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November 27, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 27, 1998
 

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, November 27 - December 3, 1998 FBI behavioralist: batterers often follow patterns Sussex power, By Kerry Kester The man held his wife in his arms and told her he loved her - he didn't want to lose her. A few minutes later,, he stuffed her life- less body in a plastic container and sealed it in an interior wall of his house. Learning that his wife intended to divorce him triggered his ultimate act of domestic vio- lence - homicide. The Federal Bureau of Investi- gation'(FBI) estimates that one- third of all households in the Unit- ed States experience domestic vio- lence in some form, whether it be verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual or physical abuse. Women are by far the most common vic- tims, said Special Agent George DeShazor Jr. of the FBI Behav- ioral Science Unit. "Clearly, [domestic violence] is no longer the most hidden crime in America," said DeShazor, who law enforcement agents hear that control central to domestic violence was a speaker at the domestic vio- lence training seminar for law en- forcement personnel Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the BayCenter in Dewey Beach. "It's a problem of our nation, and its ongoing." Although the vast majority of victims are women, children and men are also victimized. For ex- ample, he said, 19 children died in the Oklahoma bombing incident, but 70 children die each week at the hands of their parents. "Are there men out there being abusedT' he asked. "Absolutely." DeShazor said that there is not a specific typology for batterers. Behaviorialists have several theo- ries about what causes people to become abusive, but none appears to be absolutely conclusive, he said. For example, one theory is thatthere is a genetic predisposi- tion toward violence. On a per- sonal level, DeShazor finds the Denise Brown: problem of domestic violence belongs to everyone By Kerry Kester "It's clear that we must stop the cycle of violence," said Denise Brown, who runs the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation in "memory of her late sister, who was the victim of a violent homi- cide in 1994. Former football player O.J. Simpson, Nicole Brown's hus- band, stood trial for the murder; evi- dence at trial indicated the couple had a history of vi- olence in BROWN their relation- ship. Brown, the guest of Soroptimist International of Seaford and Boys & Girls Club, Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Boys & Girls Club in Seaford, is on a national cam- paign to stop domestic violence through a grass-roots effort that puts the onus of responsibility for ending the hidden epidemic on the communities in which the problem thrives. "Everyone needs to work to- gether, because if one piece is missing, someone could lose a life," said Brown. She touted a successful program that began in Salisbury, Conn., where main street businesses place stickers on the windows that states "If you are in a scary or dangerous situa- tion and need to get help, you may use our telephone to call Women's Emergency Services and/or the police." In larger letters, the sticker reads, "This is a safe haven, help- ing to create a community free of violence and abuse." Brown said Continued on page 12 Bank-issued, FDIC- insured to $100,000 Annual Percentage Yield (APY)--Interest cannot remain on deposit; periodic payout of interest is required. Effective 11/24/98 Call or atop by today. Member SIPC J Anthony Egeln New Devon Inn 142 Second St. Lewes 645-7710 I! Edwardlones" Serving Individual Investors Since 187 concept questionable. "The scary thing about that is it takes the blame away," he said. DeShazor added that he is more likely to subscribe to the theory that batterers live what they have learned. The average per- son watches 24 hours of violence in a week, and the majority of victims are DESHAZOR women, he said. In the course of a lifetime, the average person will watch 10,000 violent incidents on TV. "What I've seen is men socially rewarded for violence." People may gain domination and control and internalize that as a reward, he said. Some batterers are psycho- pathic, he added. They have anti- social personalities. "They don't feel bad for what they do. There's no feeling behind some of these men." No types, just patterns In general, batterers cannot be typified, he said, but most batter- ers follow identifiable patterns. "Power and control is the com- mon denominator," said DeSha- zor. Basically, batterers fall into two categories: active and passive. Active personalities may be per- ceived as control freaks who ex- tend their need for extreme domi- nation to others., They are often meticulcrus, perfectionistic and domineering, said DeShazor. "I don't know too many batterers who are not control freaks," he added. The passive batterers often dis- tance themselves from their spouses, and couples often argue about attaining some kind of emo- tional contact. The man who mur- dered his wife and sealed her in- side his home was characterized as a passive personality who abused alcohol, and as is typical with his personality characteris- tics, he launched a blitz-style at- tack. "Cunningly, methodically, he reported her missing," said DeS- hazor. Police, however, found holes in his story and suspected he was responsible for the woman's disappearance. Eventually, he failed a polygraph test. What po- lice later learned was that he had started the house project several months prior to her death; they found her in the wall several months after her death. "This is a horrible, horrible case," he said. There are three stages in the cy- cle of abuse: in the tension-build- ing phase, victims try to please the batterers so they will not become violent; the batterers, however, have feelings of rage or jealousy and try to blame others or hold others accountable, said DeSha- zor. Usually, those not' directly involved in the relationship can- n6Fidentify this part of the cycle. The phase lasts until an event triggers the second phase - the acute stage. In this phase, the bat- terer loses control of the built-up emotion when some event occurs. The incident could be of minor consequence or major conse- quence. Sometimes a victim will intentionally trigger the event just to get the beating over with and end the crippling fear that builds for the victim while rage builds for the batterer. "We all have pushing points," said DeShazor. "But we're not all candidates for homicide; we're not all candidates for suicide." Anger is an emotion; violence is a behavior, he said. During the acute phase, batterers view their world and the events in their lives out of proportion. Some batterers "zone out," he said. They become unfeeling and ro- botic; those who are in that mental state are the least predictable and the most dangerous. Repeat abusers, he explained, become ad- Continued on page 12 Toasty this . winter with an ,ElectraFire Electric Fireplace. INSTALL INSTANT AMBIENCE IN 1 HOUR_ANY PLACE! Now you can safely create the of a real fireplace in any room. All you need is a 110 electrical outlet and voila, 4,800 BTU's. What's more, it can be operated in warm weather without.the heater element on so you can enjoy the beautiful glow without the heat: No One Ihtilds .I Better Fire A Beautiful Sight To Behold. Exclusively available in this area at Bluewater, Ltd. 671 Hwy. One (over the . Nassau Bridge), Lewes 645-8119 BLUEWATER, LTD.