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In the last track, we discussed Psychological Control and the role it played in leaving related to sexual dominance, social isolation, social humiliation, and a charming exterior.
In this track we will be discussing mental health issues as a life-generated risk factor to battered women.
As you know, not every risk a battered woman considers when evaluating her abusive situation are batterer-generated. Life-generated risks and circumstances, such as mental health, financial limitations, racism, and other biases, are aspects of a battered woman's life over which she may have little or no control. Have you found, like I, that although battered women have no power over these life-generated risks, the risks still negatively impact her safety and her decisions to leave?
3 Negative Impacts of a Life-Generated Risk
Negative Impact # 1 - Increased Batterer
As with many batterers, Phil was able to use Lorrie's medication against her to further his control over her. He used the threat that no one would believe her to keep her from telling the police what had really happened. As you know, a batterer may also control his partner by using a disability to humiliate her, or to threaten to keep her away from her children. Are you currently treating a client with a life-generated risk factor related to a physical or mental condition? If so, do you need to explore the impact of this risk factor and the impact this control tool has upon your client's decision to leave? Does she need to be provided with added validation like, "You are handling so much," or "I admire your strength."
Negative Impact # 2 - Authority Unresponsiveness
Has your client on medication or with a disability been inaccurately judged and thus is unable to utilize certain services or resources?
Impact #3 - Court Leniency
Using the Risk Addressor Checklist
Here is a check list for you to consider with you mentally or physically handicapped client regarding supporting her decision to leave:
Are you currently treating an obese client, for example, who suffers from increased batterer control, authority unresponsiveness, and court leniency because of a mental or physical condition that is out of her control?
The next track will take
a different focus regarding battering control technique by examining the role
the double-bind or paradox plays in your client's decision to leave.
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