Delicate Subject Series – Family Violence

Warning: Ted Bundy makes an appearance 

Family Violence can destroy an individual from reaching their potential.  Victims can experience low self-esteem, substance abuse, depression, suicidal tendencies, and wreak havoc on society.

  • Examples of Family Violence
    1. Child Abuse + Neglect
    2. Spousal + Partner Abuse
    3. Elder Abuse
    4. Physical Abuse
    5. Sibling Abuse
    6. Verbal Abuse (name calling, cursing)
    7. Verbal Violence (scorch-the-earth tempers)
    8. Sexual Abuse
    9. Financial Exploitation (ex. identity theft)

Commentary

First, it’s one thing for a parent, or other caregiver, to spank a child** with an open hand showing love and directing the youth to change negative behaviors.  It’s quite another to beat and punch a child out of anger resulting in bodily harm.  Other forms of this type of abuse are getting in the tub with a child and taking a bath or shower with them; leaving pornographic materials around the house*; having sex in front of the child*; walking around in the nude within home environment, or property*; sexually-explicit conversations in front of, or directed towards youth, which provides no proper educational value in their becoming a responsible, well-adjusted individual*; failing to keep them clean, providing a roof over their heads, feeding, sending them to school, and intentional lying about and on child causing dysfunction among siblings.  Also, when a spouse/partner is abused, the child is automatically abused because they witnessed the mistreatment*.  Concerning neglect, to be fair, some of these parents may have mental health, or financial issues, which prevent them from raising their children properly.  Also, perhaps these are abused parents and keep children at home in the belief no additional harm will come towards them from abusive spouse/partner, or some other abusive person in household.

Second, #4, #6 – 9 directed towards a spouse, or partner.

Third, neglect resulting with the elderly suffering nutritionally, grooming, taking necessary medications, and having protected, clean environment; #4, #6 – 9.

Fourth, any physical contact intentionally meant to incur bodily harm.

Fifth, it’s important for parents to resolve negative behavior when a child is harming a sibling.  When there are more than two children, the bully may coax the others in mistreating the target for abuse.

Sixth, name-calling, cursing, mocking with the intention to damage self-worth of others within household.  Also known as psychological abuse.

Seventh, rage from at least one of the adults in the household, even if the behavior isn’t aimed at anyone in particular within that household.

Eighth, inappropriate sexual contact, not necessarily penetration, by a member of the family, and others within the family construct.  Sexual abuse within a family can occur when families double up the household with immediate family members, and extended members.

Finally, family members who open bank accounts and credit cards, purchase insurance, steals tax returns, etc. from a member of the family, or part of family construct.

Commentary

By the time a child turns the age of six, they’ve either developed a conscience, or haven’t. Ted Bundy didn’t.  The household he was raised in until he was six years old with his mother and maternal grandparents can best be described A House of Horror.  He was a child who saw too much:  The grandfather possessed a violent temper, whipped the family pets, left pornographic materials around the home, and was deceptive (Rule, 2000). Whenever family members saw him coming up the walkway, they ran out the backdoor, except his wife who suffered from agoraphobia.   Bundy was at an impressionable age, thus his grandfather “taught” him these behaviors which he would act out on his victims when he became an adult.  “In the beginning he did not kill.  However, once he murdered—once he crossed that boundary, violated that taboo—killing got easier and easier” (Lewis, 1998). Are there other causations besides family violence and substance abuse which led to his murderous behaviors?  Yes, (Lewis) and we may never discover what they were.

Rule was the former police lieutenant whom Bundy became friendly as an adult at the Seattle Crisis Center, and Dr. Lewis the psychiatrist who worked as a member of his defense team.

References

Lewis, M.D., D. O. (1998). Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Ivy Books: New York.

Rule, A. (2000). The Stranger Beside Me. (20th Anniversary Ed.). NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

*This brand of abuse also falls under the category Children Who See Too Much

**Spanking a child is illegal in certain states

Vikki

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