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Domestic violence occurs when one family member, household member, or intimate harms another. The harm inflicted can be physical, emotional, psychological, or even economic. A single occurrence of domestic violence is not the norm; rather, the realization of one instance suggests that related behavior is longstanding and ongoing. As an existing framework within a relationship dynamic, it is both simple and horrific.
Each case of domestic violence is different, but historical and psychological similarities, even patterns, are hard to miss. It is most often the result of accumulated as opposed to situational rage, and it is often the result of a power imbalance. Things become uneven when one or both parties want complete control over the other or where one or both feel powerless over the other. There are of course many exceptions, but power and control are the most common themes—rendering an abusive dynamic from tools and experiences forged in relationships past and present.
Domestic violence is commonly associated with social isolation, chronic arguing, jealousy, and the fear of inadequacy made real through betrayal or abandonment. It also frequently occurs in association with drug and alcohol abuse. It arrives as a mechanism for control, punishment, and emotional expression—when the abuser feels angry, weak, or frightened.
Sometimes the victims will receive medical attention, and sometimes they will suffer injuries left untreated. All of this will occur over a period of years, while they are trapped inside of a relationship with bars made of fear, money, and shame. If they are fortunate, they will eventually find a means of escape; if they are not, then they may die miserable and alone, perhaps as the result of a violent altercation that is most likely to occur in the kitchen or bedroom.
Domestic violence, it must be understood, involves some of the more violent and aberrant behaviors that behavioral analysts will need to examine—often more—than one sees in relation to serial murderers. Indeed, this examiner has analyzed his share of such cases in 20 years of research and forensic practice—from an abusive husband who cut off his wife’s head during an argument, in front of their 5-year-old daughter; to an abusive husband who beat his wife nearly to death with a hammer, leaving her brain damaged, during a bitter custody dispute; to yet another abusive husband who bit and choked his wife to death during one of their usual rough sex encounters, while both were high on meth. All of this and more have featured prominently in this examiner’s domestic homicide casework.
It is well known that domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is a regular occurrence in the United States, to say nothing of the rest of the world. We need more professional awareness about domestic violence to help us recognize when the evidence is before us demanding a response. But we also need tools that help us understand it more clearly, so that our response is informed and indeed helpful. Otherwise we will be incompetent when we respond, if we don’t miss the indicators entirely. This work is a step in that direction and, as such, is a valuable reference for the forensic behavioral analyst.
The above is the FOREWORD by Brent Turvey from the book Forensic Psychology of Spousal Violence. The book, by author Mauro Paulino, covers the phenomenon of spousal violence and its different forms, discussing the consequences of abuse, providing research tips to be used in the field, including relevant case studies and much more. The innovative approach of this text fills a void in the current understanding of spousal violence. The book
- Uses international statistics to present data of women battered and/or deceased to educate, change mindsets and practices and ultimately reduce the number of battered women and spousal homicides in the future
- Includes current case studies
- Includes best practices for spousal abuse investigations
- Portable for use in fieldwork
Watch the powerful book trailer by Mauro Paulino below:
If you would like to purchase a print or e-copy of Forensic Psychology of Spousal Violence, visit the Elsevier Store. Apply discount code STC215 at checkout for 30% off the list price and free global shipping. The book is also available on line via ScienceDirect.
Researchers and clinicians in psychology work across a vast array of sub-disciplines, including applied psychology, addictions, cognitive psychology, developmental and educational psychology, experimental physiological psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, and behavioral and cognitive therapy. For these professionals, and students as well, cross-disciplinary study is a given. For more than 75 years, Elsevier has cultivated portfolios of psychology books, eBooks, and journals covering current and critical issues in all of these areas. This vital content provides a sound basis of understanding for all those involved in this multi-faceted field.