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4/27/2016 1 Spousal Violence Violence from one spouse to the other that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm Before 1970, spousal violence was considered an acceptable form of discipline After 1970, spousal violence was legally defined as assault under the Criminal Code and individuals began being charged Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour The intergenerational cycle of violence supports the idea that violence is learned. Individuals who experienced violence or abuse as a child, or who observed abuse of their mothers, are more likely to become victims or perpetrators of violence in their intimate relationships Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour cont’d Parents are role models for their children and by observing them, similar behaviour will be imitated Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour cont’d If violence is learned behaviour, the cycle of violence can be unlearned Solutions include counselling for both victims and perpetrators Counselling will teach anger management, communication, and conflict-resolution skills The Cycle of Violence A repetitive cycle of three stages that describes spousal violence (1) Tension building phase (2) Abusive incident (3) State of calm & penance after the incident The Cycle of Violence: Phases (1) Tension building phase The victim attempts to maintain equilibrium by carefully complying with their partner’s demands. As tension builds with stress or conflict, the victim justifies minor violent outbursts and often accepts responsibility for them.

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Page 1: Spousal Violence as Learned Spousal Violence …mrjblank.weebly.com/uploads/6/0/3/0/60304133/chapter8...Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour The intergenerational cycle of violence

4/27/2016

1

Spousal Violence

• Violence from one spouse to the other that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm

• Before 1970, spousal violence was considered an acceptable form of discipline

• After 1970, spousal violence was legally defined as assault under the Criminal Code and individuals began being charged

Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour

The intergenerational cycle of

violence supports the idea that violence is learned.

• Individuals who experienced violence or abuse as a child, or who observed

abuse of their mothers, are more likely to

become victims or perpetrators of violence in their intimate relationships

Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour cont’d

• Parents are role models for their

children and by observing them, similar behaviour will be imitated

Spousal Violence as Learned Behaviour cont’d

• If violence is learned behaviour, the

cycle of violence can be unlearned

• Solutions include counselling for both victims and perpetrators

• Counselling will teach anger management, communication, and

conflict-resolution skills

The Cycle of Violence

A repetitive cycle of three stages that

describes spousal violence

(1) Tension building phase

(2) Abusive incident

(3) State of calm & penance after the

incident

The Cycle of Violence: Phases

(1) Tension building phase

The victim attempts to maintain

equilibrium by carefully complying with their partner’s demands. As tension

builds with stress or conflict, the victim

justifies minor violent outbursts and often accepts responsibility for them.

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2

The Cycle of Violence: Phases

(2) Abusive IncidentOne or more serious assaults occur, triggered by an event that is usually unpredictable. The victim might seek help, but is more likely to conceal the fact that they were assaulted. The cycle is repeated and the victim responds with anger that their partner has broken a promise or responds with relief that the incident isn’t as bad as they thought it would be.

The Cycle of Violence: Phases

(3) Calm & Penance

The perpetrator becomes remorseful and

apologetic and attempts to make up for the violence by affectionate or romantic

acts, and promises to never do it again.

The victim tends to withdraw their threat to leave.

Types of Spousal Violence

(1) Physical

(2) Sexual

(3) Emotional

(4) Verbal

(5) Economic

How many types of spousal violence exist?

Types of Spousal Violence

(1) Physical:

Abuse involving contact intended to

cause pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.

EX: hitting, slapping, punching, choking, pushing, stabbing

Types of Spousal Violence

(2) Sexual:

Forcing or threatening a victim to

participate in unwanted sexual activity.

EX: Forcing a person to engage in sex,

against their will, in an act of aggression and/or violence (rape)

Types of Spousal Violence

(3) Emotional:

Also called psychological abuse or mental abuse, can include humiliating the victim privately or publicly, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished, isolating the victim from friends and family, and blackmailing the victim. One of the first steps taken by an abuser to control their victim prior to using physical violence.

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Types of Spousal Violence

(4) Verbal:

A form of emotionally abusive behaviour

involving the use of profanity in an aggressive manner.

EX: name-calling, blaming, ridicule, disrespect, and criticism

Types of Spousal Violence

(5) Economic:

A form of abuse when one partner has control over the other partner's access to economic resources. Often happens in the beginning of a relationship.

EX: preventing a spouse from resource acquisition, limiting the amount of resources to use by the victim, or by exploiting economic resources of the victim.

Activity: Research the InternetActivity: Research the Internet

� List the warning signs of a violent

relationship.

� List different ways to help someone who may be in a violent relationship.

� List resources in our community that help victims and perpetrators of

spousal violence.