in society

Isdal (2001) explains in his book Meaning of violence, “Meningen med våld”, that violence refers to as follows:

“Violence is all sorts of actions such as worrying, scaring, hurting and wounding and making this individual do something against his wish or refrain

from doing anything the individual wants” (Isdal, 2001, s. 34).

According to Isdal (2001) there are different types of violence physical violence, mental violence. economic oppression, material violence, latent violence and sexual violence. Physical violence according to Isdal (2001), means any kind of unwanted physical act and touch that harm, violates, scares and causes physical suffering. Mental violence includes insults with actions and statements that relate to the person's affiliation, personality or human dignity. Mental violence can involve verbal insults, threats, different types of control or when you are forced to be in privacy. Economic oppression is pushing someone to implement economic illegalities through, for example, threats while economic oppression of a related person is also considered violence by limiting the financial assets you have together (Ibid). The oppression leads to a limited amount of action and it can lead to a feeling of degrading. Material violence is when home decor breaks down, by throwing objects, or taking personal belongings and cutting it apart. This is considered a way of exercising violence using material objects. Latent violence is when someone is aggressive or has a strong anger that is not pronounced but is readable through, for example, the body language. This causes a sense of fear and insecurity to the victim. Sexual violence is when someone is forced to participate in sexual acts by looking at sexual acts against their own will or in contravention of mature age (Isdal, 2001).

3. History and background

As Eliasson (2006) historically, violence within and outside the family has been distinguished from each other. She describes that violence exercised against a woman by a man outside the family has been punished while violence exercised by a man within the family has been interpreted as a private matter (Eliasson, 2006). The church has also played an important role and based on its authorizations, it has been subjugated to the man's right to abuse violence against the woman. In 1871, for example, the Church Father Augustine claimed that the man, like the divine love over the family, has the right to physically punished both his wife and his children. Women were treated as the husband's property. It means that, man could legally strike their wives because violence was a crime only if it was made public, or if the woman died, were injured or if there was bloodshed (Eliasson, 2000). Boethius (2015) describe that this justify the inferior position of women in society. Where the man was seen as the head

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of the house with the right to punish the woman for disciplinary action (Boethius, 2015). Around 1960s political documents argued that men's violence against women is seen as a natural part of marriage and it is an issue that must be dealt and solved within the private sphere (Ibid). Susanne Boethius (2015) even mention in her research that only violence that is considered gross, is punishable. By the year 1965, Sweden became as the first country in the world, with a law against rape in marriage. It was during 1970 that the view of women in marriage changed and the issue of men's violence against women has been discussed more frequently in the Swedish political context (ibid).

Few centuries ago, rape was only regarded as a serious crime, only when the perpetrator were men outside the family. Rape could only be committed outside marriage and if a woman was unfaithful, the man still had the right to kill her (Eliasson, 2006,). In 1734, it became illegal for a husband to hurt his wife till she suffered serious injuries or died, but he could still beat her without incurring a penalty (Ibid). Only 1864 that the right of a man to discipline his wife disappeared from the Criminal Code (Boethius, 2015).

Heimer and Posse (2004) describe that by the year 1982 a major change of law was introduced, abuse of women was placed on an individual site under public prosecution, which meant that the battered woman does not need to bear the entire burden of notification herself, this means that the woman herself must not report the crimes, it may be a neighbor or another acquaintance who calls the police (Heimer & Posse, 2004). The police are then obliged to, in the case of crime, write a notification regardless of the woman's attitude to this (ibid). But without her involvement, the prosecution can rarely be carried out. Boethius explains that a common cause for men not to be expedite is that the abused woman cannot resist the men's threats and harassment. Boethius even mention that in 1988, the Act on Restriction of Restraints entered into force which meant, among other things, that those men who were persecuting or harassing a woman could be forbidden to contact her. As a result of the reform of women's reform, the law on gross freedom of liberty and gross violation of women was introduced in 1998, which included a view of the overall picture. A person may then be convicted of criminal acts repeatedly violating a relative in such a way that personal integrity has been compromised and the self-esteem of the victim has been seriously committed intentionally. If the perpetrator is a man and sacrificed a woman, and they have been married or in a corresponding relationship, the crime becomes a serious contravention of women's violence. By these laws, crimes which are not considered to be serious will consequently result in more severe punishment because they are deemed to be part of a broader context (Boethius, 2015). Boethius even mention that at the beginning of the 1990s, men's violence against women was defined as a gender equality issue at government level, and violence against women was now seen as an expression of inequality between men and women (Ibid). The government commissioned some authorities to work for this gender equality thinking in the work of violence in close relationships and presented in a bill how the work of violence in close relationships, such as prevention through continuing training, knowledge-led through research and in the form of emergency solutions to protect vulnerable women (Ibid). In 1992, freedom from gender-related violence came to be one of six gender equality goals in a bill and the Women's Commission was tasked with mapping and proposing measures concerning men's violence against women (prop. 1993/94: 1). Boethius (2015) even mention that the government by the year 2015 has four gender equality goals,

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one of which is the end of men's violence against women. A letter then from the government stated that domestic violence is a serious, unacceptable problem and that the question of gender equality is at the extreme. The action plan, which aimed at combating men's violence against women, honor-related violence and oppression, and violence in co-operative relationships (Government Letter, 2007), suggested action and action to prevent and stop violence in close relationships (Boethius, 2015).

3.1 Earlier research

3.1.1 Violence in numbers

The UN Children's Fund UNICEF denotes violence against women as a global pandemic, that is, an epidemic spread across one or more continents. World health organization WHO, estimates that one third of all women in the world experienced violence in their lives and violence often give rise to depression, low self-esteem and fear among the victims. It also affects children who witness the violence. Violence against women in Sweden can be put in a global perspective, which shows that violence is commonplace wherever it occurs. The Swedish study "Slagen Dam" points to violence as a crucial social problem, where the visible violence is the top of an iceberg of threats, fear and integrity constraints (Lundgren, 2001).

Several organizations, such as the United Nations, the World health organization WHO and the Council of Europe, have since published statements dealing with male relationships with violence as a priority issue. In 1993, the Swedish government commissioned the Women's Welfare Commission to work against men's violence against women. It will create the atmosphere for creating good conditions for taking care of vulnerable women, training professionals who are in contact with these vulnerable women and informing the public about the crimes and deepening further in the field (Heimer & Posse, 2004).

Mona Eliasson (2000), estimate that during the year more than 24,000 police reports were reported on men’s violence against women about 18,000 cases, the perpetrator was acquainted with the victim (ibid). The authors also write that in many cases the woman has already experienced repeated violence before she finally decides to report the man. This is the case when gross violation of women's violence is reported, as previously described is a repeated crime in itself. It is more that the woman first tried to solve the problem on its own without success. The final resort will be to make a police report, something that the woman would prefer to avoid. It takes three to five attempts for the women to really leave the violent man as this will eventually be the only solution (Eliasson, 2000).

In a BRÅ report from 2002, based on a survey on which more than 3,300 women have responded and partly on a review of more than 850 criminal reports, the authors try to estimate how common these crimes are. The report shows that about half of the vulnerable women have experienced violence on more than one occasion. As for the reported violence, approximately 25 percent of women later try to withdraw their notification. Many times, the woman only wants the police to solve the imminent violence situation and not establish a police report (BRÅ, 2002: 14, 7-8). The women who report at all, often fail to resist the man's threats and harassment in the long run which leads to the woman withdrawing or backing down her complaint against her abuser or not participate in the legal process. This is also one of the cause wherein the perpetrator (men) is not convicted of any crime (Eliasson, 2000). Maria Carstedt explains that, the

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greatest risk of vulnerability exists in those women who have already been exposed to violence by a known man. The women who have been subjected two or more times run a risk of 40 percent to be subjected to a similar offense within one year (BRÅ, 2001: 3).

Eva Lundgren (2001) also conducted a study on violence against women in close relation. In this study, a survey was sent to 10,000 Swedish women in response to questions about violence. The result showed that almost 46 percent of the respondents were exposed to violence by a man during their teenage year. Lundgren studies showed violence is most common for women between 18 and 24 years old. According to her study about 15 percent of women had been subjected to violence by a boyfriend, 11 percent of a current spouse or cohabitant and 35 percent of a former spouse or cohabiting partner (ibid). The male violence against the woman in the survey are most commonly appears after the relationship has ended. Lundgren emphasize that the risk of being exposed to violence or threat increases when the woman leaves the man. Lundgren (2001) report that when violence occurs in connection with a separation, the intensity and content can change. Violence often becomes most intense and serious after a decision on separation (ibid). Crimes are concentrated at certain times, places and offenders, but she wants to add that the concentration also applies to victims of crime.

3.1.2 Men who exercise violence

Physical violence

According to Boethius (2015) who has done a research on “Mäns våld och moral arbete”, describe that out of 188 men who responded to the questionnaire which she conducted at the start of treatment, at least 80 percent reported that they exercised some of the acts of violence included in the scale physical violence against their partner since 2014. The most common thing was that the men reported that they had disappointed their partner or been hard at her, 81 percent of men reported that they sometimes did this to their partner. Boethius describe in her study that just over every fifth man stated that he had kicked his partner and barely every fifth man had struck their women with something that could hurt. Boethius even claims that there are about 10 percent men in her study that had tried to choke their partner. About 5 percent of the men reported that they even used a weapon such as gun and knife or burned and scolded their partner with flash. Most men reported that they had performed more than one act (Boethius, 2015).

Psychological violence

Boethius explain that the other type of violence in her study is of a mental nature. She explains that the mental acts of violence differ from the physical because they must more often be put in a context to be understood as violence. All 188 men in Boethius research, indicated that, men performed any of the acts included in the scale of psychological violence. She claims that about 98 percent of violent men who participated in her study reported that those 98 percent men, have at some point insulted or sweared and screamed at their partner and 40 percent said they had called their partner fat or ugly. Boethius also mention that, about 39 percent, had threatened to beat or throw anything on the woman and 35 percent reported that they destroyed something that belonged to the partner and 18 percent that they had accused their partner of being an unfaithful lover (Boethius, 2015).

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Treatment of violent men has a relatively short history. The first attempt was made in England year 1976 and it was called "Pizzeys Cheswick Shatter for Battered Women" and "Men's Aid House" in London. However, it was short lived because of lack of money. In 1977, "Emerge" was founded in Boston, USA. It was probably the first treatment in the world that was spared only to treat men who were abusive to women. In Sweden, Crisis center or “Kriscentrum” was founded for men in Gothenburg 1987 and men's center or “Manscentrum” in Stockholm the following year. The activities have different history and origins. Crisis center in Gothenburg has its background partly in the need for support in connection with divorce fairs and partly the need to organize treatment for men with violence problems. The Man’s Center in Stockholm was created to fulfill a presumed need for many men to get professional help with various types of crises and difficulties where the problem of violence was one of several problems (Eliasson, 2000).

According Boethius (2015) who refers to Erikson Biller and Balkmar, there were about 50 companies in Sweden dealing with violent men and in some cases, they offered treatments to men who are violent in close relationships (Boethius,2015,). She describes that the operations aimed to these men have different structure regarding the target group, principal and links with the judicial system. Some efforts are directed against men who are sentenced to punishment. Boethius mention that around 1990, the criminal case work on men who exercise violence in close relationships in Sweden. Within the prison facility there are a number of manually-based programs that are convicted of violence against their partners can take part, sometimes as part of the punishment. These treatments may be in the care of the welfare authorities but also at different defense agencies (Boethius, 2015).

Boethius describe that risk Crisis center was formed, and the main tasks is to work with men in crisis, violence, aggressiveness and violence in close relationships while violence receptions that are members only work with aggressiveness and violence in close relationships. The activities included in the Risk crisis centrum was to work with an understanding framework, which means that many different theoretical approaches must be implemented in the treatment of men who use violence in close relationships. The organization's website emphasizes the importance of a holistic view and that theories and methods are subordinated to the prevention and prevention of violence (Boethius, 2015). According to Boethius (2015) this are in inspired by EMERGE, ATV (Alternativ till våld), IDAP (Integrated Domestic Abuse Program).

3.1.4 Cognitive behavioral and Process-psychodynamic groups McClennen (2010) refers to Chang and Saunders, who compared the outcomes of two different treatment groups for men who uses violence. The cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) group combined cognitive-behavioral and feminist perspectives using a combination of cognitive reconstructuring, relaxation training, behavioral rehearsal and consciousness raising. The group was highly

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structured and was taught alternatives to aggression. While the process- psychodynamic group (PPG) stresses emotional attachments, personality and childhood traumas. This method was less structures and encourage men to express their feelings. McClennen points out that the study found that PPG treatment is more successful in retaining clients.

3.1.5 Cycle of violence

Burgess (2010) refers to the American feminist and psychologist Lenore Walker on how the woman through repeated abuse, increased helplessness, addiction and lowered their self-worth. Walker describes that, any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship once. If it occurs a second time and she remain in that situation, she is described as a battered woman. Lenore Walker first proposed the term ¨battered woman syndrome¨ in 1979 as a means of describing the effects of intimate partner violence on the victims. Walker argued that battering relationships have a clearly discernible cycle and that battered woman responds to events in this cycle in a predictable pattern. The battering cycle according to Walker has three phases. The first is the tension reduction, during which a batterer, in an attempt to reduce his own anxiety and tension will begin to inflict his mate with verbal or minor physical abuse (Burgess et.al., 2010). The woman then responds with anger reduction techniques, aimed at placating the batterer to avoid a severely abusive episode. Walker points out that as the tension grows, the phase is followed by an acute battering episode where in the victim is subject to severe physical and verbal abuse, which may include significant injury and threats of death. At the end of the incident there is a sharp, predictable reduction of tension which eventually leads to the final phase of the cycle which is the loving attrition, during which the batterer becomes remorseful, apologetic and loving. Walker emphasizes that during this love attrition phase, the abusive man assures the victim that the battering incident will not be repeated (ibid). Burgess means that this loving attrition reinforce the woman’s commitment to the relationship by making her fell loved and protective of her partners evident vulnerability. This loving attrition phase may last for an extended period of time, but invariably it fades as the tensions mounts and the cycle begins again (ibid). Eliasson (2000) claims that majority of the violent men continued their behavior in a new relationship, and men who is been abusive to their relationship had done so even earlier. The woman then lives in a life where violence is constantly repeated (Hydén, 1995).

The National Board of Health (2010) describes violence in close relationships as a pattern of abuse that is difficult for the environment to detect as it usually occurs inside the walls of the home. They even states that, violence is not a single event but consists of a pattern of abuse against a person. What is further complicated is that violence is exercised within an emotional and close relationship, which means that the nature and consequences of violence differ from other violence. The close relationship that often involves a man and a woman living together allows the man in addition to direct physical assaults and to be given the opportunity to take control of the woman. In close relationships where violence occurs, the woman who has already experienced violence from their partner, often adjusts to the man in order to avoid being battered again. What can complicate further is that the women often think that the relationship is built with hope and love. With this thinking the woman will have a very hard time living her abusive partner which lead to the repeated cycle of violence. A common phenomenon is that these women do not see themselves as a victim

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because they do not want to be identified as helpless and unable to take care of themselves and their lives (Socialstyrelsen, 2010).

Eva Lundgren et al. (2004) has further developed this theory into something they call for the normalization process.

3.1.6 Violence normalization process

The term normalization refers to the fact that violence can be perceived as a normal feature of everyday life. Heimer (2008) refers to Lundgren’s

normalization process who has for many years researched the men's violence and normalization process. The normalization process means a degradation process for the woman in connection with the men’s violence against women and what is perceived as “normal” (Heimer, 2008). Violence exercised in a pair relationship forms a process where the man gradually increases his control of the woman, which leads to a reduced living space in the woman. The normalization process of violence is a process that is described both from a mental and a physical

perspective. Heimer describes that man’s perceived violence as a tool to gain control of the woman. This strengthens his power over her and his manhood. For women, it is about adaptation and a desire to strengthen her femininity according to the wishes of the man. The model argues that the meaning of the violence can be experienced less seriously by the partner (ibid). According to Lundgren (2004), the gendered process is part of the normalization process. The man tries to show his masculinity in the arena of violence. This means that normalization of

violence is related to the beliefs that exist around gender in our society, as well as how man and woman should be in a relationship. Violence can, to a certain extent, be considered to be normal depending on the social context in which it is based. Lundgren claims that within the cultural normality, there is a prevailing balance of power between the sexes, where violence is also linked to cultural normality. Furthermore, Lundgren points that the man reduces the woman's space by

controlling her actions and thus changing the choices she makes. But this kind of control is not always visible and therefore difficult to detect as it may come in different forms such as jealousy. The woman tries to adapt to the man's habits in order not to create problems in the relationship. This type of control can spread over many parts of the woman's life, such as in relation to her family and friendship. A limitation of the woman's friendship circle is a way for the man to isolate the woman. They are allowed to hang out with her husband's approval, which can lead to the exclusion of social life for the woman. By banning her a social life, the woman's ability to tell her problems to her friends reduces her support. This in turn leads to a reduced chance of doing better and finding the strength to get out of the relationship. By this is meant that the man creates an emotional, social and mental control in which the boundary of what is allowed or not is displaced (ibid).

According to Lundgren (2004), the psychological and physical violence has a significant connection and is a prerequisite for each other. When physical violence occurs, the woman is more affected by mental violence, as she can, to some extent, bear responsibility for the event. By this means that she may feel guilty of the incident and also see herself as the cause of the outbreak of the man. A boundary shift between heat and violence is created when violence occurs. Impacts created by violence are strengthened when this violence, as well as

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warmth and care, change. This shift between violence and care give man greater room for increased control over the woman, the author says. The psychological and physical degradation that the woman has designated for, gives the man the opportunity to control large parts of her life (Lundgren, 2004). Lundgren (2004) describes normalization process as a way to understand how violence in a close relationship is maintained. Moreover, it can also provide answers to why women remain in conditions that are characterized by violence. The actual normalization process involves the normalization of violence by both abusive men and the battered woman. Lundgren explains that the shift between violence and care contributes to the fact that the woman develops an emotional bond to the man, which in turn causes the violence to be perceived as a normal element of everyday life. This in turn leads to, the violence being accepted and defended, and the woman begins to look at herself from the man's eyes (Lundgren, 2004). 3.1.6 Violence and self- esteem

According to Ragg (1999), men who abuse their partners have a low self-esteem and men often has unrealistically high expectations of themselves as they rarely manage to transpose. Ragg believes in his article, Dimensions of Self-Concept as Predictors of Men Who Assault Their Female Partners, that these unrealistic expectations can reinforce the low self-perception. Ragg describe that men who abuse their partners often show trends in controlling others to reduce their own feelings of insecurity (Ragg, 1999). Violent men are taught to compensate for their lack of self-esteem by claiming supremacy and dominance over the partner through control and violence (Murphy, 2005). Ragg suggested that, self-esteem that is characterized by shame is strongly linked to violent behavior and marital problems. Murphy claims that change in self-esteem and physical aggression during treatment for partner violence is highly effective to change men’s violence behavior.

Furthermore, there are two aspects self-esteem has, the value and preserving of self-esteem. The value refers to whether a person experiences a positive or negative value. Preserving self-perception means how a person manages

situations where events do not match their own self-perception. If an individual has a positive self-image, the individual can maintain this even when negative events occur. However, individuals who have a negative self-image are more difficult to create such a balance.

Murphy refers to, Bushman and Baumeister describe their article, Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Lead to Violence?, that an unstable self-esteem showed high

tendencies to hostility and anger. While the individual with a stable self-esteem showed least signs of these characteristics. Whereas, individuals with weaker self-esteem become aggressive to others. Thus, a recommended strategy is to

strengthen the self-esteem of the violent people to prevent or improve personal and social problems. Murphy points out that violent men react strongly to situations that involve the risk of being abandoned (Murphy et al, 2005).

4. Methods and Materials

4.1 Research method

Since the purpose of the study was to explore the different explanation to men’s violence and the factors that contribute to their violent behavior according to professionals as well as how crisis center in Malmö City works to counteract domestic violence, I have chosen to use a qualitative study. I consider the

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qualitative method as the most relevant for this study, so I can have direct insight to my informant owns experiences and thoughts. According to Bryman (2008) qualitative method is considered to be most relevant as it is the interviewees' own experiences, feelings and views, which I perceived as needed to answer the questions to this study. In order to accomplish the purpose of this study, I have chosen to interview 4 professionals working within then crisis center in Malmö City who helps violent men to overcome their violent behavior. This study will be based on semi-structured interview and it means that, a semi structured interview is a list of specific themes to be addressed and the interviewee has great freedom to design the answers in his own way (Ibid).

4.2 Selection and Procedure

After I formulated my purpose and questions on this study, I then began to search for previous research from different literatures. During my meetings with my supervisor, I have acquired some information where I can read previous research on men’s violence. The Internet was also a great asset where I can easily have access on different research where keywords such as domestic violence, batterer, victimology, abuse, power, control and self-esteem. Part of the work of this study has been to search for reliable sources. The search has been conducted on,

libraries and databases for research, such as www.libguides.mah.se. Literature searches and loans have been made at the Malmö University Library. As well as Malmö University’s library website such as Libsearch and Google scholars was used to obtain relevant articles in the research subject. I have also used Google engine to find different researchers on domestic violence. I have used different English and Swedish literatures from Malmö university’s libraries where domestic violence is in focus.

As I mention above, I have chosen a qualitative study where I only choose 4 professionals who work in crisis center in Malmö City as my informants. Kvale and Brinkman (2009) believes that a qualitative interview study involves few interviews but instead focuses on the depth of the subject. Furthermore, Kvale and Brinkman consider that the researcher should understand the everyday context based on the informant’s perspective (Kvale and Brinkman, 2009). I first send emails and my information letter (see attachment 2) to the managers in Crisis Center in Malmö city requesting if some of their workers who works with violent men, can participate in my study and ask them to forward the message to their staff, if anyone is interested to participate in my research before we book the time for an interview. The advantage of sending emails to the managers first are the opportunity to get answers from personal directly. The disadvantage of this is that it may be hard to see how many employees are interested to participate in my study and at the same time it can take a longer time to get answers. I also called them a few times to remind them and ask them if they have time. I also have rebook another time because it doesn’t fit on their weekly activity schedule. According to Bryman 2008, there are different types of interviews that can be done through personal direct contact or by telephone. Through interviews, the author gets access to so-called primary data. That is, data collected for use in the current study (Bryman, 2008). Both managers and the professionals who were contacted were informed in accordance with the ethical key requirements. These will be described in more detail under the heading ethical principles. In order to

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protect my interviewees, I informed my then that I will use other names such as Sara, Martha, Pia and Ana.

Sara, Social worker, 3yrs experience.

Martha, Social worker major in social educator, 5yrs experience. Pia, Psychology KBT2, 4 yrs. experience.

Ana, Social worker, KBT 1 4 yrs. Experienced

The difference between my informants were the number of years they worked education. Before I met my informants, I sent an interview guide (see Appendix 1) to my interviewees so that they have the opportunity to reflect on the answer to my studies. This way my informants were given the opportunity to prepare

themselves for the interview to clearly answer the interview questions. I booked in times that matched my interviewees, so they found that they had enough time to participate in the interview. The completed interview guide (see Appendix 1) consists of 10 questions. The questions are based on four themes; violence and self-esteem, violence and power dominance, violence as learned behavior, and treatment and interventions view. The interview took about 30-45 minutes. I had also chosen to record the sound of the interview and when the interview was complete, I transcribed the material and categorized the answers. According to Repstad (2007), the researcher during the transcription can create categorization of the material where the analysis of the material begins. When I analyzed the results of the interviews, I searched for patterns by categorizing it. Then I linked this to previous research and theories I had read and analyzed my results. This happened by wondering about what I can read based on my questions and find out if there were any opinions about the questions. Based on my analysis, I consider that I questioned results through comparisons between interviews and with theories and previous research.

4.3 Materials processing and analysis

By using themes at my interviews, the interviews became deeper in the sense that the essential and important questions were answered thoroughly. Bryman (2008) mention that a thematic analysis model was used to design themes with the authors of the subject before the interviews. Themes could be identified and used as support and to further reinforce the remaining interviews to get more in-depth and more thorough answers to the purpose and questions of the study (Bryman 2008).

All of my interviews were transcribed the same day and lasted for 2-4 days. The transcription was deliberately made as soon as possible to remember the specific interview. I then stored the transcribed material in a document and will be deleted after my study has been approved. The identification was done by giving my informants finger names such as name Sara, Martha, Pia, Ana

4.4 Pre-Understanding

During my first year in Social work program in Malmö university, we have done some research and we interviewed professionals working with battered women and their children in Malmö city. While doing the interview, it had captured my

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interest in researching domestic violence but focusing only to women as the victim. As I was reading some articles and previous research, my interest was then shifted to men’s violent behavior. As I mentioned above violence towards women generally acts as an acute women's problem but the violence itself is also a men’s problem. Therefore, it is best solution to include violent men in the treatment and interventions. I then realized that it is very interesting to study domestic violence focusing only to men’s violence according to professionals.

4.5 Interviewees and Ethical principles

The managers did not know who among the professionals who participated and answered my questions in this study, but they only knew that I would be

interviewing some of theirs staffs. According to Bryman (2008) the information gathered can be influence by the interviewees feelings of safeness. In order for them to talk about their perspective without thinking too much about how and what they say, it is better that they remain anonymous. According to Bryman, the four main requirements in Swedish research require the information requirement, the consent requirement, the confidentiality requirement and the utility

requirement. The information requirement according to Bryman means that the interviewees find out the purpose of the survey and their participation is

voluntary, and they are entitled to jump off, if they wish (Bryman, 2008) In order to apply the information requirement, which Bryman (2008) highlights, an information letter was sent to the relevant managers as well as to all my

informants where it was stated about the overall purpose of the study, and they have the right to cancel the interview anytime they feel. Furthermore, the people were informed of their anonymity and how the interview was to be conducted and how long it was planned to take. And before I begin the interview I have shown and informed about the contents of the information letter for the assurance that they understood the meaning of the letter. Bryman (2008) believes that the consent requirement implies that interviewees give their consent to participate in the interview (ibid). Before each interview, the interviewees were informed once more of the above-mentioned information letter orally that all information and material that will come out during the study, will only be used for this purpose and that the study will be published after examination. Bryman emphasized that the confidentiality requirement means that the researcher can ensure that the details of all the interviewees included in the survey are treated with the highest level of confidentiality (ibid). This means that the informants are anonymous, and their personal information must be kept in such a way that unauthorized persons cannot access them. It could be ensured as far as possible that people will not have problems through their participation in the study. All informants were informed that they will be anonymous and nothing they say will be deduced to who has said what. Furthermore, the persons were informed that the recorded material will be deleted immediately after the study. The utility requirement according to Bryman is that the interviewees know who is accessing the data collected and may only be used for the research purpose (ibid).

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5. Theory

5.2 Characteristics of violent men

5.2.1 Individual Psychological perspective

Ekselius (1983) describes in individual psychological perspective that the man is a weak individual who feels threatened and misunderstood by his surroundings and that these perceptions can cause violence (Ekselius, 1983). The individual

psychological perspective analyzes men who use violence against women based on the person's personality and relationship to others (Ibid). According to Cullberg (2001), describe that mental illness, alcohol, poor self-esteem and personality disorders as underlying factors as to why some men use violence against women. Ekselius (1983) points out that the man who is in trouble is a weak person who feels threatened and misunderstood by his surroundings. Ekselsius therefore added that men lose weight when they fail to cope with their feelings and impulses. Therefore, violence is based on feelings of insufficiency, powerlessness and despair. Thus, the woman can avoid violence if she does not undermine the man and does not threaten his male pride (Ibid). Violence can therefore be a tool when the woman is revolting and opposing the man. Rosenberg et. al. (1989) who wrote, self-esteem and adolescent problem, suggested that low- self-esteem weakens ties to society, as it decrease conformity to social norms and increase aggression and delinquency during childhood. While the lack of positive self- regard is link to psychological problems, including aggression (Rosenberg et. al, 1989). Aggression and anti -social behavior are motivated by feeling of

inferiority rooted in early childhood experiences of love and support, rejection and humiliation. Therefore, individuals protect themselves against feelings of inferiority and shame by externalizing blame for their failures, which then leads to anger towards other people (Ibid).

5.2.2 Gender perspective and control

According to Joan McClennen (2010), many batterers desire powers and control over their victims, which is exhibit in a variety of ways including physically, psychologically, financially and sexually. MaClennen describe that the power and control will is a snapshot of the numerous strategies that the perpetrators use to control their victims, such as intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, denial of abuse while blaming the victim and economic abuse. McClennen refers to feminist theory and describe how men are accultured into roles of power and women are urged to adopt social roles of passivity (ibid). Sociological and feminist theory emphasizes patriarchy as a direct cause of men's violence against the women. Heimer and Sandberg argue that the patriarchy represents men's supremacy in society (Heimer 2008). They explain that the violence can be explained by structural level, which means that one sees power structures in society that assign men a superior and the woman is a subordinate position. They argue that social structures create the possibility of men's violence against women (ibid).

According to Holmberg and Enander (2004), relations of power between men and women are constantly being recreated through sampling with socio-cultural structures, norms and performances. Based on the power perspective, men's violence against women is seen as an act that maintains and balances the male power and the female subordination. Men's power over women and their bodies has historically been self-evident and also their right to practice violence against

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women. The women were considered long as the husband's property, including in the previously used landscape laws (Holmberg and Enander, 2004). The violence that women face is seen as the consequences of the sex regime that prevails. Based on this understanding, the view of violence has a relation to the view of gender equality, and it is necessary to look into what creates and rebuilds the violence and its gender-specific structure (Ibid). Isdal (2001) even sees violence as a gender problem in the sense that men are responsible for the largest

proportion of violence. Violence is used to maintain or create power differences, which can be linked with the hypothesis that violence is a gender power issue. Isdal (2001) emphasizes this exercise of power as the core of violence and that the purpose of violence is to influence other people (Isdal 2001). Johansson describe in her book there are two different types of power, power to which means positive / productive and power over which is negative / repressive and more often men uses repressive power over their women. Joanne Belknap refers to Goolkassian, who claims that there are two reasons why women battering continues to exist. Firstly “violence is a highly effective means of control. Thus, men batter in order to gain and maintain control over women. Secondly, men batter because they can it or no one has told the batterer that they must stop. Belknap points that, although the victim and their children may make attempt to communicate to the batterer that his behavior is unacceptable, the batterer often then gets messages from many others that he is the king of his castle and that he can do anything to his woman, whatever manner he pleases. Belknap stresses the importance of viewing the family as a power system, where power is unequally distributed. Belknap points out that such characteristics as being male, being older and having control over property, money etc. serves to enhance the power of the husband or partner in the family system and fight without the family members are viewed as socially acceptable (Belknap, 2001).

5.2.3 Social learning theory

Walker (1979) uses the social learning theory called learned helplessness to explain the battered woman’s behavior. She basis this on Albert Banduras studies of animal where all options of escape are close off. The animals in these test experience uncontrollable pain or harm on a random unpredictable basis. Walker explains that learned helplessness is characterized by persons or animal who have learned through repeated failure that they cannot control their destiny. Because they have no control over their environments then there is no point on trying to get out or escape from their fate. Therefore, even when faces with what outsiders may view as viable escapes, the person or animal with learned helplessness cannot identify these alternatives as escapes. Walker claims that this learned helplessness may occur early or later in life. For instance, it may be a result of men and women growing in a violent family and viewing battering as a coping strategy for gamily conflict.

On the other hand, Men’s violence against woman can also be describe as Albert Banduras 1977, Social learning theory, which describes that people learn from each other by observing and imitating. Violence is an example where the man learns to practice different types of violence against the woman by learning this and by observing others. One example of this is when children grow up in a family where the father exercises violence against the mother and through this the child learns that it is acceptable to handle emotions and grievances by using violence. This can lead to the development of a misdemeanor against the woman

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and the development of complex feelings about guilt, aggression and fear. Kåver (2006) believe that inner behaviors and cognitive can be explained by learning theory and explain that feelings and thoughts are not visible and therefore they have to be described to make them visible. People behave in a certain manner because it relieves pressure and is functional for them. Mona Eliasson (2000) also believe on the thesis about social learning of violent behavior, and the home is like the most important training venue for the habit of using violence. Eliasson talks about transmission between the generations of violence, in which a violence cycle is repeated in every new generation. She believes that there is a general connection between the occurrence of different types of violence in a family. This means that in homes where the parents hit the children can increase the risk of more violence between the children. Eliasson stresses that in the survey conducted to violent men, there are about 71% of abusive men observed violence between their parents and 49% percent have been abused as children. Eliasson describe that the more physical punishment a person has been exposed to as a teenager, the more common that he attacks his wife or partner as an adult. Violent men often have their behavior from a model in childhood families, an example that is sanctioned by social norms of male dominance over women, detrimental to the family (Elliasson, 2000).

5.3 Motivation to change

5.3.1 Transtheoretical model

McClenen (2010) explains that, violent men’s motivation to change is very important in order for the social worker to help the batterer overcome their violent behavior. Violent men’s motivation is highly related to their success in discontinuing their violent behavior because many men are highly resistant and lack the motivation necessary to change their behaviors. McClennen describe the transtheoritical model which theorizes that there are five stages of change, the pre-contemplation stage, the contemplation stage, the preparation stage, the action and the maintenance stage (McClennen, 2010). During the pre-contemplation stage, the violent man does not believe their violence is a problem. McClenen explains that during that stage the batterer blame other people for their violent behaviors. The contemplation stage is the period in which the perpetrators first consider the pros and cons of changing. The preparation stage, marks as the increase commitment to change which the leads to action stage. McClennen describe that at this point, the batterer is finally ready to accept assistance and take action to change their behavior. The movement from one stage to the next can be approached using numerous techniques depending upon the organization and the social worker (ibid).

6. Result and analysis

6.1 The interview studies

Below is a summary of the interview material the answers I have received in my interview study. I will name my interviewees as Sara, Martha, Pia and Ana. The questions in this paper are as follows:

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• How does the municipality and crisis center work to counteract violence against women in close relationships?

• How does some men end up having violent behavior and how crisis center work on the effectiveness of approach and treatment to violent men?

6.2 Understanding violent men

As what I mentioned above, according to Isdal (2011), violence can be describe as all sorts of actions such as worrying, scaring, hurting and wounding and making this individual do something against his wish or refrain from doing anything the individual wants.

6.2.1 Violence and self-esteem

Cullberg mention that mental illness, alcoholism, poor self-esteem and personality disorders, as underlying factors as to why some men use violence against women (Cullberg, 1993). My informants express that most violent men have been exposed to direct violence in their childhood wherein they saw their father exposing their mother to abuse or that they have been exposed in other ways in childhood. This experience contributes to fear, substance abuse and lowered self-esteem.

“There are many reasons why men behave violently to their woman, but one of the main reason, I think, is that men who exercise domestic violence have themselves been exposed to it during their childhood” (Sara).

“Trauma is often one of the reason, if they experience biting or verbal abuse in their childhood then they’ll end up developing aggressive behavior. Trauma can psychologically affect them negatively” (Martha).

As I mention in previous research there is a strong link between men who uses violence and their low self-esteem. As Murphy points out that violent men are taught to compensate for their lack of self-esteem by claiming supremacy and dominance over the partner through control and violence (Murphy, 2005). My informants describe that many factors in childhood affect our development and how we live our adult lives.

“Childhood fatigue can also cause us to develop addiction problems, violence or mental illness” (Ana).

They emphasize that, many men who have problem with violence and aggressive behavior are also drawn with substance abuse problems and are mentally ill. My informant also describe that many violent men feels insufficient in different ways, and that they have never used to talk about feelings and relationships earlier. Murphy (2005) describe that, an unstable self-esteem creates hostility and anger. Therefore, violent compensate for their lack of self-esteem by claiming supremacy and dominance over the partner through control and violence (Murphy, 2005).

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“Most of the time violent men often hide their real feeling through aggressive behavior” (Martha).

“Violent men often hide and find comfort with alcohol abuse and it also help to trigger more of their violent behavior” (Pia).

My informants believe that the characteristics and behaviors that arise in violent men are also conflicts of their emotions, wherein they feel insufficient and always afraid of the possibilities of being betrayed, abandoned and not understood. My informant emphasizes the feelings of men, especially men's fear of emotion. As Ekselius claims in individual psychological theory that violent man is a weak individual who uses claim power (Ekselius, 1983).

“Generally, men with very poor self-esteem doesn’t know how to take care their emotions and uses violence as an avoidance. On the other hand, men with good self- esteem knows how to handle their emotions and use other alternatives to show their emotions” (Ana).

“There’s always, these hidden factors when it comes to violent men. Such as what they experience during childhood, bad upbringing and early exposure to violence” (Martha).

“Lack of good parental model is one of the reason. But then, you can’t compare it, because there are also men who grew up ok, even they experience or observe violence during their childhood” (Sara).

My informants also describe that acts of violence often are link to theirs fears, such as fear of being abandoned, fear losing control over their feelings and fear of appearing weak. Their aggression and anti -social behavior are motivated by feeling of inferiority rooted in early childhood experiences of love and support, rejection and humiliation (Rosenberg, 1989). Ragg describe that men who abuse their partners often show trends in controlling others to reduce their own feelings of insecurity (Ragg, 1999).

“They often use violence because they have experience the feeling of being denied, afraid, unloved etc., different emotions! and jealousy as well” (Pia). My informants suggested that when violent men experience fear, they trigger the escape or attack impulses, then they get anxiety over it. At the end they handle that anxiety with their aggressive behavior. Because of lack of esteem, violent men often feel anxiety and fear (Ekselius, 1983). Low- self-esteem increases aggression in order to hide their feeling of fear and true emotion. This lack of positive self- regard according to Rosenberg (1989) can be link to psychological problems, including aggression. Therefore, violent individuals protect themselves against feelings of inferiority and shame by externalizing blame to others for their failures, which then leads to anger and aggressiveness towards other people.

“Violence is kind of, their defense mechanism as it hides their fear and helplessness” (Ana).

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Per Eliasson (2000) mention that violent men are very different. The common denominator is that they were violent. According to those I've been acquainted with in my interview, men who beat their women knows that, what they are doing is wrong, and their biggest problem is that eventually they will feel guilty of what they are doing, but then they are still violent even though they know they are wrong. According to my informants, one can look at domestic violence as a social struggle where men often show their superiority towards women, through violence. We can relate this to feminist perspective and gender perspective. As I mention in my theory, men's violence against women is interpreted as an expression of existing structures that allow men's violence to be exercised. Feminist theory and gender perspective even describe how men are accustomed into roles of power and women are urged to adopt social roles of passivity (MacClennen, 2010)

“Violence can be understood as an uneven power distribution, that affects women and children” (Sara).

“Even if they are aware of or tested, better alternatives, they sometimes choose the violence as a solution, as an easy solution. Where they can easily dominate women” (Pia).

“I think it is very important for both partners, both men and women, to learn about the importance of gender equality. We still leave in an age where men are superior, and women are inferior. Power vs powerless!” (Ana)

In my interview, it emphasizes that men's violence against women is linked to the fact that men have a dominant behavior especially if the man’s partner or wife has different background as well as financially unstable. As I mention above men use violence in order to gain and maintain control over women. Secondly, men batter because they can, or no one has tried to stop them. Lundgren (2004) even point out that when physical violence occurs, the woman is more affected by mental violence, as she can, to some extent, bear responsibility for the event. By this means that she may feel guilty of the incident and also see herself as the cause of the outbreak of the man (Lundgren, 2004). Heimer even describes that man’s perceived violence as a tool to gain control of the woman. This strengthens his power over her and his manhood. For women, it is about adaptation and a desire to strengthen her femininity according to the wishes of the man (Heimer, 2008).

“When the victim of violence never seeks help then the violence will not stop, then the violence then becomes a norm as the victim becomes passive” (Ana). “Violence in close relation is very hard to detect. Very often the victim doesn’t want to seek help unless it very, very serious. Until it’s too late where men use physical violence more than a couple of time” (Martha).

Men's violence towards women can thus be seen as a way of maintaining the male order and the female subordination. Eliasson (2000) describe that men's violence is often described as an expression of male power exertion directed to women.

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“Power dominance is very common to violent men, but it is easier for them do show restriction and domination to their partner with different background” (Sara).

“They often think that they just lost their control because their wife or partner provoke them. Therefore, they often justify violence as a way to reprimand their woman. “they deserve it” kind of thinking” (Pia).

“More on about men’s ego. If it challenged, then the best thing they can do is attack to show their masculinity” (Ana).

Without a doubt, violence is an attempt to create a sense of power and control, which Elliasson (2000) call as “strength demonstration”. McClennen (2010) even describe these strength demonstrations as violent men’s desire of power and control over their victims. These can be exhibit in a variety of ways including physically, psychologically, financially and sexually (McClennen, 2010). My informant describes that the power and control often use by the perpetrators to control their victims, such as intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, denial of abuse, economic, and physical abuse etc.

“Most of the time, men often start with verbal abuse, then eventually it grows more and more that leads to shouting, swearing and pushing at the end they will use physical abuse like throwing things or hitting then after they will be nice again as if it never happens, which then leads to cycle of abuse. Where the woman always ends up forgiving the man” (Sara).

“Jealousy, isolation is maybe one of the reason of power control. Isolating their partner from friend and families, is the best option and strategy. It is then easier for the men to use violence to control their women” (Martha).

“Without their husband’s approval they are not allowed to go out, meet some friend or even relatives. This leads to woman’s isolation of social life” (Sara). As what my informants mention that violence comes in many forms and it often occur inside the walls of home where man can direct physical and mentally assault their woman to take control. What can complicate further is that the women often think that the relationship is built with hope and love (socialstyrelsen, 2010). Lundgren explains that the shift between violence and care contributes to the fact that the woman develops an emotional bond to the man, which in turn causes the violence to be perceived as a normal element of everyday life. This in turn leads to, the violence being accepted and defended, the woman then, will have a very hard time living her abusive partner which lead to the repeated cycle of violence (Burgess, 2010). The abusive man often tries to assure the victim that the battering incident will not be repeated and will show care and love for an extended period of time but invariably it fades as the tensions escalate and the new cycle of violence begins. As Walker describe that these women (victim) do not see themselves as a victim (ibid).

“Victims often doesn’t realize that verbal abuse, financial control is an act of violence” (Sara).

References

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