ASSESSING PHYSICAL ABUSERS: BREAKING THE ABUSER’S SECRECY: FINDINGS(part 6)

FINDINGS(part 6)

Remorse

Remorse was defined as demonstrating any verbal sense of shame or guilt about the current offense and not blaming the victim for the abuser’s offense behavior; and engaging in behavior that demonstrates concern for safety and a desire not to repeat the behavior (e.g., not harassing or stalking; not violating any restraining order; following through with promised or ordered intervention; paying support as expected). Fifty-two percent of the subjects demonstrated little if any remorse for their abusive behavior and 48% did not demonstrate any sign of remorse for their current offense behavior. Of those who demonstrated remorse, 35% demonstrated some degree of remorse and 13% demonstrated significant degrees of remorse.

Degrees of Violence Used

Fifty-five percent of the physical abusers utilized non-lethal methods of violence against their victims; 7% used a weapon; 38% utilized choking and/or serious violent behavior that could have resulted in death. Seven percent of the subjects utilized choking or serious violent behavior against both past and current victims. Specifically pertaining to the female subjects, 71% utilized non-lethal forms of violence in their current offense; 14% utilized a weapon and 14% utilized choking and/or serious violent behavior that could have resulted in death.

What the Victims Had to Say

When the victim of the physical abusers was interviewed informed consent was obtained. Only approximately a quarter of the victims were moderately to significantly irritated or angry about being asked to be interviewed. Some of the common complaints included having to participate in the assessment that was for the physical abuser; being protective of the abuser; minimizing or denying any abuse has occurred; stating that the police officers made information up or took the facts out of context; and blaming of the children or witnesses for reporting of the incidents. However, after informed consent was obtained and the interview proceeded, all of the victims were cooperative and provided valuable information concerning the physical abuser’s violent history.

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