Starting young to prevent dating abuse

The table below describes psychologically abusive behaviours and tactics in two categories: neglectful and deliberate.Neglectful tactics involve the withholding of normal human interaction or refusing to validate the victim's feelings (Garbarino 1990).Although this paper does not explore these theories, it is important to recognize that our social policies and models of prediction, prevention and treatment are often based on theoretical accounts.

Front line service providers who work with individuals experiencing psychological abuse may gain a better understanding of how to integrate diverse responses into their treatment and practice models, while the lay-person, whether this be individuals experiencing emotional abuse or their family/friends, may gain insight into possible solutions.As a result, there tends to be a dichotomy in terms of responses, treatment and practices relating to psychological abuse (Champagne 2004; Gondolf 1998).Critics have found fault with both approaches for (i) promoting stereotypical views that medicalize the problems of the victims and (ii) pathologizing the perpetrators as mentally ill (Wilczynski and Sinclair 1996, 4).These norms may be supported by community values that help to justify psychological abuse, especially where the victim is considered deserving and the controlling tactics are not viewed as morally wrong or harmful (Evans 2002).For instance, recent studies on family violence in rural communities have found that conservative values sometimes normalize psychologically abusive tactics (Clifford 2003, 9-18; Hornosty and Doherty 2003, 44-49; Krishnan, Hilbert and Van Leeuwen 2001, 28-39; Murty et al 2003, 1076).

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