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Why Abusive Men Move To Violence - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Watch Dr Sylvia Gearing on YouTube describe why abusive men move to violence against their romantic partners - click here.

There are two broad categories of men who become violent in relationships:

The first is the man who controls at all costs:

- They usually have controlling and contemptuous personalities – they seem like leaders and social people, but they always want to be in control.

- They regard their wife or girlfriend as a possession, not a person.

- They show the classic signs of anger management issues – flashes of anger for no reason, violent behavior such as punching the wall, and regularly overreacting to innocent comments.

- Finally, they are unable to take responsibility for their behavior - the other person made them do it or it was someone else’s fault.

The second type is the overly emotionally dependent man. He needs constant attention and adoration from his partner to feel worthy:

- When his partner disagrees or attempts to individuate with friends or family outside the relationship, he is devastated.

- He seeks to isolate her and establish control by becoming all she’s got.

- If he cannot assume or resume control or connection, his obsession will lead him to a total self-destruction or maybe even a psychotic episode that could include dangerous or life threatening behavior.

Watch out for these signs and protect yourself from abusive men. It’s much easier to get out early in the relationship than later on.

Check back tomorrow the learn to spot a potentially abusive partner and the warning signs for when a relationship could become violent.

Source:

“1 in 4 US women victims of severe violence” by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press

The Work of Gavin De Becker

High Rates of Domestic Violence In America - By Chris Gearing

Monday, January 23, 2012

Watch Dr Sylvia on Viddler discuss why domestic violence rates are so high in America - click here.

A recent study released by the CDC found that one in four women have been severely beaten by their intimate partners while in a relationship. With the rates of violence so high, many women are concerned about their safety.

But first, why are relationship violence rates so high?

We’ve known for years that women are more often the victims of domestic violence, but these numbers speak to a deepening problem in American couples. Too many modern couples replace words and negotiation with intimidation and bullying.

Bullies believe that if they don’t get their way, that they can threaten or intimidate others to control the outcome. Such behaviors in general society have translated into how we act in our marriages. These violent habits now thrive in intimate relationships where there are no witnesses and very sadly, no accountability.

Check back tomorrow to find out how relationship violence develops in relationships and how it can get out of control.

Source:

“1 in 4 US women victims of severe violence” by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press

The Work of Gavin De Becker

Christmas Shootings In Grapevine, TX - By Chris Gearing

Monday, December 26, 2011

Watch Dr Sylvia Gearing on CBS 11 discuss the Christmas day shooting in Grapevine, TX - click here.

Domestic Violence In Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why are relationship violence rates so high?

These numbers speak to a deepening problem in American couples. Too many modern couples replace words and negotiation with intimidation and bullying. Relationship violence can easily get out of control. We are more exhausted, less affluent and less conscientious about doing the right thing even when no one is watching. We live in a society now that rewards the intimidation of others. Bullis believe that if they don’t get their way, that they can threaten or intimidate others to control the outcome. Such behaviors in general society have transferred to our marriages. These violent habits now thrive in intimate relationships where there is no witness and very sadly, no accountability.

How does this kind of relationship violence get started?

Malignant Trend: We already knew that about 70% to 80% of distressed couples could resort to occasional pushing and shoving when there is chronic tension. But this survey speaks to a more malignant trend in relationships. Relationship violence usually starts suddenly with a slap or a shove. There is shock at the beginning as the intensity and the frequency progressively increase.

Violence Becomes the Norm: The woman is intensely harmed—hit hard, kicked, violently attacked, choked, beaten, shot or slammed against a hard surface by her partner. Her denial kicks in and she pretends that this is either her fault or a normal part of life.

Witnesses to Violence in Family of Origin: Many women of the current generations have witnessed domestic violence in their parents’ relationships. When they grow up with violence, they are twice as likely to accept or normalize violence in their own relationships.

Overwhelming Trauma: The emotional damage is exponentially worse when you are traumatized at the hands of your partner. The person who is supposed to protect and honor you is now torturing you with bullying and intimidation. Twenty nine million women say that they have suffered this type of severe and frightening physical violence from their boyfriend, spouse or intimate partner.

Why do men move to violence against their wives?

There are two broad categories of men who become violent in relationships:

Men Who Control at All Costs:

  • Controlling and contemptuous personalities.
  • Regards the wife as a possession, not a person.
  • Anger issues
  • An inability to take responsibility for his behavior.

Emotional Dependence on the Wife/Girlfriend:

  • When she elects to reject him or disagree, he is devastated.
  • He becomes psychologically disorganized and seeks to isolate her and reestablish control.
  • If he cannot resume control and/or connection, his obsession will lead him to a total self-destruction that can include dangerous behaviors.

What are the warning signs of potential violence?

Physical Violence: Once he crosses the line, you have changed the relationship forever.

Symbolic Violence: This behavior includes the destruction of objects dear to the partner. The intention is to intimidate the other person. Wedding pictures, personal items like perfume or lingerie or even violence against a beloved pet are all efforts to symbolically intimate.

Fast Paced Relationships: When the pace is accelerated at the beginning, this is a control strategy.

Persistence: Anyone who will not hear “no” as an answer is trying to control you. Too often, when men say “no” that is the end of the conversation. When the woman says “no” in a potentially violent relationship, this marks the beginning of the negotiation.

What can women do to protect themselves?

Unavailability at All Costs: If you fear your partner, you must surrender your daily life to separating from him. Remember that you cannot reason with him, convince him or soothe him since he is intent upon reclaiming you as a possession. He only wants to regain control.

Worst Safety Threat is Your Own Denial: Women underestimate threat and do not recognize the warning signs such as a history of possessiveness, intimidation and sexual jealousy. These are the psychological "signposts" warning you of potential danger. Pay attention.

Intuition is Best Defense: Respect your own intuition and don't talk yourself down. Stop debating and prosecuting your own observations. Thirty one thousand women die each year in America and the majority die at the hands of an intimate partner.

Speed is Your Best Protection: If you are threatened, respond quickly. Do not hesitate and remain frozen. Experts estimate that you have approximately five seconds to make a difference in your own self defense. A failure to act may cost you your life.

Why Are Some Kids Killers? - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss why some children kill on CBS 11 - click here.

What would drive an adolescent to kill someone?

Emotions are Contagious: In the heat of the moment a group of kids can turn into a vicious mob with little provocation. The negative influence of the group can override the good common sense of even a good child. In some cases, such as in this crime, the actions turn deadly very quickly.

Developing Brain: The adolescent brain is still developing and as a result, it is highly vulnerable to the influences of the crowd. The emotional centers of the brain are not fully connected to the logical analytical parts of our brain that tells us to “turn back” or “get out of there.” Instead, the emotional centers begin to fire, the bullying behavior begins, and the anger and taunting become contagious. The crowd of kids literally feeds off of the fear of the victim and things spiral out of control.

How common is this kind of crime?

We do know that teens tend to kill other teens. Here are the numbers:

Boys between the ages of twelve to nineteen commit one third of violent crimes.

Homicides are the second leading cause of death of this same age group.

Young males are FOUR TIMES more likely to be murdered than are females.

Eighty five percent of murdered teens are male and most were involved in some sort of physical fight that led to murder.

Are adolescent males more prone to this type of violence?

Anger is an Approved Emotion: Absolutely they are since anger is a socially approved emotion for young boys. You can’t be sad but you can be angry. Anger is also energizing. Anger feels empowering and it protects them momentarily from the shame and self-loathing so many of them experience. Group violence has become a ritualized outlet for boys to express their frustration.

Group Bullying Behavior is Rampant: This event that resulted in the death of a child is currently in the news, but bullying happens everyday to millions of children. Bullying behavior is almost always a group activity and it is rampant among males.

Violence is Normalized: In a group of adolescents, boys are normalizing and even glorifying the physical violence they exert against one another. They think that by pitting themselves against an adversary, they demonstrate their machismo, defend their honor, and show how tough they really are. It is a futile attempt to connect with each other and to give them an illusion of being tough, invincible and undefeatable.

What happens over time when a child engages in this kind of group bullying behavior?

Blood Sport: They become increasingly more violent because they become desensitized to violence and it becomes a sport. They have to “up the ante” to get the same thrill. Getting away with it this time means that you may get away with it next time. The violence tends to escalate to bond the group, provide a larger thrill, and display the power and domination of the bully.

Viral Violence: Violence is symptomatic of the basic problem American boys and men are experiencing. From early childhood, they are socialized to express themselves primarily through their actions and achievements instead of careful introspection and verbal expression.

Lack of Emotional Intelligence: Over time, many boys fail to develop the age appropriate emotional intelligence necessary to manage themselves effectively. They can’t communicate, they can’t recover from failure, and they sink into a scrambled, childlike view of the world on a dime. They become disconnected from what they feel and use a limited number of emotions to navigate their relationships and to make their decisions. This doesn’t just impact their friends in high school, but also future employment, family relationships, and basic beliefs about the world.

What are the warning signs if parents are concerned about their child?

Homicides are highly predictable if we pay attention to what we are observing. Learning to predict violence is the first step to preventing violence.

Here are the warning signs in teens:

  • Lack of Conscience
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Tendency to follow others no matter what
  • History of Oppositional Behaviors
  • Actual Threats—written or spoken
  • Past Acts of violence
  • Access to Weapons
  • Past Suicide Attempts
  • Family History of Violence or Bullying
  • Cruelty to animals

What pushes a teen over the edge into homicide?

A person arrives at a tipping point and decides to act violently when four conditions are met:

  • They feel justified
  • They perceive few or no alternatives
  • They believe that the consequences will be minimal
  • They believe that they have the ability to get away with it

What should parents know if they are worried about their children?

The worst mistake parents make is to ignore what they are seeing right in front of them. Intuition is the warning system built into our brains to allow us to predict violence and to avoid it.

Here are normal signals from your intuition:

  • Nagging Feelings and Persistent Thoughts
  • Black Humor—Jokes such as “He’s just going to shoot us all!”
  • Hunches and Gut Feelings
  • Hesitation and Suspicion
  • Uncontrollable Fear

Many adults prefer to view violence as a normal “rite of passage” through childhood. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please educate yourself about child violence and train yourself to recognize it when you see it.

The Dangerous Side of Cyberstalking - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Trauma of Cyberstalking - By Chris Gearing

Monday, November 28, 2011

What To Do If Your Child Is Being Sexually Harassed - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sexual Harassment In Your Child's School - By Chris Gearing

Monday, November 21, 2011

How To Protect Your Children From Predators - By Chris Gearing

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why do we miss predators in our own back yard so often?

First of all, we often use a lot of denial to explain their behavior. We want to believe the lies and we fill in the blanks of information that a skilled liar carefully leaves out.

A person of conscience has difficulty translating the behavior of a predator, and the sociopath uses that advantage to make the normal person feel paranoid and even crazy.

Here are some signs that someone you know may be a predator:

1. Charm and smoothness that covers a cunning, deceptive self

2. Natural actors who are adapt at reading and using others

3. Constantly studies the motivations of other people in order to manipulate them

4. Enjoys dominating others and taking control

5. When confronted, will use anger or tears to manipulate accusers

The worst part is that many predators are unable to acknowledge their actions and what they have done to the child.

They also refuse to acknowledge the consequences of their decisions, even when the facts are right in front of them. The refusal to see their part in their own wrongdoing is what psychologists call “consistent irresponsibility.” If something goes wrong, it is always someone else's fault—the child, the community, whatever. Tragically, the predator never learns from what they have done.

Parents, here’s what you can do to protect your kids:

Believe Them: All to often, parents dismiss what their kids are saying as fantasy and don’t believe them. When it comes to this kind of behavior, always take it seriously and talk to your child about what happened.

Educate Them: The Penn State tragedy has started a national conversation that parents need to utilize to educate their children on self-protection. Our children are often the only ones “face to face” with the potential pedophile and we need to teach them how to use their own common sense and intuition to speak out and fight back. Learning about sexual predators and their characteristics will help you guide your children and protect them from the dangers in their lives. This is not meant to scare them but to educate and empower them.

Protect Them: Always know where your kids are and whom they are with. Whether it’s a family member, a family friend, or friend from school – make sure that you know the people your children are around and keep a record of where they are. If you feel uneasy about the person or the place you are leaving your child, listen to your intuition and get them out of there. As an adult, you know more of the signals and signs of potential predators and are much better at picking them out and protecting your children from them.

If you are worried that your child may have been a victim of a sexual predator, please contact a licensed psychologist for help. This kind of trauma can fundamentally change your child’s life and have lifelong devastating effects.

Sources:

"The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout


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