Battered Man Syndrome --- Living with a
Women Who Are Intimate Terrorists
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February 27, 2014, last updated June 19, 2016
By A. Lee,  Featured Columnist

Ever hear of the term “intimate terrorist”? That’s the phrase now used
by a growing number
of scientists studying men who are battered by
women, either physically or emotionally, in their intimate relationships.

Over decades of studies of intimate violence, women are
overwhelmingly reported as victims of male-administered violence.  But
a landmark study completed in 2010 changed all that.

That study, called “A Closer Look at Men Who Sustain Intimate
Terrorism by Women” was conducted by two women researchers from
the Clark University in Massachusetts, Dr. Denise Hines and Dr. Emily

Different Types of Couples Violence

Researchers divide the violence that occurs between a man and a
woman in a relationship into different categories. There is “common
couple violence”.

This type of violence occurs when arguments get out of hand. Pushing,
shoving and minor physical aggression by either partner can occur.
Usually, both partners are engaged.  

Then there is “intimate terrorism”.  This is a totally different type of

Intimate terrorism occurs when one partner exerts control over the
other. The control is a pattern and exerts itself through physical or
emotional violence.  Only one partner inflicts this type of violence.

Also --- and this is key --- intimate terrorism is not triggered by the
receiving partner.  The Control Partner looks for an excuse ---almost
anything will do ---- to reinforce the control they have over the
Receiving Partner.

Is your partner an Intimate Terrorist? Here are some examples of the
patterns of Intimate Terrorism that you may not recognize:  

Signs of Intimate Terrorism

1.        Berating.  Berating is not simple reminding. Berating is a verbal
club used to bludgeon the victim into submission.  

Is your partner pounding you with criticism? Does the criticism come
when you are asserting your independence?  If so, the berating may be
a sign of control rather than an attempt to help you correct some
underlying issue.
Being berated raises your risk for many diseases
including heart
disease and diabetes.

Invasion of Privacy. Does your partner invade your personal
space on a regular basis? For example, have you discovered that your
papers, clothes, e-mails, texts, phone contact lists or social platforms
Facebook etc) have been pried into or tampered with?  A pattern of
invasion of privacy is never warranted. People who invade your privacy
are in effect invading an extension of your personhood.

It’s as if they are inserting their fingers into your nose or other private
crevices. Your physical private spaces and your electronic private
spaces are all extensions of You, and thus they are your private

Isolation.  Women who isolate you from your other friends or
family are preparing you for abuse. It’s that simple. Think of a lioness
who stalks. The lioness first isolates the lonely deer who is lagging
behind the pack. Then, she strikes.    

This is one of the reasons that abuse of men goes undetected.  The
abuse happens in isolation.  By the time he is abused, the man has been
cut off successfully from any buddies or family who might have

Threats. Intimate Terrorists often use threats. They may
threaten a man with loss of access to his children, or threaten a man
that they will tell the children secrets that should be kept among adults.
Any use of threats, especially those that threaten to remove access to
children or remove the shelter of a home or threats to expose a man at
work --are examples of Intimate Terrorism.

Shaming.  Shame is one  of the most powerful emotions we
humans can feel. Shame is an attack on the core of your self-respect.  
And this is why it is often a weapon used by Intimate Terrorists. An
Intimate Terrorists convinces the victim that he is unworthy as a man.  
She convinces the victim who has been slapped or beaten or subjected
to infidelity or worse that  “no real man would let himself get treated
this way”.

Thus, the very act of abuse transforms a healthy man’s view of
himself.  He accepts that he can’t be a real man—otherwise, he wouldn’t
have been abused in the first place. The abuse confirms the worse
accusations of the Intimate Terrorist, and thus becomes a part of a self-
fulfilling cycle.  

The man internalizes the abuse, becomes a man who believes that he
deserves abuse because he is not a “real man” and thus he becomes
even more receptive to further abuse.  

How do you break free of an Intimate Terrorist? The first step is to
recognize what is happening to you. Then, you have to break the
stranglehold of isolation.  You have to bring your buddies back into
your crew.  Shine some light on the abuse by letting some eyes outside
the house see it.

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Men are increasingly victims of Intimate
Terrorism, new studies show.