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Describe the dynamics of domestic violence, including the internal and external processes of both victim and abuser.

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Interesting question to consider, coming less than a week after a player for the Kansas City Chiefs football team shot his girlfriend, who also happened to be the mother of his three month old baby, then killed himself in front of his coach and a couple of others at the Chiefs' practice facility in Kansas City, Missouri.  Generally, although not always, domestic violence occurs when a husband beats his wife and/or children; alcohol and drugs may also play a part as well.  Experts in the field have said for quite some time that abusers were often abused themselves, and that victims may have grown up in homes witnessing abuse, thus creating an idea in their minds that this type of behavior is OK.  Abusers often apologize profusely after a beating, swearing they will never do it again--but, of course, they do.  Further complicating matters is a wife/mother who fears leaving because a) the husband says he will kill her and she believes him, and/or b) the wife believes the children are better off if she remains in the home, and/or c) the wife lacks the financial resources and/or confidence to make it as a single parent. 

American courts have been notoriously ineffective dealing with this issue; restraining orders mean nothing to most abusers, and of course, a person cannot be arrested until an actual crime has occurred--not just a threat.  The wife herself often complicates matters by refusing to press charges when the police become involved, either from fear, or hope that he really means it this time and will stop the abuse.  There have also been an unacceptable number of tragic cases where women who summoned the courage to leave were tracked down and killed by their abusers. 

There are often warning signs that a relationship will turn abusive; men who are overly possessive of their wives or girlfriends, jealous, demanding to know where the woman is at every moment--these are not positive developments, and a woman would be wise to get away from such a man as quickly as possible--but often they don't, especially if they're operating from a place of insecurity, or misguided sense that this is how the man in question shows his love. 

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