Dealing with Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone of any age or gender. Whether it's physical or psychological, domestic abuse is destructive for both the battered and the batterer. Its tendency to be passed down over generations makes it all the more important that we develop effective methods for combating abuse.

Recent Posts on Domestic Violence

Ten WHYS? (Agonizing, Infuriating, Shameful), and One WHEN?!

The United States is an outlier among Western nations in their healthcare, preschool education, and other social programs, but the most glaring, humiliating way we stand out is in terms of the sheer numbers of privately owned weapons we harbor, and the extraordinary numbers of shooting victims in homes and public places, especially in schools.

Yes, It Really Is Possible To Avoid Arguments. Part I.

When faced with a threat to our ability to influence or control our place in an important relationship, ancient fears can be activated that awaken memories or trauma from previous experiences in which others who possessed greater authority than ourselves may have exploited our vulnerability or dependency on them in ways that were hurtful or damaging to us.

When Getting Close Equals Getting Hurt, Part Two

Six key questions to consider to help your clients begin to take healthy risks towards seeking and sustaining closeness.

8 Ways Controlling Men Make Mothering Even Harder

Being a mother is the most important and difficult job. A controlling or abusive partner makes it so much harder.

I Want To Leave My Husband And Kids

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 27, 2015 The Teen Doctor
What To Do About Your Family When You Want To Leave Home

When Getting Close Equals Getting Hurt, Part One

Here's how prior experiences of rejection, abandonment, and disloyalties can create a template for relationships that associates closeness with getting hurt.

Micromanaging Every Move: Inside a Controlling Relationship

Coercive Control is not about one partner simply being “bossy” or “a nag;” it’s about domination.

Mental Illness Does Not Equal Dangerous, Mostly

By Carrie Barron M.D. on September 14, 2015 The Creativity Cure
There are many different kinds of mental illness and most people with these conditions are not dangerous. However a certain mix of psychological ailments combined with other known risk factors can be a set up for violent crime. If we can clear up the misunderstandings we will be in a better position to predict and protect.

Is Your Partner Too Controlling?

Are you feeling controlled by your partner? Assess your relationship.

One Psychologist's Two Cents on Guns

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 Out of the Ooze
Will owning a gun sometimes protect good people from bad people? Yes, of course. Will owning a gun also make a person more likely to be murdered or to die of suicide? Yes, of course. The politics swirling around the touchy issue of gun ownership often ignore the complexity of the problem.

Physical Punishment—and Violence

Physical punishment is damaging to the mental health of children and the societies in which we live. There are alternatives that build on children's ability to integrate feelings, language, and cognition.

Does Psychology Reveal Why Women Stay With Abusive Men?

Every minute, one case of domestic violence is reported to the police in the United Kingdom. This often hidden crime is frequently 'normalised' or made light of, by perpetrators.

When Relationship Abuse Is Hard to Recognize

Recognize abusive control in relationships

Read Any Good Psychology Books Lately?

The Data Doctor gets asked about reading recommendations from a former student.

Want Your Relationship to Work? Give Up Yelling

By giving up yelling, you are giving a gift to those around you, and you are giving a gift to yourself, because yelling actually sends uncomfortable feelings throughout your brain and body. Now you can relax and enjoy your days, knowing that you have removed this destructive habit.

Does Your Partner Have Rage Attacks? Here's What to Do

If, for whatever reason—or possibly no good reason at all—your partner is blasting you, what do you need to do? Granted, many therapists would simply suggest that you leave the scene. For, as a matter of personal dignity and respect, you’re hardly obliged to tolerate such abuse. But although such a response is warranted, it can actually be dangerous. . . .

A Mom-tervention

How do you find the courage to resist a bully? My cousin found it when her mother urgently needed protection from her father. They tried to sneak away when he wasn't looking, but the cat escaped and my cousin had to go back and face her Dad. In that moment, she learned to believe in her power to set boundaries. She will enjoy that skill forever.

Women We Love to Hate—and Why We Hate Them

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 Wicked Deeds
When a pretty, young, white woman is charged with premeditated murder it creates intense curiosity because their alleged crimes violate sacred norms of gender, race, and even motherhood. Their trials become media events because the public is shocked and outraged by the actions of these norm violating females.

A Positive Template for Ending Marital Fights

When marital fighting is hard to stop, then a having a positive template can make it easier to stop the arguing.


Trusting the possibility of reconciling even the most difficult of relationship impasses and knowing what that process entails, gives us the hopefulness and motivation to develop and practice new skills.

Who Should Own A Gun?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 Media Spotlight
Are there specific guidelines for mental health professionals to follow in judging the risk of allowing certain people to own guns? A new article published in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice provides practical guidelines for firearm assessments and the sort of questions that professionals should ask prospective gun owners.

Why Can Domestic Violence Get Passed From Parent to Child?

It can be hard to understand why a child who is exposed to domestic violence might go on to experience violence in later adult relationships.

Could Women Be as Violent as Men?

The Data Doctor answers a question about gender patterns in domestic violence and whether women could really be as violent as men.I also briefly comment on the Hoffman report regarding APA collusion in waterboarding and other torture post 9/11.

Can Abuse Be Invisible?

By Craig Malkin PhD on July 12, 2015 Romance Redux
All abuse has a legacy. If we want to end emotional abuse, we can start by educating people about what it is and how it works.

Are Gay & Lesbian Couples as Violent as Straight Couples?

As we achieve marriage equality for LGBTQ and heterosexual couples, the Data Doctor answers a question about the dark side of relationships.

"Love Hormone" Oxytocin Linked to Domestic Violence

Oxytocin, which leads to trust and attachment, may also lead to possessive and abusive behaviours.

The Diseased States of America

If addictions are life-long diseases, we're all doomed.

Identifying The Next Mass Murderer—Before It’s Too Late

By Joe Navarro M.A. on June 21, 2015 Spycatcher
We average 20 mass murders a year—what can be done?

Ask the Data Doctor

Sorting through science have you feeling achy and blue? Let the Data Doctor decipher the data for you. I help researchers, practitioners, students, and policy makers make sense of science on violence, victimization, resilience, and related psychological topics.