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Domestic Violence (From Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice/Social Service, Third Edition, P 77-118, 2002, Bryan D. Byers and James E. Hendricks, eds. -- See NCJ-195761)

NCJ Number
James E. Mickish
Date Published
42 pages
In this chapter, the current knowledge about domestic violence is presented to assist interveners or responders in thinking about and understanding domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a power based control mechanism that is founded on and perpetuated by societal permission and conditioning and has been a part of the American cultural landscape and many marital relationships for 100 years. Both perpetrators and survivors/victims come from every socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and mental health category. The emergency and crisis intervention responders typically called to a domestic violence situation are the police, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and an increased number of victim/witness assistants. It is necessary for these responders or interveners to understand situations involving domestic violence and who is involved. This chapter begins by presenting the nature and extent of domestic violence in the United States followed by the criminal justice system’s involvement. It continues with a theoretical overview and considerations such as definitions and terminology-domestic violence, intermittent reinforcement, learned helplessness, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Stockholm Syndrome, and coercion. Contributing factors that create and perpetuate domestic violence include: (1) sex/gender role socialization; (2) learned aggression; (3) geography, mobility, family, and community resulting in isolation; and (4) drug abuse. There is no “typical” batterer, victim, or survivor. In order to understand batterers within the context of how their behavior impacts their victim/survivor/family, perpetrator characteristics and the dynamics of why he batters needs to be understood. It is also necessary to understand the characteristics and dynamics of victims and survivors. The chapter concludes with the focus placed on the adult survivor and perpetrator who are on the scene, and the crisis intervention process that must occur and include assessment, information gathering, control-direction, and referral-disposition. In summation, there are many identifiable similarities in perpetrators, survivors/victims, and patterns of abuse. Questions, simulated exercises, and references


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