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A Glimpse into Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence - page 2 / 5





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2] Having housing problems. Living in either a structurally unsound, inadequate or overcrowded property.

3] Being young. Specifically being young with poor academic performance, low income and little social capital. In other words being towards the bottom of the social pile

THE MINDSET OF THE PERPETRATOR- The biggest popular misconception is that the abuser must be “Crazy or out of control

1] Perpetrators are very much “In control” having manipulated and ensnared their partners through the cycle of violence, aggressive outbursts, apologies and promises, tension build up and further explosions.

2] It is the exception rather than the rule for the perpetrator to have a mental illness so severe that it impairs their judgment or drives their abusive behaviour. Perpetrators however have been divided into two groups on personality/behavioural traits.

a) The Borderline/Emotionally Dependent. Described as having high levels of jealousy, anger and dependency. They have low self esteem, engaging in stormy and intense relationships

b) The Antisocial/Narcissistic type. Described as having a hostile attitude to women in general, low empathy and higher levels of alcohol misuse and criminal histories.

3] When a partner leaves the abuser the cycle of violence is broken. This loss of control precipitates a flood of emotion in the perpetrator, and a subsequent escalation in severity of abusive behaviour in an attempt to regain power. The survivor should always be made aware of the dangerousness of this period

RED FLAG BEHAVIOURS- These are strong indicators of increased desperation in the perpetrator and predict an escalation in severity or lethality of assaultative behaviour

1] Stalking behaviours. The most significant red flag behaviour. These are repetitive intrusive actions which the recipient finds unwelcome and threatening. 90% of women in the U.S.A. who were subsequently murdered by their ex partners reported being stalked prior to the final lethal assault. Stalking involves bombarding with letters, emails, gifts, following the victim, menacing or assaulting, threatening family and associates, damaging property, harming pets.

2] Obsession with the partner. Talks and thinks about nothing but partner. Refuses to accept that the relationship is over. States “No one else will ever have you”

3] Perpetrator is depressed and socially isolated.

4] Perpetrator has fantasies about or made threats of homicide or suicide. They may be planning deaths of themselves and partner in either a homicide/ subsequent suicide or together in an “extended suicide”

5] Prior Intimate Partner Violence record (not necessarily with present partner) increasing frequency or severity of assaults and/or homicidal threats

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