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When Men Batter Women by Neil Jacobson
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When Men Batter Women

by Neil Jacobson

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684814471, Hardcover)

When Men Batter Women: New Insights into Ending Abusive Relationships by Neil Jacobson and John Gottman, is based on a decade of research with more than 200 couples in dangerous relationships. Jacobson and Gottman, professors at the University of Washington, use their work to shatter myths and shed new light on abusive relationships.

They introduce two types of batterers: Cobras and Pit Bulls. The Cobras, the more severely violent of the two, strike swiftly and ferociously, always remaining in control and feeling entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it. Pit Bulls are more likely to lose control, letting their emotions burn slowly until they explode in anger. The research is brought to life with stories of real couples such as George and Vicky. We see the few months of happiness in their marriage before George's Cobra-like outbursts begin, and witness Vicky's desire to make their failing relationship work.

Research results and advice are woven throughout such accounts of how real people handled their situations. The authors address the many dangers of leaving an abusive spouse and the importance of forming a safety plan before doing so. Jacobson and Gottman do not come to optimistic conclusions about the ability to stop domestic violence or reform abusive men, but they are optimistic about the women. Their studies follow many women such as Vicky who ultimately left and began the difficult and courageous work of converting nightmares into dreams. --Amy Sessler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:24 -0400)

While national awareness of the issue of battering has increased in recent years, certain myths regarding abusive relationships still endure, including the idea that all batterers are alike. After their decade of research with more than 200 couples, the authors conclude that not all batterers are alike, nor is the progression of their violence always predictable. But they have found that batterers tend to fall into one of two categories, which they call "Pit Bulls" and "Cobras." Pit Bulls, men whose emotions quickly boil over, are driven by deep insecurity and an unhealthy dependence on the mates whom they abuse. Cobras, on the other hand, are cool and methodical as they inflict pain and humiliation on their spouses or lovers. Cobras have often been physically or sexually abused themselves, frequently in childhood, and tend to see violence as an unavoidable part of life. Knowing which type a batterer is can be crucial to gauging whether an abusive relationship is salvageable (Pit Bulls can sometimes be helped through therapy) or whether the situation is beyond repair. Using the stories of several couples in their study, Jacobson and Gottman look at the dynamics of abusive relationships, refuting prevalent myths. Never underestimating the inherent risk or danger involved, the authors discuss how women in their study group prepared themselves to leave an abusive relationship, where a battered woman can get help, and how she can keep herself safe.… (more)

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