A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Lundy Bancroft says the Right Outlook is Outrage

Lundy Bancroft is considered one of the world’s experts on domestic abuse. This post is a transcript of his video presentation “Domestic Violence in Popular Culture” Part 2. It has been transcribed and published with Lundy’s permission. If you click on the link it will take you to YouTube where you can watch Lundy giving this presentation. The transcript is below.

Lundy’s blog is Healing and Hope and his main website is lundybancroft.com. We keep Lundy’s blog in our BlogRoll, which is in our sidebar.

May 2017 UPDATE***IMPORTANT NOTE:  While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns. 

Domestic Violence in Popular Culture  (Part 2) by Lundy Bancroft

Is this a male on female crime?

The answer is yes; it is overwhelmingly a male on female crime. Certainly there are lesbian batterers who are abusing their female partners; there are gay male batterers who are abusing their male partners. But the people who are dying are not men who are being abused by women. I certainly know couples where the man is the nice guy and the woman is the not-nice person. It has nothing to do with who is nice people or who’s not nice people. It’s not that image of the world where somehow men are bad and women are good. But it’s about tyranny and it’s about fear and intimidation and it’s about the belief that you have the right to create fear and intimidation, and that you can count on other people to back you up.

And when you really look at all those factors, how many women are going to be able to create that electrified, charged atmosphere of intimidation and degradation over a man, and get that electrified, charged atmosphere of intimidation and degradation that makes domestic violence what it is?

I think it’s very important to say this always in the modern world because the abusers have been able to create all this [hand gesture suggesting “misinformation”] … people are apologetic now about referring to this as a male on female crime. And we need to stop apologising for that. That’s overwhelmingly what it is: you’ve got to call things what they are. It’s very important as we look at some of this media where you get some specific messages suggesting that it’s a roughly equal crime, a roughly equal problem.

You know, all we have to do is go through our own common sense and our own experience. Ask women that you know. “How many of you have ever been involved with a guy that you ended up really really scared of?” And you’re going to find actually that almost every woman has at least one experience of that somewhere in her life. And you’re going to find very few men that have any experience of having lived with someone that they were really really scared of. They may have lived with some people that none of us would like very much, but that’s really different from living with someone who you have to spend a lot of your time wondering what the hell they’re going to do, and go to sleep wondering whether he might kill you, and wondering whether your kids are going to be okay, and so forth.

I want us to look very carefully and directly at certain questions and work our way through conclusion and work our way through declaring…

And I also want to say I don’t believe in a dispassionate, academic way of thinking about domestic violence. And I’ve done some academic writing and I believe in that when it’s the right place for it. The right outlook is outrage – about what’s being done to women.

Now, I can get away with outrage about what’s being done to women, because I’m a man! Women, unfortunately, get slammed for being outraged about male violence

And I’m specialising a lot these days in the custody of women, where women are supposed to come into court after being beaten, raped, demeaned, degraded, impoverished and all that this man has done to the quality of their life, and they’re not supposed to be mad about it! And in fact if they are mad about it, that’s going to be to the court to raise very serious questions about whether they are an appropriate custodial parents for their children.

So I am going to continue, and I hope that everyone will join me in continuing to speak with outrage, and in supporting people’s rights to be outraged and specifically also in supporting women’s right to be outraged about want abusers are doing to women, and what they’re doing to the quality of life for all of us.

And in one of my presentations I go through what abusers are costing us in terms of injury to women, what they’re costing us in injury to children, what they’re costing us in mental health damage and mental health expenses, what they’re costing us in health care and how that’s adding to our health care bills, how much of our community law enforcement costs that abusers are the cause of because abusers are the root of, according to various studies, close to 30% of all police calls. So consider abusers as responsible for 30% of law enforcement, prosecution, jail and everything. And on and on and on. I have a whole rap about it.

So our outrage should go beyond what specific abusers are doing to specific women and to specific children. It should also be about how we’re doing economically in our communities, how safe we can feel in our communities, how much we can trust each other, how our court system works, how many lies are around (they work very very hard to spread lies) – they’re at the root at a lot of the problems that we have.

Before we start looking at media influences, I want to talk a little bit about the abuser mentality, because you can see so much in what we see and listen when we go through the examples from media about the abuser mentality.

We have an image in our society of an abuser as someone who is a tortured, out of control individual who is tormented and his violence towards women is a product of his pain. And then that of course, that view, I shouldn’t say of course, that view lends itself very easily, though we don’t notice it and that’s what I shouldn’t say of course, but it actually lends itself very easily then to starting to look for the ways that the woman is to blame because if she’s doing this because of how much pain he’s in, well she’s probably one of the main people causing him pain, right? Anyone who’s ever been in a partner relationship, at some point in their life, can tell you that once you’re in a partner relationship, one of the people who can cause you the most pain is your partner. So if his pain is the problem, then naturally we’re going to start looking at her and looking at the pain that she is causing him so we have slipped right down the slope into the victim blaming as soon as we start to get caught up in his pain as a supposed cause of his problems.

What I’ve discovered from my years of working with abusers is that my clients didn’t turn out to be in any special pain They certainly didn’t look to me like they were in any more pain than non-abusive men. I’ve certainly known plenty of non-abusive men who have lived very painful lives for all kinds of reasons and I’ve had a lot of clients who were absolutely top-dog, I mean everything was going great for them, they were making lots of money, they were popular, everyone liked them, except us and the women who had to live with them of course, and often their children.

The abuser works this stuff, to some extent consciously, to some extent unconsciously, but it doesn’t really matter, in fact whether it is conscious or unconscious, the point is he works this stuff. He works getting people to feel sorry for him, he works playing himself as a very tormented individual, and once he has he has got you in there, he works quickly into getting you to think about her as the cause of his torment. And we’ll see that again in one of the snippets, in one of the media selections we’ll be looking at today.

So if it’s not about his inner pain, what’s it about?

It’s about his mentality.

The abuser’s problem is actually not very much located in his feeling world. Psychologically, there’s been some really interesting research that’s been done particularly by a researcher named Ed Gondolf – psychologically he turns out not to be very different from non-abusers, minor differences but not very much, he’s much more different in his values and attitudes, his mentality.

A very interesting study was done that looked at boys of batterers and their process of growing up to become abusers themselves, because a lot of them grow up to become abusers of women themselves, and two different studies, well actually there’s a third, that have compared: Is it the way these boys are wounded growing up that’s leading them to become batterers, or is the way that they’re being indoctrinated?

And all three of these studies came to the conclusion that the emotional effects didn’t turn out to be statistically to be good explanations of why they became perpetrators. The emotional effects caused all kinds of other problems, it’s not that they didn’t cause serious problems, they did, but they didn’t cause out to be what causes perpetration in the next generation, when they reach adulthood, it’s the indoctrination. In other words, what all three of these studies have found is that boys who don’t buy into the abuser’s ways of thinking, who don’t look down on women, who don’t become really oriented towards domination, who aren’t contemptuous, who aren’t superior, who don’t make all kinds of excuses for their violence, actually interestingly, don’t turn out to have any higher rate of becoming an abuser than boys who grew up in non-violent homes.

In other words, you growing up around a batterer does not increase your chance of becoming a batterer yourself except to the extent that you take on your dad’s mentality.

So the problem is in his mind, not his heart.

And I’m going to give you a four minute version of what’s normally a two hour discussion but the key points in his mentality are:

He believes in his right to rule, not necessarily in all fronts of his life but when it comes to a partner, he believes in his right to rule. He’s going to control her in all kinds of ways that usually don’t involve violence and this is one of the points that I think is important to get, you don’t have to use direct physical intimidation a lot. If you use it once in a while, that’s enough to keep people really cautious around you and then you can control them in all kinds of other ways. So day to day life with an abuser is not usually about outright violence or outright rape, it’s usually about being demeaning, being degraded, being told what you can do, being told what you can’t do, having your self-confidence undermined, being made to feel stupid and so forth.

A huge percentage of my clients, and I didn’t keep statistics of this but the stories were just there over and over and over again during the years I was working with abusers, they were using the woman’s workplace in one way or another as part of the venue for his abuse.

I learned about this from the women but sometimes my clients would directly admit it, constant phone calls, calling her five, ten fifteen times a day at work, making it very hard for her to get any work done and also making her start to have a lot of annoyance and upset of the part of her employer because their irritation at all of these phone calls is going towards her. Showing up unexpectedly at work to make her feel unsafe, injuring her in ways that were causing her to miss work. Causing her so much emotional turmoil through tearing her down that she couldn’t concentrate at work, couldn’t get much done. Becoming particularly difficult if she were starting to do well at work, in other words, he liked it when she was bringing in money, but he doesn’t like it if her works starts to be a source of a lot of pride, or it starts to look like she is going to really advance, or it might help her to become independent, cause that could mean independent of him, so he gets particularly disruptive in a way, the better she’s doing, the more it’s really starting to go somewhere. And I could give you lots of other examples. The workplace is so often an important aspect of how he’s going after her and how he’s affecting her.

The abuser really sees himself as superior to his partner and he believes he is entitled to a relationship that works completely on his terms and that he’s entitled to all kinds of double standards. There’s a completely different set of rules [for him as compared to her].

end of transcript.

This transcript was originally published at Barbara Roberts’ solo blog notunderbondage.blogspot.com.au  (a blog which she no longer posts on because she is devoting her energies to A Cry For Justice).

14 Comments

  1. Barnabasintraining

    Lundy is awesome.

    • Yep. I think most survivors of domestic abuse who have read his book(s) think of him as one of their heroes, almost to the point of having like a school-girl crush on him. (I’m pretty sure Lundy would smile kindly but with good boundaries, at me saying that. 🙂 )

      • Barnabasintraining

        Hehehe. 🙂

        I don’t have a crush on him, but he’s a hero for sure!

    • Memphis Rayne

      And yes I have been impovershed, along with my children and that does make me outraged and in a sense I am very proud of the fact that I am. That is my God given right to stand up to injustice, and the injustice one individual has put upon my family and children.

      Also I would like to mention the awakening of the word “Batterer” this IS what every single abuser is….they Batter their families into submission to them, in whatever form they use, it is Battery. I do not percieve the words ABUSER or BATTERER as harsh, when attached to what they are, its putting an abuser and/or batterer in the proper perspective….in our minds we tend to reserve these “labels” for the tatooed prison inmate, or some far off evil….its the TRUTH that makes people squirmish, because the reality of the truth regarding the perpetrators of abuse is staggering, in schools, church, homes, and the NUMBER ONE reason it goes un noticed is ABUSERS try to hush, or oppress, or make the people with the guts to stand against them “quiet down to an appropriate mirmer” ABUSERS try to make advocates of the truth look bad, or judgemental or sexist or predjudiced, or not biblical, or biased, but hey? Guess what? Thats what abusers do to their victoms, and they have been using the same tactics since we discovered that potatoes are tastier peeled. Its like pointing a finger at a child who coughed or sneezed in church when YOU have just projectile vomitted and crapped your pants….in other words YOU the abuser say “Do NOT bring up or put focus on my violations” but “”please notice and stroke me when I appear needy, look over here!!! Not at her!!!” Its not enough that he gets the victom under his control, because he cannot do that for the long haul without everybody else supporting his “”Need”” to do so. Even abusing somebody 2/4/7 is exhausting to an abuser, thats why he forms groups of allies, so they can pick up the slack when he is “”tired”” or “emotionally in need of support”

      Im glad Lundy supports my outrage. I am very grateful that God supports my righteous anger. So pretty darn glad for Lundy, I know cloning is not biblical but if I could clone anybody it would be him…..or maybe, Meg, The Jeffs, and of course Barb! Okay OKAY!!! I would clone EVERYBODY here on this blog!!! Happy now? lol

  2. KingsDaughter

    I watched the video and this just about took my breath away,

    “So if his pain is the problem, then naturally we’re going to start looking at her and looking at the pain that she is causing him so we have slipped right down the slope into the victim blaming as soon as we start to get caught up in his pain as a supposed cause of his problems.”!

    I bought into this! For years I have been trying to fix his problem… Well, I can’t fix his problem because its not me, but I have greatly improved myself! Now after years of fixing his problem (me), I’ve become too healthy for HIM! Ha! Poor guy’s gonna have a LOT of catching up to do! LOL!

    No, seriously though, the reason this took my breath away is because I could identify for the very first time WHY and HOW he gets people to turn against me! The fact that so many people who try to help us eventually seem to attack me has been extremely painful! NOW I know why!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!

    Just understanding why really helps! Any tips on getting those people to understand what they’re doing?

  3. MeganC

    This was . . . . I have no words. He is also becoming my hero — and quickly. I wish the entire world would read this!!

  4. We have received an anonymous comment on this post from someone who says they are a caretaker of children in their job. He/she said that they like Lundy Bancroft’s work, but are concerned that the approach that Lundy takes here is discounting or excluding men who are abused by their wives. The commenter asked us to take care not to promote the exclusion of an already overlooked population of victims [i.e. males who suffer domestic abuse] who need our prayers and help. The writer said “though the points in this piece are valid and profound and true they discount a very large population of victims in a very callous and almost sarcastic way.”

    We have decided not to publish the comment but only this precis of it. The reason we are not publishing the comment is that the writer is not telling his/her own personal experience in marriage. And he/she makes broad claims about the relative incidence of abuse (female on male, versus male on female) but without support. If this were a man like Martin, or Friend in Need, or Jeff S, whose wife was abusive and he wrote to day “Here is what it’s like for me” that would be ok. But this commenter is simply saying Bancroft is wrong, and without evidence.

    On this blog, we have tried to maintain a policy that the blog is to be a statistics-free zone. We know that by publishing this material by Lundy we have been slightly more elastic about that policy than we normally are. We published this post because we have such great respect for Lundy and we know that people like him have been thigh-deep in this field for so long and have so much experience that we are happy to hear what he has to say. And it is clear from the comments in this thread that this post of Lundy’s teaching has been a help to some survivors, and Lundy’s words have helped them not particularly because of what he said about men and women and the gender balance, but more from what he said about mentality and tactics of abusers.

    We ask our readers to not jump in and turn this thread into a debate about statistics. And we ask any readers who take the view that the anon commenter expressed, to kindly understand that we DO acknowledge regularly on this blog that men can be victims too, and we let male victims tell their stories just like we let women victims tell their stories.

    • Memphis Rayne

      When I was in the fog, and searching for answers I would do what others did and try to balance the valence so to speak, as to not look jaded or sexist or un biblical etc….but Lundy clearly informed me as a victom, a true victom why and how he was able to make the leap between the gender biases that may be precieved….as a victom of long term domestic violence, without stating statistics or throwing these facts out, Lundy explained the truth in “Why does He Do that?” it was part of the preface, I remember when I originally read it, it was just mind opening enough to draw me into learning more about the truth involved of what was REALLY going about. = ) No statistical debate, or gender bias involved in true understanding or facts.

      I hope that was an okay version of what Lundy has done for SO MANY people that were and are in desperate need of the knowing and grasping onto what is the reality of their lives as they are mislead, by the church and others. It REALLY is NOT and will never be a cure for abuse when people want to cater to the fawcett (the turning off and on of an abusers emotional manipulations) all abusers are doing is trying to deflect from the bad, malice behaviour they are displaying behind closed doors. Seriously that is a “Well” or “Black hole” tha cannot be filled by us or anyone else. Its just an empty pit, and they are in fact using others emotions to gain more power and control. So yeeeeya. Without advocates like Lundy, secular or not secular that matters little because he is standing right alongside the truth.

      I may have not made the leap I needed without his work…..I may have been inclined to stick with what was NOT working, what the church fed me, in regards to dealing with the emotions of an actual emotionless being? Thank God Almighty for this person….here is my BIG FAT PERIOD!

      • Anonymous

        Well, my curiosity is peaked now, wanting to know if perhaps this anonymous commenter was actually a pastor who felt that the husband he was counseling was being abused by his wife. I ran into that whole thing with my pastor publishing posts about women who abuse men, after being duped by my abuser.

        I think this blog fairly presents both sides of the abuse wagon and also find myself being careful and cautious, knowing that there are men on this blog who have experienced abuse, not to overtly make it one-sided. I think that because Lundy counsels more “men” abusers than “women” abusers (if he counsels women at all) he is coming from that view point. No one who understands Lundy’s writings and what he has exposed and thereby brought healing to us as victims, is going to jump on a let’s Lundy’s not being fair band wagon. I think the anonymous writer may feel that things are one-sided, but we all know here at ACFJ, that men are just as invited as women and are just as wounded and victimized as women and deserve freedom from abuse and healing from it, just as much as women do.

  5. Anonymous

    The section below is what I take issue with. It’s not that he is wrong to a point it’s that he specifically leaves out woman vs children and then goes so far as to infer that any man claiming abuse is dealing with a “not so nice person”… Seriously? I do find this offensive. I am unable to share stories and details because they are not mine to share. I have been reading your site, coincidentally to help a female victim, so I am not coming from a place where I am discounting or minimizing women who are victims, but to leave children battered by women and to reduce female vs male abuse to who’s nice and not nice? It actually hurts my heart for them. I pray none of them read this and have their worst fears realized (as my kids always say) no one believes how serious the problem is. They simply must live with it and excuse the bad behavior and abuse because they are simply not nice women… but if Dad ever does that you come tell me, because THAT would be serious! It’s just a bad message. I’m not trying to open a debate and you don’t have to post this. I just wanted you all to think about what this is saying to those people I mentioned. That’s all. Thank you.

    Certainly there are lesbian batterers who are abusing their female partners; there are gay male batterers who are abusing their male partners. But the people who are dying are not men who are being abused by women. I certainly know couples where the man is the nice guy and the woman is the not-nice person. It has nothing to do with who is nice people or who’s not nice people. It’s not that image of the world where somehow men are bad and women are good. But it’s about tyranny and it’s about fear and intimidation and it’s about the belief that you have the right to create fear and intimidation, and that you can count on other people to back you up. And when you really look at all those factors, how many women are going to be able to create that electrified, charged atmosphere of intimidation and degradation over a man, and get that electrified, charged atmosphere of intimidation and degradation that makes domestic violence what it is?

    • Thank you for explaining your thoughts more, Anon.
      [Dear Readers: to clarify — this is the Anon who submitted the comment which we did not publish but which I summarized in my comment above.]

      So; I’m going to write what I hope is a respectful response to Anon’s comment, and I apologize in advance for the length of my comment. I had asked that readers not weigh in on a massive boots-and-all debate about gender, and now here I am perhaps disregarding my own request! If so, I’m sorry; but I felt that Anon’s second comment made it very clear to us as admins on this blog that s/he is genuinely concerned and not an abuser promoting myths and misconceptions about the issue from a hidden agenda. That’s why I’m more ready to engage with this commenter now.

      I agree with you, Anon, that in the teaching that Lundy gave in this video, he did not mention the abuse of children. He was focusing only on intimate partner abuse (adult to adult).
      I can see how your obviously deep care and concern for children would incline you to be upset that child victims of abusive adults were apparently being disregarded or ignored in Lundy’s talk. Since you admire Lundy’s work, you are probably aware that he does recognize the suffering of children at the hands of abusive parents and guardians, and he has written at least one book on that topic. But yes, in this particular talk he was not discussing the child victims of domestic abuse. So the children you care for and grieve for were not the subject of this talk, and I understand that you felt disappointed and upset.

      And yes, it was perhaps unfortunate that Lundy’s words can be interpreted as meaning that where men are victims of female partners, the female abuser can be characterized as (merely) ‘a not-nice person’. Those men who we believe to be genuine victims who have become part of this blog community would probably feel that their ex-wives were more than merely “not nice”. One of the men who comments here has told us that his ex used physical violence against him, including using a motor vehicle as a weapon, and that he was certainly living in fear both during the marriage and post-separation. So we certainly acknowledge that in the spectrum of abuse, men can sometimes be victims of the more serious end of the spectrum.

      I am guessing that Lundy said it the way he did, because he has been confronting the widely held view in society that domestic abuse & violence is a completely gender-balanced phenomena. In his book Why Does He DO That, Lundy says that this view is one of the myths promulgated by male abusers.

      I know that Lundy battles constantly for women victims of incredibly serious domestic abuse whose incredibly wicked husbands are trying (often with success) to get custody of the children and are pushing that gender-equal myth to the hilt, to sway judges in the courts. I guess that Lundy would be so aware of the massive injustice and endangerment of children that is often being handed down by court decisions, that he (understandably) is focused very much on dispelling that myth because he see the injustice and abuse it gives rise to.

      Here on this site, as our readers know, we do recognize and support male as well as female victims, and we try not to be male-bashing in our rhetoric. But at the same time, it’s easy to see that most of the survivors who come to this site are female, and that the male survivors are in a small minority. And the same thing is true in the gender proportions in the police reports, criminal convictions, and hospital emergency-room data that give us windows into the incidence and prevalence of domestic abuse and violence.

      The other thing always to bear in mind is that while some males are indeed victims, most male perpetrators are very skilled at presenting themselves as victims. And detecting the real male victim from the pseudo male victim is not easy, even for a skilled and trained person who has the opportunity to have a respectful, detailed and probing conversation with the man presenting as the victim. I say this not just off my own non-professional bat: I know that the Department Of Justice where I live in Australia recognizes the need for such probing conversations, and trains its telephone counselors to engage in such discerning conversations with men who ring their hotline, so that they can hopefully pick out the real male victims from the pretenders. And when they discern that a man is a genuine victim, they refer him to appropriate services for help, just as they refer a man who they discern to be an abuser masquerading as a victim, to the appropriate services for perpetrators. (And in all that I’ve said, I don’t mean to imply that having that type of respectful, discerning conversation with a woman is never appropriate, because sometimes it might be. )

    • Anonymous, I appreciate your comments here and how you’ve expressed them. I am not a fan of Bancroft’s language of saying “not nice”- it reminds me of calling abusive marriages “tough marriages”. In fact, it seems to discount the “lesser” forms of abuse, which can be difficult for those who are being abused in ways that fall short of “domestic terror” (which is what I think he is describing here).

      However, I do recognize the point Bancroft is making, and I agree there is a height that male abusers can rise to that is either impossible for women in our culture, or at least very rare. I remember talking to my therapist about this because he used to work with male abusers, and he was clear with me that the emotional abuse I experienced was not even on the same level as what some of those guys did. And as I’ve read some stories about what some men have done to women I have been humbled at just how much more those women endured than I ever was threatened with. But my therapist also encouraged me that that didn’t make what I experienced ok or not destructive to me.

      I think the key idea, at least here on ACFJ, is that there are different forms of abuse, and even if abuse doesn’t rise to the level of domestic terror, it can still destroy people and marriages. And we definitely believe there are both women and male abusers- the driving attitude if entitlement is no respecter of gender.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for both of your thorough and informative responses. As I am relatively new to this blog, I am unaware of what your main audience generally consists of. Since I myself followed a link from a Facebook page that I frequent, I see that you all are doing good work and since I’ve seem more and more posts on several sites it seems you are making an impact regarding this important issue. Way to go! That said, you might consider that when introducing your pieces in the future, especially if it is only a portion of a book or discussion as your audience may vary depending on what has been posted elsewhere. Since you started with “Lundy Bancroft is considered one of the world’s experts on domestic abuse.” I assumed it was a commentary on a more general topic than specifically “intimate partner abuse” and “domestic terror”… on both points I agree and appreciate your explanation. Just a suggestion. Though I normally shy away from commenting, I felt compelled to respond, as you pointed out, because of my personal connections to children being abused (many of those being abusive single mothers and foster mothers). Thank you for your time. Keep up the advocacy for victims. It is a powerful place where their voices can be heard.

      • Thank you Anonymous. Your suggestion is good. As more and more traffic comes to our site from it being mentioned on other sites, people will indeed be coming to our blog without being aware that we focus on intimate partner abuse in a Christian context.

        I have noticed that quite often when I’m talking to people about my work on domestic abuse, they assume I mean all kinds of abuse that occurs within families. Some people have even jumped to the conclusion that I mean only child sexual abuse. It’s like they have a point-switch in their head that re-routes any mention of ‘domestic abuse’ into the file called ‘child sexual abuse’ or ‘child abuse’. Not saying you were like that; just saying I’ve noticed this happening in conversations I have had with people. But I hadn’t noticed it happening in conversations on this blog before, so thanks for telling us your experience of first coming to this blog and how you may have misapprehended or made a slightly faulty assumption about what our work is about.

        I think that as blog administrators and post authors, we can try to bear in mind the feedback you have given us. We probably need to more frequently mention the fact that by ‘domestic abuse’ we mean intimate partner abuse. The abuse of children that often occurs alongside intimate partner abuse is an issue that we sometimes discuss, but it is not our number one topic.

        This field has always been fraught with various terms for the same beastie:
        * battering
        * domestic violence
        * domestic abuse
        * family violence (preferred by the secular services in Australia, not least because it more accurately conveys the extended family which is very important to aboriginal people)
        * intimate partner violence (IPV)
        * intimate partner abuse
        * marital abuse
        * spouse abuse
        * wife abuse

        Oh for a term we could all agree on. But there isn’t one.

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