DV figures are out today(49 Posts)
BBBC News here 2 million victims too many
I think to suggest that dv affects only the working class is false. I personally think this is not dissimilar to 'victim blaming'. To suggest working class are more likely to be affected - it distances 'the rest of us' and makes us feel safe. And sadly myths like this are what keeps any victim from identifying abuse for what it is and why victims stay and experience repeated incidents IMHO. And domestic violence isn't seen 'in the street' in 'posh areas' because that is what it is.. violence within the home, in a domestic situation. If others see it, the perpetrator loses what he wants most - control over the situation.
Who are the victims?
The vast majority of the victims of domestic violence are women and children, and women are also considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence, and sexual abuse. Women may experience domestic violence regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence can also occur in a range of relationships including heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships, and also within extended families.
My DHs ex-p has reported my DH for non-existent crimes (when i say non-existent, he wasn't even there and or/she made it up) at least five times...and I've reported MY ex-P for writing harassing letters to me twice, personally I would not class that as DV, just him being a twat, but however it was documented as such. So that's at least seven claims you can knock off the list.
I think I'm basically trying to say that the underlying mindset of every abuser is the same - it's control. So whether that manifests as physically hurting someone in order to control them, restricting their freedom by tying them down with a family and loads of housework etc without supporting them, not allowing them access to money... it's all the same, it just looks different. Physical abuse is just a symptom or sign of the underlying control, yet it's often placed in a different category to other types of abuse, or seen as some kind of continuum where a snide comment is the beginning and a beating is the end, and all abuse leads this way eventually. I think this is false, I think there are abusers who will never ever lay a finger on their victim but their abuse is still there, it just manifests in other ways.
I also think that it's probably true that if violence is acceptable to you, you're more likely to use it as a form of control, whereas somebody else might use a different form of control, or whatever. And of course you're right as well that someone might feel something is acceptable (or kid themselves that it was a one off and doesn't count or something) when in private but is very aware that it's not acceptable in public and so will take great pains to hide this. I think it's extremely rare that an abuser knows their abuse is 100% wrong and doesn't care and does it anyway. They all justify it to themselves, and part of that is feeling that their "control technique" is acceptable, even if that's only "when necessary".
No I do understand what you're saying...I think?
Of course, you're right. I don't think I'm explaining myself very well!
I do see what you're saying. But you get an awful lot of men who would never punch anyone except their wife, and an awful lot of men who go out scrapping every week but would never hit a woman.
So in fact I think I've come full circle here - it's not about class at all... it's the outward signs which change with class, but the root cause is the same.
Yes it's a simplification. But a controlling person is a controlling person. It's the method they use to gain/exert/keep that control which changes and relates to their life experience which may or may not include social class.
Hrm, is there any evidence to back that up though, BertieBotts? I see what you're saying, I just wonder if it's extrapolation. I think people are more complicated than that.
In fact that's what I was trying to say in the first place - took me a while to get there
More visible to outsiders, maybe... I can't explain what I'm trying to say really.
I think that DV happens in the context of class. And excuse me for using genders in this way, but just to provide an easily followed example, a man who uses physical violence to sort out his problems and who finds that this is accepted by his peers is more likely to be physically violent in order to control his wife. A man who uses his financial or business influence or manipulates to solve his problems is more likely to use financial or emotional methods to control his wife.
They are both controlling - and a man who uses violence to sort out his problems - because that is the accepted way in his peer group - but does not attempt to control his partner is not a DV perpetrator even if he is a violent man.
Yes, peer expectation and hopes do vary amongst the 'classes', but how it's played out is depressingly similar.
Eg, I am recently involved in a case where the woman is putting up with all kinds of abuse, ostensibly because her partner is a really successful drug dealer and makes A LOT of money. They have a really good standard of life, from the outside.The children witness the abuse. She is 'trading'.
Not so different from the abuse cases in RL and on here where the woman spends years putting up with EA and DV for reasons of otherwise status and privilege, until something clicks and she has had enough.
Absolutely it's more visible in working class areas. It doesn't mean it's more prevalent.
I don't think it is more of a working class problem, in any way. I agree with you, it is dangerous to make that assumption.
In the area that I live violence is normal to many, many people. It's just a way of dealing with things. I can't even count the amount of times I've overheard a conversation where someone is quite seriously offering to deck someone or batter them or threatening it. These aren't teenagers - they're adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. I heard a guy on the phone the other day, quite distressed, claiming he was going to beat someone up because this person was hitting his ex-girlfriend. I thought for ages that it was good if someone managed their anger by hitting a wall or door or smashing inanimate objects, because that was way better than hitting a person. Now I would not stand for someone hitting/kicking inanimate objects because I recognise that this is a sign of having lost control rather than gained it!
I don't think that DV is more common in my area than in the "nice" part of town. But I think many people are quick to dismiss the actual violence part as "she was winding him up, she knows what he's like". But then I think that most people in all areas of society are quick to dismiss the idea of emotional abuse, so I don't know if it really makes a difference. I just think it's more visible in certain areas.
I also think ignoring contexts is dangerous, Bertie. But I also think it's dangerous (in more ways than one) to assume that domestic violence is more a working class problem than a middle class one.
I think there is a massive class context for DV, and pretending that there isn't doesn't help anybody. Which is not to say that it only or mainly happens to one particular class because that's clearly utter rubbish - but there are different factors which affect each class and this also affects DV and how it manifests, attitudes towards it, etc. I think it's foolish to ignore this in much the same way that it's foolish to ignore the fact that we live in a patriarchial society and so while female on male DV exists and is perhaps not much rarer than male on female there's a totally different dynamic there.
We see every day on mumsnet a huge range of women posting in DV situations I have literally seen everything from someone who has had such a chaotic home life from the minute they were born to women who are successful, rich, seemingly independent but still trapped under their partner's control. Class doesn't dictate how it happens to you, but expectations and attitudes DO vary with class/peer experience/expectations/what was normalised to you in childhood and this needs to be taken into account in order to offer effective support to victims and any attempts to counter DV.
Going against the grain of 'it's generally a WC problem' theme, the groups for male DV perpetrators are populated by a really wide range of socio-economic groups of men. And a fair proportion of 'men of colour' and by men who qualify as 'disabled from working' categories.
Incidents. But I think that was because I live in a block of flats where the walls are paper thin and I can hear everything, whereas when I was in my nice posh detached house, it could have been going on but I never knew about it. That could well be a factor in it. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Sister I've often wondered about that. I'd never witnessed any DV till I ended up in a working class environment, where I have witnessed some horrible
I still think there is a reporting dissonance here.
When you go further into the Repeat Violence figures, there is a clear gender split which shows women as the vast majority of repeat victims. That is a feminist issue.
SisterRay, but you have no idea how many cases AREN'T reported to the police!
I can tell you that their values were very different
My knowledge of people in all "classes" is that some are good and some are bad. The well off ones are just able to be bad on a grander scale. They steal entire pension funds and send entire countries in to economic turmoil.
Which frankly puts buying a 60 inch tv while on disability benefit and still doing plastering in to perspective.
Yes. So on the basis of what is reported to the police, the majority of victims are from deprived areas, which backs up my experience.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.