Despite relatively gradual progress in the pursuit of equal rights for all members of society, gender-based violence remains a frequent problem in our society today.
Psychology has tried to work both on the victim and on the social environment and even on the abuser. In the latter case, an attempt was made establish a typical model or profile of the abuser. Although there are many types of abuse and aggressor, it is possible to find some typical characteristics of this type of aggressor.
- Perhaps interesting: “Psychological profile of the rapist: 12 common traits”
Gender-based violence is understood as any conduct, communication or lack thereof produced by one subject for the purpose of causing physical, psychological or sexual harm to another due to or for reasons of reasons derived from belonging to a specific sex or gender.
The person who commits the harmful act, the aggressor, commits these acts willfully and intentionally knowing that these acts involve a violation of the rights of the attacked party. Violence can be exercised directly or indirectly, By physical assault, harassment, threats or coercion. Sometimes the violence is not exerted on the partner himself, but the environment or his children are attacked in order to cause their suffering.
Statistics reflect that a large majority of abuses are perpetrated by men against women, Usually initiating abusive attitudes and behavior in adolescence or early youth.
There are also cases of late onset, as well as cases of female violence against men (although it is generally not recognized as gender-based violence).
There are a large number of variables that can end up causing an individual to be abused, so it is not easy to establish a general profile of the perpetrator figure in gender-based violence. However, below we will see a dozen of the features that are common in most cases.
The profile of the aggressor
Although there is no one type of aggressor and they all have characteristics that make them different from each otherThere are a number of things that tend to be common in almost all cases. Below is a series of twelve traits common to most abusers.
1. They generally have a good public image
It is not uncommon for voices of surprise to arise when cases of abuse are known among those who know the abuser. This is due to the fact outside the home or by the abuser tends to act with perfect normalityUsually do not have visible signs of hostility towards their partner in their conduct and treat them both for themselves and for others with cordiality and affection. It is at home, in private life, that the individual in question manifests and unloads his aggressiveness.
2. Feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem
A common denominator for most abusers is the presence of low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority towards their comrades. These feelings of inferiority cause deep frustration that can easily turn into violence.
On the other hand, the frustration of seeing things from the perspective of a person with low self-esteem leads, in some cases, to expressing anger through violence against those who are physically weaker or against those who are physically weaker. are in a vulnerable situation for reasons linked to the context. In addition, a safe place is sought in which to exercise this violence, and the domestic sphere is generally sought after for the aggressor, because it offers privacy, far from the eyes of the feared.
3. Motivation for power
Generally, the abuser tends to have a high need for power. these subjects they tend to need to impose their own opinions or that things are done their own way, at least in small social circles, those in which they can try to be respected by violence (instead of doing so they sometimes cause fear, something very different from the respect).
Due in large part to the aforementioned feelings of inferiority or lack of control in several vital areas important to the abuser, the individual in question may end up needing help. exert control and domination over the couple, Which they tend to view as inferior.
4. Gender stereotypes are internalized
Gender-based violence derives its name from the fact that the cause of the violence is linked to the sex of the assaulted person. Therefore, most abusers they use gender roles as a pretext for aggression, Use them to emphasize their role and that of their partner and to punish behaviors and thoughts that stray from it.
So, the woman should be submissive, loving and dependent while the man should be strong, dominant and stoic. If one of the two does not fulfill these roles frustration and aggression appear.
5. Low level of assertiveness
Another relevant aspect for a large number of abusers is the lack of ability to respond positively to different problems it can happen to them day after day. Thus, problems and changes frustrate them and they often react to them with aversion. They aggressively defend their rights without considering the wishes of others and putting their needs first.
6. Dependency relationships
While this is not the case in all cases, it is common in the personality structure of the abuser’s store to have some dependence on the environment. This addiction causes fear and a certain fixation before the idea of being left behind, which in the case of the abuser results in an increase in control over the couple, a high level of jealousy towards other possible “competitors”, The attempt to isolate yourself and make you dependent on the abuser and / or even the physical assault.
7. Emotional instability and impulsivity
Typically, the abuser tends to have a high level of neuroticism. This means that he has a labile emotivity which can quickly switch from joy to sadness, or from affection to contempt. This lack of stability alleviates frustration and internal tension, which together with strong impulsiveness and poor pulse control it can trigger an assault.
A relevant aspect shared by most abusers is tendency to focus on their own needs and concerns, Ignore those of others or the consequences of one’s own conduct on others.
9. Jealousy and possessiveness
The abusive individual tends to fear that the partner will abandon or highlight him, so he tries to avoid being influenced or attracted by outside subjects who might move away from him, reacting violently to the alleged interactions. with strangers. that they can take it.
The abused person it is considered an element of its property who must remain faithful and carry out his designs. Control behaviors are established and the perception is biased in search of confirmation of their fears.
10. Low level of empathy
One of the most clearly visible aspects of abusers is the low level of empathy they show towards their victims. They usually do not put themselves in the victim’s shoes or willfully choose to ignore their point of view, disregarding the psychic and / or emotional effects that violence has on the victim beyond the control of their behavior.
11. They minimize violence or blame others
Another common factor, although not mentioned in all cases, is that the abuser tends to view violence as justified, Decrease the importance of its effects or reject blame it on the couple’s performance or on other factors such as alcohol or drugs.
12. Ability to handle
Although not in all cases, despite a very reduced capacity for empathy, many repeat offenders have a great capacity for manipulation and suggestion. even if it also depends on the victim’s situation and personalityIn some cases, the ability to convince them that aggressive behaviors were engaged in for their own good, that they are normal, or even that the aggression was deserved has manifested itself.
They can also predispose the victim to be wary of their environment and to distance themselves from it by putting them on bad terms with those close to them, by isolating them and by making them depend exclusively on the student or the aggressor.
- Castellà, M .; Lachica, E .; Molina, A. and Villanueva, H. (2004). Violence against women. The profile of the aggressor: risk assessment criteria. Notebooks of legal medicine, 35.
- Gadd, D .; Fox, CL and Hale, R. (2014). Preliminary steps towards a more preventive approach to eliminating violence against women in Europe. European Journal of Criminology (SAGE) 11 (4). https://doi.org/10.1177/1477370813505953.
- Kilmartin, C .; Allison, JA (2007). Male violence against women: theory, research and activism. London: Routledge.
- Patricia Gil, E .; Lloret, I. (2007). Human rights and gender-based violence. Barcelona: Editorial UOC.
- Reichel, D. (2017). Determinants of domestic violence in Europe: the role of socio-economic status, inequalities and couple behavior. Interpersonal violence magazine. 32 (12): 1853 – 1873.
- Villacampa Estiarte, C. (2008). Gender-based violence and the criminal justice system. Valence: Tirant lo Blanch.