Abused women still see partners as "dependable"

By Thandi Fletcher, Canwest News Service

December 19, 2010

The study finds that many women who have suffered through chronic psychological abuse still see positive traits in their partners, such as dependability and being affectionate.

Photograph by: Photos.com, canada.com

OTTAWA More than half of women in abusive relationships surveyed in the U.S. still see their male partners as "dependable," according to a new study.


The study finds that many women who have suffered through chronic psychological abuse still see positive traits in their partners, such as dependability and being affectionate, which could explain why they stay.


"This is just one step toward (finding) additional ways to improve women's safety," wrote Patricia O'Campo, co-author of the study and a social epidemiologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.


Using data from the U.S National Institute for Mental Health, derived from interviewing 611 women, the researchers found 54 per cent still saw their abusive partners as "highly dependable" while about 20 per cent saw their partners possessing other positive characteristics.


Nearly three-quarters of the women surveyed in the study had an income of less than $300 a month. Nearly half of the women had not completed their high school education. All of the women were African-American and had an average age of 35.


O'Campo said the findings underscore the complexity in male abusers.


"Perpetrators are not all the same, and that shouldn't be surprising," she said.


"We often tend to think of the perpetrator as really just being a perpetrator of violence, but the study shows there is a significant proportion of women who rate their partners as not only being abusive but also having some positive characteristics."


The researchers categorized male abusers into three groups. The "dependable, yet abusive" group made up the largest percentage of men 44 per cent. These men had the lowest scores for violent behaviour, and the highest scores for dependability. The "positive and controlling" group took up 38 per cent of the men, showing "significantly higher" levels for violence but also high levels for dependability and positive personality traits.


"Dangerously abusive" men were the most violent group they made up 18 per cent of the total with the lowest scores for dependability and other positive traits.


Psychological abuse was found to be the most significant problem, more so than physical abuse. Sexual abuse was reported as the least common form.


O'Campo said that, in the future, the study's findings might help "identify some possible avenues in which intervention might be tailored to abusers of different types."


O'Campo said the next logical step in using the findings would be to see "if these characteristics in abusive men exist across the whole socioeconomic spectrum, to determine if these patterns are seen more generally."


Although the study focused on American women, O'Campo said she believes the results of this study could be transposed to Canadian women as well. According to a 2005 report from Statistics Canada, 7 per cent of Canadian women reported experiencing spousal abuse from 1999 to 2004.


"Abuse happens in all sectors of society. It's not just low-income women," O'Campo said.


Daisy Kler, a crisis worker with the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, said she is "not surprised" by the study's findings.


Abusive men are "ordinary men," she said. "They're not pure evil. Women can still sometimes see what was positive about them, even though they know they need to leave the relationship and that he's abusive."


Kler, however, said she doesn't believe this is why women stay in abusive relationships. She said that for low-income women, economic dependency on men is still a huge factor.


"If the man is even giving her 25 or 50 dollars a month toward child support, for example, I'm not surprised she would say he was a little bit dependable," said Kler. "She relies on that money."


Kler said it's vital "to make sure (women) have another viable economic option" to allow them to leave abusive relationships.


The study, co-authored by researchers from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., was published March in the journal Violence Against Women.



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre


Reality check. For every abused woman there is an abused man. Men are far less likely to report abuse than women. Men are far more likely to be arrested and convicted. Women are far more likely to have the charges dismissed. Women are renown for starting abuse more than men. Women have more to win and men have far more to lose if police are called. The reality is that abuse is not just physical, it can be in many many different forms that are far worse than a punch to the head and can result in total destruction, generally of a male and of course a father who never sees his kids again. It takes a dead beat judge to create a dead beat dad and place the kids with  a dead beat violent mother. Real crime starts in family court.




An amazing bit of deception with statistics derived from 611 women. 611? 54% dependable abusers right? 20% of abusers had some positive characteristic?

It gets better, all the women were African-American and an average age of 35.

Another example of feminist propaganda that plays fraud with statistics which is why the entire "one stop divorce shop" industry, relies upon layer upon layer of hearsay fabricated stats that end up creating police standing orders of "arrest someone" if there is a 911 call involving a male and a female.


These days, smart couples elect for her to be charged because its a lot easier to get the VICARS and Crown to drop charges against a woman than a man, that of course helps their stats.