ASSESSING PHYSICAL ABUSERS: BREAKING THE ABUSER’S SECRECY: FINDINGS(part 1)

The majority of the physical abusers were male (15% were female). The subjects ranged in age as follows: 24% were between the age of 21-30; 38% between ages 31-40; 27% between the ages of 41-50; and 11% between ages 51-60. Ninety-eight percent of the subjects were Caucasian, and 2% (1 subject) were Asian. Sixty-four percent of the subjects were blue-collar workers; 24% managerial; and 7% professional or executive positions. Four percent were unemployed at the time of the assessment.

Relationship and/or Marital History

Most of the subjects had been married (78%) and of the married subjects, 58% were married only one time and 20% had been married twice (none of the subjects had been married more than twice). Interestingly, 54% of the abusers did not remain in a relationship with or married to their victim; 18% remained in a relationship with or married to their victim. In 13% of cases it is unknown whether the relationship or marriage remained or not. Fifteen percent of the subjects had victims other than significant others/romantic partners and were not counted for this item. Of the female batterers (again, N= 7), 43% ended their relationship with the victim; 14% (1 subject) remained in a relationship with their victim; for 14% the relationship with their victim was unknown at the time of the study; and 28% of the female subjects had victims other than significant others/romantic partners and were not counted for this item. In summary, the majority of the batterers did not remain in the relationship or marriage with their victims.

Criminal History

The majority of subjects had prior criminal convictions involving domestic or other assault as well as other types of crimes. Twenty-nine percent of the subjects had no known prior criminal convictions; 55% had criminal convictions for various other types of offenses (other than assault or DWI); 11% of the subjects had prior criminal convictions for DWI related offenses in addition to the current offense; and 4% had multiple types of offense convictions. Half of the subjects had prior periods of serving probation. Of those with prior histories of having been on probation, 6% had multiple probation violations.

Specifically related to domestic assault and/or assault related convictions, 40% of the physical abusers had prior convictions for domestic or related offenses, of which 8% had three or more prior domestic assault/assault related convictions. T aking all information into account, including an interview with the victim, 24% of the physical abusers had only one known physically assaultive incident with their victim while 75% had more than one physically assaultive incident towards their current victim. The majority of the admissions of prior domestic abuse towards the partner came from disclosures from the partner, not from the abuser.

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