Many injuries and deaths are caused by aggression. It is therefore important to continue to conduct research on this topic. So,understanding how violence is achieved in a relationship – and in other areas – involves knowing how to build the personality of an abuserand what can be his experience in this relationship.
The data reveals that being an object or witness of violence does not automatically mean that this witness will be violent in the future.However, studies still tell us that a large proportion of abusers do have a history of family violence (54%), which justifies a psychological intervention.
The personality of an abuser begins in childhood and during adolescence
Attachment refers to the way we relate to the world and more particularly to affective figures. From an early age, and facing any threat, our attachment system is activated.In other words, in the face of fear, we look for that sense of security offered by the company of our reference figures.
Moreover, if, faced with the threat,the body maintains active activation for a long time, it is likely that this energy will eventually turn into aggression.Here, the function of violence is to draw the attention of the reference figure to help us.
It seems likeborderline and antisocial offenders have an insecure attachmentwhich characterizes their way of bonding, especially with their affective figures. When this type of insecure attachment is combined with exposure to violence and humiliation, a personality disorder develops with violent behavior.
According to Dutton (2003, 2007), the result of this conglomerate is a "diffuse identity".In these cases, violence and emotional distancing re-feeds into a vicious circle that destroys the relationship.
What are the antecedents of the aggressors?
As we know it,the experiences with our figures of reference are determining at the level of our personality.According to Dutton (2003), there are different antecedents to the family experiences of the perpetrators and the psychological and psychic sequelae that result:
- Rejection and humiliation:low self-esteem, anger / rage, guilt, lack of emotional regulation … These people tend to be violent and emotionally abusive.
- Insecure attachment:a lot of jealousy and desire to control everything. Rabies becomes more intimate.
- Victim and / or witness of physical abuse:these people remember patterns of violence. They do not have positive strategies to solve problems, they have little empathy for victims of violence … They tend to abuse others.
- Rejection, humiliation, insecure attachment:violence is concentrated in intimate relationships.
- Rejection, humiliation, insecure attachment, victim and / or witness of physical abuse:the integrity of the person's ego depends on the relationship. She seeks to control, mistreat and pursue others.
The perpetrator's fear of being abandoned leads him to a need to control and harm.When the aggressor exhibits aggressive behavior in addition to attention behaviors, the latter reinforce his or her approach to the victim. This leads to a type of relationship known as the "traumatic link" or "Stockholm syndrome" (Graham et al., 2001, Loue, 2002).
The role of values in violence
The young person with an insecure attachment develops a system of values that justifies his vision of the worldand his relationships. These values are transmitted through socialization, whether at the level of the family, a group of friends, the school, movies … Values are not only in the micro-culture, they are also present in the general culture. The main values related to gender violence would be:
- Superiority of the man:the myth of Superman, the man as a model, the tolerance in relation to the promiscuity of the man and the control of the couple, the right to demand the domestic services of the woman, etc.
- Ways to understand violence:bad mood causes violence, men are jealous by nature, breaking things is not a sign of aggression, there are sometimes no other alternatives, man can not change the relationship if his wife does not change, etc.
- Conception of the woman:women are manipulative, they see men as sources of money, feminists hate men, like to be dominated, as violent as men, etc.
6 explanations given by the attackers for using domestic violence
According to Holma et al.(2006), the perpetrators rely on six recurring justifications to explain their violence. Here they are:
- Violence is natural
- Violence is related to some deficiencies of the abuser to handle difficult situations
- The feeling of being cornered.
- The feeling of being annoyed by his spouse
- A temporary loss of control
- A justification based on a traumatic past, an accumulation of stress, etc.
It is important to understand that this is not about winning a battle against the aggressor. It's about respecting oneself. Any type of violence is painful and affects our self-esteem.Much of the work with victims of violence is therefore accumulating evidence and experiencesthat strengthen the recovery of confidence and self-esteem. The victim must eventually achieve that sense of freedom that gives the feeling of control.