This is mainly because abuse is not a relationship problem. The problem is in the beliefs and attitudes of the destructive partner. When abuse is treated as a marriage problem, a couple can end up spending numerous years in couples counseling, and make little to no progress at best. And most likely, the issues will worsen.
The study suggests that attorneys' accounts portray the woman-battering cases which reach the justice system as ‘common couple violence’ rather than ‘patriarchal terrorism’. Results indicate that the legal profession, charged with the prosecution and adjudication of domestic violence, resorts to gender stereotypes to excuse, minimize or tolerate violence against women.
The discourse of "mutual combat" (Dobash, Dobash & Wilson, 1992; Schwartz & Dekeseredy, 1993; Straus, 1993;) or "common couple violence" (Johnson, 1995) shifts the blame, or part of it, to the victim. Such discourse underestimates the impact of the battering on women and their children and ignores the dynamics of battering relationships in addressing a specific incident (Ferraro, 1989b). [...]
Conceptions of woman abuse as "family violence" and the myth of woman battering as "mutual combat" have compromised attempts to treat battering cases as crimes and protect women from violent men. Victim-blaming attitudes occasionally held by police, prosecutors, judges and other court staff in woman battering cases may distort the reality of domestic violence dynamics, play down the danger posed to women in abusive relationships and inhibit battered women from utilizing the system.
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