Abusers choose to behave violently to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes.
Domestic violence against women by men is ’caused’ by the misuse of power and control within a context of male privilege. Male privilege operates on an individual and societal level to maintain a situation of male dominance, where men have power over women and children. Perpetrators of domestic violence choose to behave abusively to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes. In this way, domestic violence by men against women can be seen as a consequence of the inequalities between men and women, rooted in patriarchal traditions that encourage men to believe they are entitled to power and control over their partners.
Is domestic violence caused by a lack of control?
Domestic violence is about gaining control, not a lack of control. If an abuser is careful about when, where and to whom they are abusive, then they are showing sufficient awareness and knowledge about their actions to indicate they are not ‘out of control’. Abusers use violence and tactics of coercion as a way of exercising control and getting what they want.