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Physical abuse of a spouse, child or elderly person, usually by a ‘significant other’
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(73) In some jurisdictions, the expert also describes the extent to which the relationship in question demonstrates characteristics typical of battering relationships.
(81) Experts also explain factors of domestic violence to dispel prior misconceptions about battering relationships.
In her study of domestic violence shelters and workers' understandings of battered women, Loseke argues that the domestic violence movement does not construct certain violence in relationships as battering and this violence is therefore left out of feminist analysis.
Researchers have reported a wide range of prevalence in woman-to-woman battering, perhaps due to sampling biases, different data collection strategies, and variance in operationalizations of "battering." For example, JoAnn Loulan's nonrepresentative sample of 1,566 lesbians (92 percent white) found that only approximately 17 percent of lesbians she surveyed stated that a female "mate," "lover," or "friend" had abused them.
The first theoretical construct, the Cycle Theory of Violence, refers to a three stage recurrent pattern of violence--"tension building," "acute battering," and "loving contrition"--that characterizes these relationships.
As noted, an unanticipated result of the social campaign against woman battering has been the creation of the dominant cultural image of a helpless, victimized battered woman whose only hope of terminating violence is to leave the abuser.
The syndrome, according to Schopp, distorts the battered woman's perceptions and prevents her from accurately assessing the battering relationship, her batterer, or the availability or effectiveness of non-violent legal alternatives.
It widens the frame of the admissible narrative in a case of a battered woman who kills her abuser and allows more of the story of the battering relationship to be told.
Dutton argues persuasively that "testimony on battering and its effects" more accurately describes the expert evidence because it covers battered women's experiences, moves their social context to the foreground, emphasizes their diverse range of reactions to trauma, and highlights the utility of expert testimony to explain the psychological sequelae (some pathological, many reasonable) of living with violence.
In a battering relationship, the cycle of violence includes three distinct phases.(5) Investigating officers who understand these phases can offer objective insight to victims of the violence.
In either case, battering in the home is probably the most frequently committed crime in the United States, but also probably the most underreported crime.
They were the victims of the most extreme form of wife battering but represent only a fraction of those who have suffered from what appears to be an epidemic of violence within marriages.