Men Who Batter

Men who batter are of all ages and come from all socioeconomic, educational, racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. One study that compared violent with nonviolent men found no statistically significant difference in demographic characteristics. Batterers were heterogeneous, failing to conform to a "batterer profile." Although batterers show higher levels of personality dysfunction than do nonviolent men, no particular personality disorder diagnosis has been identified that consistently discriminates between batterers and nonbatterers. The one thing batterers do have in common is the use of power to control the behavior of their partners and their children. Other common themes are the use of denial and minimalization as well as blaming others as justifications for their actions.

About 60 percent of men who batter grew up in violent homes where they either witnessed the battering of their mothers or they themselves were emotionally or physically abused. However, 40 percent of men who grow up in similarly violent homes do not go on to batter, and not all men who do batter experienced violence while growing up.

Both batterers and victims of battering may abuse alcohol and other drugs. Although use of alcohol is associated with the intensity of violent behaviors, there is no established link between the use of these substances and the cause of violence.

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