Pat Kimble, licensed relationship therapistPat Kimble, MSW, Relationship Therapist Pat Kimble, MSW.

In this episiode, we interview Pat Kimble, MSW, LCSW and learn all about domestic violence, including why victims don't leave:

If you or someone you care about needs help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Their highly-trained advocates are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially

 Listen now:

Powered by RedCircle


domestic violence, domestic abuse, police, cops, childhood, relationship, fear, kids, parenting, marriage

TRANSCRIPT: Welcome to another episode of Inside the Law My name is Mark Gavagan and today's topic is domestic abuse and we have licensed clinical social worker Pat Kimble out of Fishkill, NY with us today. Thank you MarK it's a pleasure to be here. (Mark) Domestic abuse: Why don't the victims of domestic abuse just leave? (Pat Kimble) That is undeniably the classic question no matter where the subject has come up that is exactly what people on the other side ask why didn't she just leave honestly she would if she could the victim and I say she and not lightly because if you look at the stats as recently as the ninety's which is a long time ago and seems like a ancient history at least 80 percent of the times were abuse was a legal situation the woman was the victim and the male was the abuser I have personally in my practice had cases where it's exactly the opposite but it is not the norm so you will excuse me if I fall into she is the victim and saying she's the victim is sometimes difficult because I have worked with so many survivors but I will tell you the process of domestic violence is layering it begins as something as Binoche and wonderful and lovely as anybody's lovely beginning relationship all butterflies and moon beings and 2 people falling in love and by the way the age that they fall in love and end up in domestic violence is a nonstarter because it can be true 18 year olds can be 20 somethings 30 somethings and one of the fastest growing areas of domestic violence is in the population over 65. So the age range is not a factor in any way but so let's say we have these $220.00 somethings who fall madly in love and they decide they want to spend the rest of their life together will make this is typical is possible and so let's name them Susie and Charlie and they get married and they are so happy and it's just wonderful and life goes on and everything is just delightful in the family things they are great so Susie wanting to be the exact wonderful wife starts cooking dinner well just a little bit of a learning curve so it's a little hard for her and so she makes the meals and sometimes she says they're great and sometimes they're not so great life goes on well. She continues to learn and they continue to grow together now put the pause back button on and way over here on the other screen is Charlie who is a young guy who works in an office and loves his wife and thinks this is going to be a perfect life time relationship so Charlie is a guy who has a lot of trouble taking kind of criticism he's pretty insecure he has trouble not being right he likes to be applauded and he just like anything that isn't applause and he doesn't know how to communicate very well on. So as he cheats working in his job and the young couple is building their life trial his boss is not all that happy with him and so he begins to say look I want you to try it this way not this way and you need to be putting more emphasis on this over here and less emphasis on this over there and so this is going on day after day and Charlie who thought he was just tremendous finds that he's coming home leaving the office and arriving home with just a tight neck in knots and stomach and making fists and he's really upset and he walks in the door and she gets on ahead of him and just how do you do when you go I'm fine what's the matter you don't seem very happy leave me alone just leave me alone I'm in a nice dinner just leave me alone she's to know what to do with it she's never encountered anything like this and so she leaves him alone and she makes dinner and has dinner and kind of just says dinner leave me alone so she cleans up and she puts it away OK J one event one life goes on and this appears and doesn't appear randomly but as Charlie's job gets more challenging and he hears more criticism it happens more often and so she's trying really really hard to make this a wonderful wonderful time oh hi honey I know that I'm not the best cook in the world but listen I know that your mother made a tremendous meatloaf and that you loved it and I'm glad I called her and I got the recipe and I'm going to make this Meat Loaf tomorrow night because I know you've been rammed a really tough time at work and going to be fun he says all right fine that's good make sure you make it like hers because the only one I ever ate OK Great Yeah it's perfect off she's goes through work she comes home she makes the meat loaf he's had a really bad day at work. The boss has been all over him coworkers have mentioned it they're beginning to see it he's just not taking this well at all in he comes how do you how are you I mean the meatloaf Aren't you excited about to sit down he takes one look at the pan of Meat Loaf on on the stove picks it up by the edges and throws the whole thing against the wall I hate meat loaf with me alone and get out of the way and the Meat Loaf slowly slides down the wall This may sound a bit extreme and I'm sorry to tell you that it is not perhaps the individual situation of Meat Loaf sliding down the wall it's not happening over and over in exactly that way but the story that I wanted you to get the picture of is that the abuser arrives at the scene stressed pulling the tensions pulling the pain pulling the discomfort pulling the unusual circumstances that he's not been able to solve and he brings it home and that night it happened to be the meat loaf but you know what kind didn't matter what she cooked when the pressure cooker was on all she had to do was say hello and that would be enough when you have violence in a relationship you have one person who is seeking to please and please and please and who is driven by needing to have other people say they are OK Other people say that they are doing the right thing and then you have the other partner who has no ability to ameliorate what goes on in the world they can't handle it if they're not praised not lifted up not made right not applauded they are so destroyed. That they have to take that out on someone and that's usually the partner now of course we know situations where there is violence on the children it's it is probably I would say less than 50 percent of the time that the violence is perpetrated on the children and not on the wife sometimes on both it's a difficult situation no matter how you look at it and it's very easy to demonize the perpetrator very easy because we all say who could ever do that and no one would ever do that well it's one of the biggest kept secrets domestic violence is an equal opportunity employer I've seen domestic violence come out of the most horrific ghetto but I've also had domestic violence in my office in a very expensive 3 piece suit so by no means is this something that takes place only in lower income homes or in farm communities rural communities Oh no it is truly probably along with addiction or perhaps even greater than addiction an equal opportunity employer and it's even more in the dark than addiction there are a few things that are kept as far in the dark I want to understand someone thrown the Meat Loaf against the wall what happens in the following weeks months and years OK so let's just take what happens the rest of that evening it's very quiet she's crying quietly and he's stomps out and goes down maybe to the nearest bar maybe the nearest coffee shop bar is an intrinsic but generally there's someone behind the counter can talk to him and he arrives steaming and she's sitting on the side of the better at the dinner table after she's clean the meat lopped off off the wall and off the floor and she's crying quietly now one would think is she going to call her mother is she going to call her sister actually no she's just going to sit there trying to figure out what has happened. It's a long time and a lot of meat loaf before she finally decides she can let somebody else in on the secret because one of the things that the 2 of them have talked about in their courtship is that they do not want interference from the family she has said well you know my mother likes to tell me what to do and he said well that's all over I don't want them to know anything about our life and she hears that loud and clear it's printed in her memory so time goes on every episode is not meatloaf but what is present every time is that somebody has expectations of things going well and the other person comes home and can only explode can only relieve themselves of the tension and the stress and so it builds you know what maybe the next episode is a year away maybe it's 2 years away I've had people come into my office and say well you know we was only roughed me up on our honeymoon and we've been married 5 years so I think you must be wrong something else must be going on then I have these black and blue marks from him it's a very slow mover in most cases it will Larry in episode after episode some are bigger Some are smaller but they have certain common distinguishing characteristics she is always wrong he always had nothing to do with it and if she had just done what he expected none of this would have happened so part of the victimization his that he is never wrong and she is always the person who starts this whether it goes on for years or whether she takes a deep breath after a short period of time the way it ends he's always by her slipping away is this guy going to the bar or coffee shop does that often and. In a confrontation there he knocks somebody see thout or is the wife always the outlet for this rage good point generally in domestic violence she is usually the only victim he will sit at the bar or the coffee shop and talk to to some friends or somebody there about you know I love my wife I don't know what I'm going to do a better she's just not that bright I all I wanted was to come home and you know just have a quiet house and no big deal and now I got all this expectation about she's done all this you know I just don't know what I'm going to do with their just anybody have any ideas and you know this guy is sincere he really believes what he's saying he believes that if he could just get her to listen to him yet this would never happen this time and the 100th time it's pretty much the same scenario if he's driving home here's where it might change if he's driving home from work that day and somebody cuts him off he's a very likely to run them down in run him off the road and I've seen it more than once I did one time have someone who ran someone off the road pulled him out of the car and gave him such a terrible beating that I am not sure how the person recovered so the idea is that on his way home he has what we refer to as this bottled rage and where the core comes off depends on who in his mind crushes him 1st tell me how this turns into violence and is it something gradual or right out of the gate as horrible as someone could imagine well let's define what the violence is 1st because I think that's an important point. What is violence in the setting is that a broken bone is it smashed cheek bone the violence begins and generally unnamed by a slammed the door or a pounded counter those are usually the 1st indicators that something is building in this relationship there's a theory clear message in those slamming doors and pounding fists the message is a very clear one you could be next so you better be careful that it's how it begins generally it goes down the road because she is immediately cowed she moves back she's I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm no telling what to do she's responsive to that because it scary unquestionably So that may go on for a while it may go on end and if his rage is bigger than that on a given day and she begins to move away he grabs her by the arm when we are taking intakes in Police Department for instance or in the emergency room I always would have a woman stretch out her arms take off her shirt if it's winter time sweater so I can see her full arm from the armpit out in structure arms out I'm looking for a pattern of around bruises usually on her upper arm which will bruise much more quickly those bruises if there's just one that I can see with her arm facing me I'm sure there's one on the other side that's thumb and forefinger finger squeezing her upper arm until a bruise appears or if there's a row of them that's a hand with all the fingers and squeezing so hard that it bruises appear those are the signs of progression. Seeing a woman who comes into perhaps you know someone's office and looks like she has an extraordinary amount of makeup on well on closer inspection she's probably covering up a black eye clothes get torn collars get polled buttons pop off yes there is a progression it rarely goes from everything's wonderful and she has a broken arm it runs a little different in children but that's just kind of a separate story when we're talking about 2 adults so those are the signs that we look for if this is an office setting for instance where she works you look for someone who's habitually late. I have slammed plenty of doors so or pounded my fist on the table when I'm trying to fix something plumbing in particular and I'll put 10 minutes into something follow every single instruction and it still leaves water and I lose my mind pound my fist on the counter and I have to start over again there might not even be anybody in the house so I'm doing this so it sounds like the context might be I'm directing it towards that person well on to something they did yes absolutely this this is always in response to some question from her some verbal interchange between them completely benign if you were to see it written on paper or even if you were to hear it it's his response that is always exaggerated and out of bounds to some but 9 Question Hi How are you and he's explosive The point is that he brings his anger his resentment his stored up a motional pain and discomfort to the house and can't wait to dump it on her all she has to do is say hello there isn't anything that she says that is directly related to that out of. Context response is that pain and discomfort that he feels always generated outside of the house yes pretty much always generate it it will be started outside the house generally it began much further than the job and has personality characteristics to it but the beginning is always outside the house or the trip point is outside the house if he's planning for instance for a big presentation on a given morning the next day say at work and he comes home and says I have this big presentation and I have to be up early and have to be ready and and so you know how important that is so make sure everything goes well and. Yes fine she says OK I'll make sure and that's all that she's told and the next morning when he's looking to get dressed he comes roaring into the kitchen or somewhere yelling Where's my boat you know I always wear my lucky blue shirt and she's mystified So you see it it tumbles over in different ways but he's he's a very poor communicator so he doesn't understand how he needs to communicate with her to get what he wants he has no and it's always backed up by his inability to have the tools to manage his own stress and his own anger and disappointment and worry and all those things that pile up together OK And we're going to get further into that in a few minutes Help me understand now how did things progress from door slamming and counter pounding to violence and do they always some Does it sometimes just end here and this is what it is at its worst yes that can be all it is but it doesn't go away and I think that that's an important point most of this kind of situation when you're talking about how people function in evidently grow worse now it may grow worse over a long period of time she may adjust to wow this is just how it is and this is how he is wow this must just be what it's like to be married I don't know and she accepts more and more and the more slowly that this progresses the more she accepts it there is a concept in psychology called the frog in the pot and that is that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water and you turn that the heat on very slowly the frog will boil to death he will not jump out of the pot because he doesn't really notice that it's getting warmer and it's a classic situation in domestic violence. Because she doesn't really realize unless it's huge you know Virgin very fast moving but usually it is a very slowly airing I he brings his stress home dumb set on her she goes and sits in the room or she somehow internalize it she doesn't take it out anywhere she knows better the price for that is usually quite huge so she just goes on and as it gets worse over time she simply adjust to it and many times it isn't until someone from the outside comes to visit and and is sees to this that that person says Sorry I can't believe you live like this what are you doing being treated like that because it's been such a long slow layering progression is the abuser consciously moving from slamming a door counter to grabbing an arm or someone's trying to move away to shoving do they realize what they're doing they don't necessarily realize that the progression is there remember their progression is driven by their belief that she continues to monumentally not do the right things now she's not doing this now she's not doing that and his internalizing of that is really a reflection of how his how much more complex his own outside world is becoming so how far do things go before this abuser realizes I have become a person who beats his wife and puts her in the hospital is there ever a realization on their own I would have to say in my experience knowing my training know there is such a cementing of the belief that he is not the one at fault this is how he protects his. Own psyche his own self he can't look at himself honestly as you would look at hand at this as this outsider would look at him he's unable to do that because that truth would be so devastating to me just not seem self as an abuser I cannot tell you how many people who have come whose cases have come in front of me in various settings clear clear perpetrators of abuse and they would argue me right down to the wall because that they are on able to accept that truth very likely they came out of it in the use of childhood and because they remember the abusive childhood they cannot relate to having come that abusive parent were the victim of that abuse say yes I am a victim of domestic abuse again not for a very very long time arrived on emergency room intakes with women who are so battered that you would cringe if you saw them who are lying on a gurney with broken bones 2 black eyes and they just can't see themselves as a victim of domestic violence they see themselves as the person who have only ironed that blue shirt this never would have happened that is astounding I'm sure it's astounding sad beyond belief it is one of the deepest darkest secrets and I will tell you it's more difficult. To get the wife of the guy who's wearing that expensive 3 piece suit and those $500.00 to believe that she's a victim of domestic violence it generally takes someone from the outside some college roommate who hasn't seen her for years someone who really does not see her in everyday life to recognize and to get her to at least begin to look at what the situation of her life is the other situation is if he turns from her and begins to abuse the children that is usually the only time within the home that she suddenly takes a look at what's going on is she unable to recognize herself as a victim of abuse because she really wants to keep up appearances or is it something different she's keeping up appearances within herself to look in the mirror and say I am a victim of domestic abuse by the person that I love is nearly impossible if you look at the juxtapositions of those statements it's nearly impossible and it's not because she wants to maintain her status in the eyes of other people it's because internally she can't bring herself to she can't bring herself to do it and she goes that she has to keep it hidden from the outside world because if the out he's very clear if the outside world has it the slightest scent he will be her twice as badly so she is protecting herself by putting on the make up by wearing long sleeves by say creating excuses about why they can't go to the family picnic in July because she has to wear long sleeves Oh yeah she's into it for own protection but the denial in her own head you have to remember she believes that if she would do the right thing he would never hurt her again she just can't figure out the right thing she's too stupid and he's convinced her of that. You left a career where you could make lots of money and have a really comfortable life to calm and deal with this why do you care and why did you give all that up I care because that this kind of damage is intergenerational I came into it because somebody has to do what they can to break the cycle and that is really why I do this if no one is there to intervene and teach different ways of doing things teach different ways true ways of loving to recreate what is really a loving relationship yes you can you can have a loving relationship no love doesn't hurt love cherishes love cares children don't have to grow up with parents screaming and dishes thrown in me off against the wall No I mean this because I believe that even one person can do what they can to break the chain How can somebody on the outside a boss a colleague a friend a police officer recognize the signs of a victim of abuse. A very good question because a lot of people most people are not educated the police are pretty good these days but. Teachers clergy. Bosses they usually don't have a clue and some of the things that a boss for instance let's just stay with that would have to watch for would be someone who has more absences than usual they seem to be developing into a pattern more late time then seems to be for instance if it's someone if you know you have people working in cubes in a large setting they seem to be away from their cube whenever they look you know they're not at their at their desk doing whatever they're doing in their off the floor lots of times this will be changing bandages applying more makeup that kind of thing. Someone in the office setting who never brings a spouse to a Christmas party or some other event if there's a you know office picnic or something you look for things that are different and certainly looking for someone's physical appearance to be different you look for someone like I say with a long sleeves with more make up with Band-Aids who's walking with a limp he no the classic thing about the black guy is oh I walked into a door now that used to be classified as an old Fog real joke but to even today it is used as the most common excuse for a black guy people rarely walk into an open door could it happen yes but if you if you start adding up the things that are on you fool about a person. Even how they answer their personal calls and how you hear on the other side yes OK All right yes I understand OK Yes certainly OK that anxiety that super anxious to please the person on the other end of the phone Those are the kinds of signs that need to be looked for but it's a very important to say here then unless you know exactly what you are doing as far as pulling that person out of a domestic violence situation if you don't have professional help you can put that person in the kind of danger you have no idea you're putting them into a home anymore it's very important that she is on board for leaving she has to be 100 percent on board that she is going to be ready to leave and that she can keep the secret until the time comes generally if you suspect that someone is into Mystic violence situation for instance in your office my 1st recommendation is that you call a domestic violence agency county's county mental health will generally have someone that you could speak with can I talk with someone to find out how I can help someone who's in a domestic violence situation that's how you would get your foot in the door and they will give you all of the help and instruction that you need but I will tell you how it will need to look. I can tell you the story of a situation here was a young man who was in the Army in Germany he always had a bad temper the Army seemed to take care of that so he was in so he went to Germany met a young woman fell in love she thought he was the just the most wonderful thing and they got married and because she was now dependent U.S. Army personnel when he was transferred back to the states along she came now she didn't speak English but she totally adored him and because they came back and didn't have a place to live they lived with they lived with his parents and they lived in a small little took over one of the bedrooms downstairs and there were other teenagers living in the house at the time but it was a perfectly average everyday American place he was going to look for a job this was fine and so they lived there for about 2 or 3 months and every now and then the siblings and the parents could hear some loud voices behind the closed door downstairs but people have arguments it seemed that they would just work it out she would come to the dinner table occasionally was red eyes but you know what there was a lot going on there and so the parents didn't think much about it he got a job they got an apartment in the next town they moved in everything seemed fine they came to visit Sunday afternoon barbecue she seemed to have very very red eyes and they looked very puffy when they laughed she didn't have much say shouldn't know much English so the parents question her question to him and when he was by himself she alright Is she sick what happened no no no she's just fine she's got allergies it's fine. So a little while later they come to visit and it's very clear she has a really large bruise that she's covering up so note is taken of this nobody says anything this seems to be happening repeatedly there always seems to be something she's covering up every time they come to visit so questioning what this is the mother comes cut makes a call to our agency the engine was working with at the time and asks to if she could talk to somebody because she thinks her daughter in law is in domestic abuse situation so she came in and I talked with her and asked what she saw and she gave me all these details and I said to her Yes I felt that that was exactly what was going on and she explained that that they lived in an apartment in the next town he had a job and this girl barely spoke English that it was almost impossible to communicate with her in English and that the family didn't speak German so we devised a plan where the mother would stop by when the son was at work and see if she could just randomly get the girl to come out for lunch and then bring her to our office where we had a German interpreter we got that to fly she came into the office the German terp or talk to her in the girl just completely fell apart and I think she was 21 or 22 at the time she totally went to pieces yes she was being beaten regularly by her husband she didn't know where to turn and she wanted to go home she couldn't figure out how to do that they didn't have any money he would never let her go and sell on the way we worked that out. Was that the his parents were willing to pay for the plane ticket the office the German interpreter got in touch with her parents and when he was at work one day the parents went by the apartment and helped her pack a bag and took her to the airport bought her a plane ticket and put her on the plane back to Germany and then her parents on the other end did send word that she had arrived safely that is the kind of thing that needs to happen now you can't always send someone out of the country but my point to people is that to arrive at this couple's house and say we really think she's being beaten and we're here to straighten this out he's going to give the greatest disclaimer you ever heard and when you leave he is going to beat her hopefully he doesn't beat her death so this is not some place where you stick your nose unless you know exactly what you're doing and you have professional support so you're not saying don't take any steps to try and help your saying be careful to immediately turn to a professional and let them help Absolutely and do exactly as they tell you now if I call up the county mental health department and I say help I think there's a domestic abuse situation with someone who lives on my street and my now opening a file that I might be destroying somebody career or their reputation or something else and maybe I'm completely wrong maybe you are but what got my question to you if you you know if that call came to my office I would say well tell me what you're seeing Tell me what you're hearing and maybe I would direct you depending on how well you do these people maybe I would direct you to see if you can get a phone number of a relative see if you can get someone closer to the situation to help out on the other hand if your in your neighborhood sitting out on your deck some night and you hear plates crashing please call the police. They know how to handle this they're not the best but they're better than nothing and they're better than doing the wrong thing so if the police were called in that situation you described before today what would the police do and what should they do generally what the police will do is they send 2 officers always and they separate the couple immediately they have 2 officers for what reason Oh there are always 2 because in domestic violence you can't send an officer in to they don't know what they're coming into they don't know how violent this might be they would never send a single officer to a domestic violence call not to my knowledge anyway so they would come in and they would separate the couple each one would speak with one of them and they would move either outside or to another floor they are out of hearing range and they're out of any kind of visual distance so that each one can be interviewed Now here's how this is probably going to go he is going to deny it they're just having an argument it's ridiculous these nosy neighbors and she is probably going to deny as well they will ask her Do you have a friend can you go to somebody's house for overnight Can you just until this cools down there and she will unless she's willing to press charges they're not taking him away they're going to try and get one or the other of them to go to somebody's house and cool off for overnight and they'll put it on the blotter it is very rare and after many many calls that she's willing to press charges you need to understand even if she leaves him and goes to a shelter she's most likely going to be back within 48 hours the average woman leaves a domestic violence situation 22 times before she actually leaves him permanently. Why especially if it takes so much for her to ever admit that there's a problem now she has to do it $22.00 times why once she's admitted it she still going back she believes it's her fault there is something called learned helplessness she believes that she's at fault and that if she would just get it right and that she loves him she loves him and if he's such a good guy you just don't understand he has a lot of problems at work he has people don't understand him I just did the wrong thing I asked her own question today If only I would get it right I can't live my life without him and there are other things that keep her going back as well which I don't even know if we have the time to cover here and that's it that's more of the emotional side and the economic abuse let me talk about the economic abuse because it's an important factor about why she goes back into domestic violence situation she is moved to be less and less powerful more and more powerless within the relationship so what do you mean by that well she doesn't have her own checkbook she doesn't have her own checking account her name isn't on checks he handles all the money if she's working her paycheck goes directly into his account the underlying feature in a domestic violence relationship is that it is about and defined by power and control he is in power and he is in full control and that is the only time that he is comfortable. And so he make sure that she doesn't have power over anything he buys her clothes he decides exactly what she's going to where he decides where she will work and how many hours who she will be friends with she doesn't have outside friends and he gradually peels her family back I don't like your Aunt we're not going to your mother she doesn't like me we're not going to your families for Thanksgiving until she is so isolated financially relationally and emotionally that there isn't any other world but him I would encourage you to go to the supermarket some Saturday evening Oh some time between say 530 and 730 on a Saturday night because there are a lot of people who get paid on Saturdays just kind of walk up and down the aisles and look for a family look for a man and a wife and a couple of kids and the kids aren't running free they're all kept very close on and maybe the little ones are in a separate cart but everybody's right there put your hands on that cart and she is taking the things off the shelf that he tells her to take off because he knows what they're going to eat and if she says oh look at this this is a different kind of jelly maybe we should try this I don't like that oh OK and his flavor goes in the cart kids kids don't ask for anything when you've been in a supermarket kids don't ask for anything these kids don't ask for anything they come at that hour because he's been paid they come at that hour because she won't ever becoming by herself and when they get to the checkout counter only his name's on the check so that's part of the power and control you see there's a lot of layers to this. So even the best trained well intentioned police officers walking into a domestic violence situation are really limited absolutely of what they can do absolutely the their best this is a terrible thing but their best shot is if she's beaten so badly that they absolutely have to call an ambulance because if that's the way they're going to get her out of there might she go back sadly yes but that's how they at least get her separated from him and get him into a place where they can press criminal charges it's a very very sad situation and of course our criminal justice system is designed so that guilty people will go free to be sure innocent people are not found guilty absolutely So with that in mind how should the law change or should the law change so that we can prosecute domestic abusers more easily I'll tell you I I'm not a student of the law so I can't say exactly how the law should change but I'll tell you what needs to change and I've watched it over the years change in the county that I live in. What you gain is is a district attorney in your county who understands how severe and how dangerous domestic violence is because that that is a person who then puts in a separate Office of Advocacy out of the D.A.'s office for solely for domestic violence that is the person who rallies the community to create good to shelters who rallies the community to put up rehabilitation programs for the victims and for the perpetrators. So that there actually can be change so that the change actually happens that that's where it needs to start because if it starts at that place with the district attorney the trickle down is tremendous What would you encourage those police officers to do differently than what they do right now in these situations actually I think that if they can convince the victim if she doesn't need a hospital care to go to a shelter for 24 hours and I'm not talking about a homeless shelter I mean a battered women's shelter if if every And maybe this is the law I don't quite know how that works but if it was necessary on every domestic violence call that the victim go to a domestic violence shelter for 24 hours. And he be in a situation where he has to meet with a counselor for 20 a you know in a 24 hour period some kind of cooling tank or something I think that we could make some more progress and by progress I think the 1st thing that would crack under that kind of situation would be that she would see she could actually have support there would be people around her she could actually be protected from him and then you reach him they are very very difficult to treat and the treatment needs to be extensive and deep it's a shame there is not some sort of a breathalyzer to indicate that this is a domestic abuse Yes it certainly is because I will tell you that they are that they are impossible to spot in the general population is kept so close and their own way of protecting themselves is to create such an isolated situation and there have been major cases really involving death when it's up in the papers people are shocked you hear people all over town going can you believe that who would ever think he was because it's just one of those underground things so if I live in a neighborhood with 40 other homes you know how many of those are there likely to be domestic violence situations I don't know what the stats are and that I really don't have any idea I would say you're probably going to find some kind of abuse in I would say to you 25 percent of those houses you may find severe abuse it wouldn't surprise me if you fans have your abuse in 10 percent is there any kind of a kinship amongst abusers when they recognize one another Unfortunately the place where you'll see that kinship is a bum man you know that guy kind of stuff sitting in a bar or at a bowling alley or ballgames that kind of guy sort of situation. Where they will commiserate about their stupid wives gosh I can't even iron a shirt I need a can't believe it but I work with their you know my lover we do the best we can yeah and mind you I have never heard of a situation where non abuser would commiserate and support that kind of a conversation so yes that's where they find each other OK and we're certainly not painting every bar going sports loving guy as an abuser No but what we are painting is that if you are exposed to someone who's constantly talking about how stupid his wife is that's a red flag I want to go back to the story about the young woman who returned to Germany is there something in her nature that's going to cause her to seek out another person who is going to abuse her absolutely that's an excellent point and I have to give a disclaimer about that and about the abuser because it is true in the characters or of individuals that if you come out of a particular situation relationship and it has ended badly if that person does not receive therapy treatment to change their profile they will simply go on to have the same relationship with the person in a different body and that goes for both people. So yes she's she has a set up unless she has a tremendous amount of one really good treatment individual and group with other battered women she will most likely fall prey to another abuser usually it won't be a physical abuse or because she's got all those red lights down but it could be a sexual abuser an economic abuser most likely an emotional abuser that yes unless she receives treatment she set up to directly go into another disastrous relationship and so is he by the way so for this next series of questions I would like you to consolidate your 10 years of education and your 25 years of professional experience into a 3 or 4 minute response tell me about an abuse victim and what is in that woman's makeup that causes her to need this kind of person to seek this abusing person out and then what is it that can actually change her in counseling and what other things can be done to truly change the type of person she seeks out in response to. She is a people pleaser she very much wants to be recognized by men she very likely wasn't either grew up the easy 1st answer is that she grew up in a domestic violence home and this is what she how she watched her mother be treated and she figured this is just how it goes that's a very that's a very common denominator along with that this is someone who perhaps it wasn't a domestic violence situation someone who did not get the appropriate love care and attention from her father so she's looking for that that attention from the father to the daughter from any parent to any child but if we're talking in this particular aspect is extremely important for her to build her own self-esteem in ways that she can relate as an equal as she grows up fathers draw daughters up to eat quality and how a father treats a daughter is very much what she expects and what she looks for and what she is comfortable with when you say the attention from her father is a lot of what's missing walk me through a scenario where there is this I don't know if it because I hold this young woman's heart well that tell you how that can how that while let me give you a scenario that's probably easier i young woman child young girl dad works during the week mom works on the weekends so Dad watches her let's even Let's even make it that she's an only child could be siblings but let's just go with an only child for the moment so dad's in charge of caring for her on the weekend let's say she's 678 years old like that mom the weekend so Dad will see that she has her cereal for breakfast. And her peanut butter and jelly for lunch and mom's home for dinner but in between he's in his workshop. Got a workshop in the garage because woodworking is a hobby and that's where he is and she wants to come out and be there because no listen there's too many tools here go inside watch your i Pad just play with your job don't you know I'll be on you hungry you need anything. That kind of scenario and if you take that over an entire growing up where father just doesn't interact. Father doesn't do any of the drop offs pick ups doesn't know any of her friends really she doesn't and the mom does all these things let's just assume that I'm super mom and does all these things and you know pick up the friends and has the birthday parties it's a birthday party for the little girl does not around oh yeah my husband to work He's off somewhere with some friends couldn't be bothered I guess that's really the catch phrase that dad couldn't be bothered most of the time a lot of the time it's not just that it's in a view situation where mom is being violently abused by Dad No On the contrary it is more often that she will end up with an abuser when she has a father who ignores her because the the sheer numbers of abusive households are not that I mean you know if we talk I had to throw out numbers that I don't maybe let's just broadly throw out the number if it's 10 percent of the general population 10 percent of the couples are domestic abusers Well remember they don't all have kids. All those kids are not girls so no it is not most likely that's certainly the number one most hottest button let's put it that way for her to pick an abuser so a boy and a girl grow up in a household where there is domestic violence from the father to the mother the girl is likely to grow up to seek out an abuser and the boy I guess will grow up to potentially be an abuser the odds for him to be interviews are very very high it's generally one or the other it's generally black and black or white for each of the children each gender either they become or seek out an abuser or they're so why old lean completely at the other end of the spectrum and I have seen men who grew up with a father as an abuser who ended up marrying an abusive wife it's so ingrained it's a very. Without therapy it's it just runs its own show so tell me please about how there can change what in this new A We talked of who or what this young woman returning to Germany is looking for what she's desperately in need of in her relationships how does therapy change that well to begin with the overall go for therapy in this situation in all situations is to look inside to test the help to look inside the person and build up the places inside the person that are deficient that haven't been fully nurtured and grown and brought to the front so that the person in therapy brings themselves to full adulthood and to full realization of who they are is an important human being that's the goal and once that happens when you have a person let's just take this young woman once she goes through the painful process of understanding how she got where she is and then the work of changing the way in which she thinks and feels about herself comes to understand that she is a valuable important precious human being to herself and then to the world that's the goal because then anybody who tries to tell her she's anything different has no place to hold on now walk me through the same thing on the domestic abuser side what is this person lacking what causes them to become a person who will be this person they love to within an inch of their life there are a lot of characteristics and it's very difficult to pick one thing out 1st of all you have you have a category of abusers who are sociopath. And then that's a characterization of personality malformation that creates a person who has no guilt so that's at one extreme and OK A sociopath is someone who has no guilt no conscience none whatsoever the the best personification of a sociopath I ever saw was Hannibal Lechter in the movie Silence of the Lambs is that the extreme edge You bet but there you have it no conscience whatsoever so some abusers are that but if we kind of take the middle of the road yes this is a guy who probably most likely almost certainly grew up in seeing the primary male in the household have the power and control to run the household mercilessly starting with the wife you have to go back when we talk about rehabilitating the perpetrator to the power and control dynamic because having complete control being completely in power is the only way that perpetrator feel safe and when you when you look back at the other side of his childhood of course if you grow up in a violent situation you're terrified you're terrified all the time so the only way you can be not terrified is to be in charge it's black and white all over again and so no if you're putting that person into treatment the only in my experience the only viable worthwhile treatment for domestic violence abusers is there are some excellent programs and it's a group setting individual therapy is totally and completely worthless. Now that's spoken as someone who provides it individual therapy I may not be the right person for your marketing department. So it sounds like what you do is exactly the wrong thing for people in this scenario I don't I don't use it yet I don't see abusers and by and large once the law gets involved involved in this county anyway they're mandated to a program that meets twice a week for $25.00 weeks so that's 50 sessions is that really enough where 50 sessions and maybe they're an hour and a half each so 75 hours is enough to really begin to transform this human being these sessions generally run from $6.00 to $9.00 it's a group setting there are at least 2 play missions one is a man one is a woman these are really really tough programs it's it's kind of in its intensity it borders on a scared straights kind of thing but it doesn't work on fear but it's tough it's hard now does it I don't know of any stats that that I could pull on to say after this program they're never involved again my feeling is they come out of that kind of program and relocate geographically so I really don't know what happens to them but I do know that anything less than that kind of a program just send some other woman to the E.R. there's no shortage of women who are primed to get into a domestic violence relationship what is it about a group setting for the domestic abuser that is so much more effective than individual cancer group treatment in this case is so wildly effective because you have have to remember so let's say I think that the I think that the quota for that particular group is 20 so you've got 20 men in there there are varying in age economic situation they are. They're in all kinds of ways when you got that $800.00 suit those $500.00 are sitting in there next to the carpenter next to the Plumber next to the Buster or next to the middle manager from I.B.M. So you have and the ages are all to you have this huge homogeneous mix and the number one thing that got him in here is that there are charges were pressed they were convicted of domestic violence so you're going to get and that the scenarios that come out in how you will behave in each person is given is given a scenario and and the counselor will be the perp you know will be the the person who's Poken the bear and you have 6 hours a week for 25 weeks of people poking the bear and raiding that and if you don't graduate you get another 25 weeks it's a powerful powerful way anything less than that is just really a waste of time is there any way to gauge whether someone is going through the motions and putting on the right show versus really letting it get into their soul Absolutely and this goes back to your very 1st questions to me about education of a clinician specific education for not only clinical social work. Education in all the continuing education that goes with it specifically towards human behavior neurobiology of the brain neurobiology of social path ology how people behave lot of big words but but that kind of education is absolutely important and intense separate education about how to deal with domestic violence perpetrators these people are trained to a fine pencil point yes they're going to get the guy who thinks he can get over you have to remember that narcissism in domestic violence is a gigantic component. Tell me what narcissism is he planned please explain why OK narcissism is one of the personality disorders in the Spectrum What is a personality disorder it is a now formation of the character of the individual in a particular direction when it's narcissism the character of the person focuses only on the self everything is about me if it rains it's against me if the sun is shining that's a good day for me if you if you walk past me at work and you don't say hello to me you are you're hateful to me and I'm going to have to get back at you everything everything is about the individual and everything needs to feed me and they will look for weaker people in relationships whether their friendships or our romantic relationships to feed on they feed on the weak what way would they feed on a friendship someone who was always high so I'm so glad she could let me buy you lunch let's go have lunch tell me what you thought about those Jets yeah you're right that that's another personality disorder or someone who is so dependent that they constantly need to be supported and validated by another person the match of a dependent personality disorder to Darcis is just a mistake violence made in heaven what are some of the. Crossovers where you'll very often have a domestic abuser who is also an alcoholic or is also a drug addict or is also a gambling addict or has been a victim of sexual abuse himself very often you will have been the victim of untreated and untreated victim of sexual abuse that's that's kind of that's so damaging sexual abuse particular child sexual abuse is so damaging on the. Persona that you nobody survives intact the only thing that redeem a person that salvage is them is treatment so yes you will very often have someone who is a victim of childhood sexual abuse alcoholics a very commonly abusers very commonly very often an outgrowth of advanced alcohol dependence very often starts in alcohol plaque outs and then goes on from there. Drug addicts as domestic abusers are categorized by kind of drug and very often in the print progression of drug addiction it gets to be anything in everything but drug addicts are much more interested if you get between them and their drug that can be problematic but they're very they turn very much in word that's why we have crack houses and cocaine and things like that opiates it's a different kind of category so not as often drug addicts if you get between the money and the drug addict could be abusive but it wouldn't be the same kind of pattern alcoholics are very very much in that mode and I find myself feeling so infuriated at the idea that someone is beating their wife and then not that it excuses it but if I if I'm tracing that all the way back to Gee maybe that was a 7 year old boy who was sexually abused or something you know it's that chain goes on and on the one hand I'm furious and on the other hand I'm sympathetic and that's really the appropriate feeling both of them because it's hard to say that that there was never a you know preexisting event. I have almost always found I would say that when someone has stayed with me long enough I've had enough time with them regardless of whether they were the perpetrator or the victim we always get to to some event some setting some background that set the stage for this so yes that is the ideal set of emotions is the rage that this could happen and then the disbelief in the rage that something happened to them and I. I want to cover one of the thing that I think is very important about the victim and I just spoke lightly about it before but I want to explain it because it's important it's called learned helplessness and it goes back to all the stages of why she doesn't leave and why she ends up there until she's in some cases laying bloody on a gurney or worse learned helplessness is the occurrence on the victim of how the perpetrator continually works on the Majendie of the victim to convince them that they are intrinsically worth absolutely nothing and that they can do nothing he sed his verbiage is very often who would take you yeah you think you're going to run away from here who would take you look at you you're a mess you can't even iron a blue shirt who do you think is ever going to want you your family everyone calls you right so who would be interested in you get a job look at that you couldn't even keep a job at the drugs you see the kind of thing that it builds in and so when people say why doesn't she just leave I mean that's all she's been hearing is that she could not survive without him which by the way is one of the reasons that she goes back 21 times before someone finally hopefully reaches her and she stays away going to mention occupation and I'd like you to just take 30 seconds or a minute if you have anything that you would say about people in that occupation and it's either with respect to in doing their jobs or in how their jobs might affect them as potentially being a domestic abuser or victim of domestic abuse. Corrections Officer very high possibility to be an abuser because corrections is probably the most difficult it's far more difficult to be a corrections officer than it is to be a cop. Because it is such a confined area and the prisoners are are in such a confined state const for such a long time we're talking about people who are in prison for life 25 years you know maximum security so the corrections officer is constantly being bombarded taunted so it's very very they store a lot to let me put it that where corrections officers stores up a lot they are very macho in my experience I've had any number of them I've done work in the prisons. There are very macho kind of lot by and large and and therapy doesn't come easily to them and they don't have a lot of ways to blow off steam so I would say that yeah there and there certainly in a danger zone stripper not particularly a victim you know. When a stripper works they're generally not a prostitute they are a stripper. Many strippers consider themselves artists. In the way in which they stripper pole dancers much the same thing. They're very much in in control they don't like anybody telling them what to do so strippers are not necessarily victims successful entrepreneur I would say that a successful entrepreneur is probably proud of probably has some. Definitely has some. Placed on the latter because there's a lot of stress to being successful whether an entrepreneur or. Whatever your successful business there's a lot of stress and again successful people tend to internalize that they no one can help them nobody needs to I'm really fine I got it all taken care of donator fairly me alone I got this so that makes them a candidate police officer police officers again carry a great deal they know a lot they can parent control a police officer has to be very very efficient in power and control so it's difficult I think to leave that in the patrol car you mentioned before that domestic abuse is growing in the over age 65 group why is that that is because the older people get the less visible they are in the community the less interested people are in them. Particularly they retire we're a nation where our identity is what you do not who you are and when that what you do whether you are a Metro North engineer or conductor or whether you are C.E.O. when that's gone you know who you are and that's not gender specific either by the way frustration is a major factor in the elderly increased alcohol use is a factor few outlets nobody listening to them not enough activity not enough exercise those are all factors that lead to high tension in the relationship and nobody's going to talk one last question before we go I'd like you to speak to any person out there who's listening who is a victim of domestic abuse I want you to speak to them and tell them what to do. The 1st thing to do if you are having this realisation that you are in a relationship that is centered on power and control you need to carefully look in the mirror and state that you are important and that this is not how you want to live and then quietly carefully and leaving no evidence behind you begin to investigate where the nearest battered women shelter is oh yes take your breath away that I could be a battered woman yes you are better woman take the steps so you don't have to be a dead one look for the shelter get the help speak to mental health or the shelter and they will help you to create a plan if you feel that you are life is threatened then keep a package of a change of clothes and a few dollars in your car or actual office so that if it gets bad you can leave and you don't have to come back so that you can leave go to a shelter and have the help that you deserve love does not hurt go where the love fish and I want to thank our wonderful guest Pat Kimble, licensed clinical social worker in Fishkill New York you can reach her at P A T K I M B L E dot com and it has been so wonderful thank you very much for your time and expertise thank you so much Mark it's been a real pleasure to be with you.


Inside the Law logo

Sign-up for new episodes and updates:


Return to the home page