Victims & Offenders
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Controlling and Angry Men
September 21, 2015
Dating violence is a serious issue that faces many more people in this country than our citizens are aware of. In 2007, intimate partner violence (IPV) caused 2,340 deaths, with 70% being female victims. This number accounted for 14% of all homicides that year (www.cdc.gov). Dating violence is a serious and important issue facing our country. There are many people who feel that it is a “family” issue and should be handled within it. This is not the case. In this paper, I will continue the discussion of why this issue is so important, as well as discuss common beliefs/misconceptions, and bring reality to light.
This book gives a total of seventeen myths about abusers. I will focus on three of these myths and their realities. The first myth is “he was abused as a child” (Bancroft, 2002, 24). This is a common excuse used by many people attempting to explain why they did what they did. We have heard and read about this excuse when it came to sexual abuse as well. According to the book, there have multiple studies conducted that concluded the link between childhood abuse and intimate partner violence is weak at best. If they were so abused as a child, why would they inflict the same pain on someone they claim to love? There may be some truth that he was abused as a child and I know how hard it is to just leave those feelings behind. Sometimes I still feel angry and have to try really hard to remember to be rational. Abusers are controlling, entitled, and manipulative.
The second myth is “ he loses control” (Bancroft, 2002, 33). The example of this situation given in the book was a woman who said her partner would lose control, throw things, and break them. When asked if the broken things were ever the abusers, the woman said “no”. We can see from this example that even when the abuser “loses control”, he is still cautious to not break his own belongings. Once again, everyone loses control once in a while. But when the abuser loses control constantly and breaks things that aren’t his, he is still in control. It is a controlling tactic that he uses to manipulate the victim into thinking that he isn’t abusive, he just cant control himself sometimes.
The third myth is “his previous partner hurt him” (Bancroft, 2002, 27). In this situation, the abuser will tell a sad and bitter tale of betrayal and hurt by a previous partner. He will not admit to any fault in the broken relationship. Once again, how can you inflict this pain on someone when you know how much it hurts? Many people have had a bad relationship and have harsh feelings toward the person, but they also understand there are things they could’ve done better as well.
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men has many amazing points. The key findings can be found in identifying the myths and their realities, the types of abusive men, and the answered frequently asked questions. These key findings combined gives an abused woman the information she needs to take her first step in the right direction: out the door. The first six chapters as well as chapters thirteen through fifteen are the essential chapters for all women to read.
Overall, this book was mind-blowing and eye opening. As I have alluded to in class, I was abused by my stepfather from the age of 11 until right before my 16th birthday. The abuse was psychological and physical, and I am still dealing with the consequences of his actions. Every chapter and step of this book I found myself reading about him. Of course in the book he was named “the abuser”. I will never truly understand him or forgive him, but this book is a step on the right path. Through this book I was able to learn about his thought process, how he perceived situations, and that he falls into a few “types” of abuser. Sometimes this class is really hard because I “relive” some situations and they are painful, but this book was one of the most helpful things and I was even able to get my mother to start reading it to help her along as well.
One of my recommendations is to use this book and give seminars at all colleges and universities. This book is beneficial to all women (and men) because it gives the warning signs as well as how to get out of an abusive relationship. Before we can do anything, however, we need to change the mentality of our society. I have mentioned this numerous times in my blogs because we still live in a society where women are not valued as highly as we should be. Some men see women as sexual objects or lesser beings. As we read in the book, the abuser cannot stop abusing until he learns to respect his partner. All citizens in this country need to respect everyone, regardless of race, sex, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or anything else. This goes beyond the scope of the book, but respect is needed to stop the abuse. And the abuse has to stop.
Bancroft, L. (2002). Why does he do that?: Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. New York: Putnam’s Sons.
Understanding Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet 2014. (2014). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/ipv-factsheet.pdf