Is the problem of domestic violence in Hawaii getting worse?
Domestic violence is a well-protected secret in the majority of cases. It would be very difficult to determine the number of domestic violence cases we currently have in Hawaii and there is no data to tell us how bad it used to be. The police and domestic violence service providers see only “the tip of the iceberg.“
Knowing that domestic violence cuts across all socioeconomic groups, there is no reason to believe that Hawaii has more or less domestic violence than anywhere else in the country.
Why doesn’t she leave?
There are a myriad of reasons battered women remain in or return to abusive relationships; many have to do with economic and other barriers leaving presents. A combination of these barriers and fear may keep a woman trapped in the relationship.
Most battered women eventually leave, and we need to remember that leaving an abusive relationship is a process, not an event. It takes time for victims to examine their options and make plans for their escape.
Ironically, the most dangerous time for a battered woman is after she has left the relationship. Most homicides of battered women and the most serious injuries to battered women occur when she is seeking help or she has left the relationship.
How do you know she didn’t do something to provoke him?
Feeling provoked does not give anyone the right to hurt another. There is no excuse for domestic violence and no one deserves to be battered.
How can we prevent batterers from battering?
A perpetrator may choose to stop abusing others when his family, friends, faith community, employer, neighbors, the criminal justice system, etc., hold him accountable for his immoral and illegal behavior and when he learns alternatives to his abusive behaviors.
How can we stop the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence and protect our children from becoming victims and/or batterers?
Teach children non-violent values, to respect themselves and others, problem-solving skills, how to handle their anger, etc. Modeling non-violent behavior relays the strongest message.
Can men be victims of domestic violence?
Yes, although it is fairly uncommon for a man to be at the total mercy of a woman, in the same way that a male perpetrator of domestic violence can wield control a battered woman. Women are more likely to use violence in self-defense, while male perpetrators use violence to gain and/or maintain power and control over his victim(s).
Many perpetrators of domestic violence will identify themselves as victims. Careful screening needs to be conducted to ensure that perpetrators are not manipulating the system.