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Lapinou
04-07-2011, 10:49 AM
Going to go and google these in a bit too, but thought I'd get a head start here as I know how fab you all are!

1. Domestic violence - how does the abuser act after he's attacked his victim? Does he apologise profusely? Promise it'll never happen again? Or is it plausible that he'd act like nothing bad happened and carry on as normal...until the next time?

2. Are cuts to the face all glued shut now? Or are some stitched? What's the criteria for gluing/stitching?

3. Bruising - would a man gripping a woman's face very hard cause bruising to her cheeks?

4. This is a nasty question, and I don't really want to ask it - my MC is pregnant and is going to miscarry, but I'm not sure how yet: She's about 13 weeks at the moment. I should know this, but it'll be a few more weeks until the foetus is in a position to be damaged by a blow to the abdomen, right? I can find that out easily...but what would the physiological process be? Could she be kicked in the abdomen and miscarry a few days later? Is there anywhere obvious I should be looking for information like this?

5. If the story is different and she miscarries just because - no one's fault at all - might an abusive boyfriend blame her for it? He's very excited about the baby initially, but then gets jealous of her paying too much attention to it. Would he mind if she miscarried in these circumstances?

Thank you

Sydneyd
04-07-2011, 11:03 AM
Not a doctor, and I didn't google any of this, just what I suppose is the case:


Going to go and google these in a bit too, but thought I'd get a head start here as I know how fab you all are!

1. Domestic violence - how does the abuser act after he's attacked his victim? Does he apologise profusely? Promise it'll never happen again? Or is it plausible that he'd act like nothing bad happened and carry on as normal...until the next time?

I think this depends on the 'relationship' they have. How does the female act? Is she momentarily defiant? Or is she immediately contrite and full of guilt? How she reacts to the situation will, I think, influence how he reacts.

2. Are cuts to the face all glued shut now? Or are some stitched? What's the criteria for gluing/stitching?

I think it depends on the severity of the wound. In my mind, the treatment for the wound in relation to the severity goes 1. bandaid. 2. glue. 3. stitches.

3. Bruising - would a man gripping a woman's face very hard cause bruising to her cheeks? I just tried to do this to myself. :) If you want bruising on the cheeks I think the best reason would be a single handed grip where the fingers are placed on the center of the cheeks, the grip kind of forces you to pucker your lips...hmm not sure though.

4. This is a nasty question, and I don't really want to ask it - my MC is pregnant and is going to miscarry, but I'm not sure how yet: She's about 13 weeks at the moment. I should know this, but it'll be a few more weeks until the foetus is in a position to be damaged by a blow to the abdomen, right? I can find that out easily...but what would the physiological process be? Could she be kicked in the abdomen and miscarry a few days later? Is there anywhere obvious I should be looking for information like this?

Any type of trauma to the uterus area is serious and could cause a miscarriage.
5. If the story is different and she miscarries just because - no one's fault at all - might an abusive boyfriend blame her for it? He's very excited about the baby initially, but then gets jealous of her paying too much attention to it. Would he mind if she miscarried in these circumstances? This is hard to answer without knowing the specifics. He could use the miscarry as a tool to make her feel more guilt. He could use it as a way to make himself seem better ex: being there for her, being passive aggressively supportive.

Thank you

Hope some of this helps.

amlptj
04-07-2011, 11:08 AM
Shockingly i'm writing a book now with similar abusive issues.

1) All the above are possible. It depends on what kind of abuser he is. There are guys who do it for power. Flip like a switch and just go nuts. There are those who get drunk and become abusive, and there are those who are temper abusive. Usually drunk abusers are the ones that swear up and down they are sorry and will never do it again. Temper abusers can sometimes be like that or can sometimes act like it never happened. Flip like a switch abusers usually act like it never happened. But again everyone is different and there are no set "rules" for how an abuser is going to act afterwards.

2) I'm not really sure on this one so dont take my word on it but I think if a cut is deep enough, glue doesn't work and stitches are needed.

3) yes, that is completely possible. It depends on the fairness of her skin and hight and weight characteristics as well to determine if a person also bruises easily. But on places like the neck and cheeks its very easy to bruise for most people.

4) Miscarries, I know a little about from research. From what i read, after the first trimester it is more possible for a miscarriage to happen after hit or kicked, although i could be wrong so dont take my word.

5) completely! Abuser's usually have a problem with anger (duh) and subject there anger on other people. Anger and grief go hand and hand many times and when grieving for the lost of an unborn kid, it is very very plausible that he would blame the woman carrying it for not in a way "taking care of it". Even though your character might have been jealous its still a big loss, unless he causes the miscarriage on purpose he's going to be effected by it.

Hope this helps!

Lapinou
04-07-2011, 11:26 AM
All really helpful, thank you.

I guess the miscarriage could make him even more jealous of her attention as she is grieving. Jealousy and possessiveness seem to be the theme of his abuse.

Syndey - she is blaming herself 'why can't I say things the right way so he doesn't get cross'. He's been emotionally abusive up until now - the first physical bit was him just gripping her leg extremely hard to get her to drink some wine...so she had to tell him about the baby. He got better for a while...now he's suddenly got bad again.

With this particular episode, she's managing to dress it up in her mind as an accident - he gripped her face (exactly as you describe - she's sitting down, he's standing above her, leaning in towards her - face very close), and then shoved her to one side letting go suddenly, so she fell to the ground with some force, hurting her knees, and knocking her temple against the door jamb, causing the cut. So...it was an accident...clearly. :S

But I need the violence to escalate to a point where her friend marches her to get help, seriously worried about her. I need her to miscarry - if she has the baby, he'll be in her life forever and I can't make the story that long! But I don't know how it'll happen. I'm thinking it's genuinely bad luck and he goes ballistic at her at the moment.

Ok...thanks again for all your help - I think I know where I'm going for the next few scenes (although from experience, it rarely turns out the way I expect!)

PinkAmy
04-07-2011, 01:45 PM
Going to go and google these in a bit too, but thought I'd get a head start here as I know how fab you all are!

1. Domestic violence - how does the abuser act after he's attacked his victim? Does he apologise profusely? Promise it'll never happen again? Or is it plausible that he'd act like nothing bad happened and carry on as normal...until the next time?

There are lots of differences. Some abusers act remorseful--apologize, send flowers, promise to never do it again. Others act as if the victim got what s/he deserved. Others ignore the abuse. If you tell us how you want your perp to act, it'd be easier for us to give you a scenario to make to work. I recommend you call a battered woman's shelter and ask if you can interview one of the workers. You'll get some great knowledge that way and you can have a dialogue for follow-up questions. The reason I suggest asking for a worker is they probably wouldn't let you talk to a victim and you will only get a snippet of information from victims based on their experiences or what they've heard. The workers have seen hundreds of victims and can give you a broader range of scenarios.

2. Are cuts to the face all glued shut now? Or are some stitched? What's the criteria for gluing/stitching? Depends on who's doing the procedure-- plastic surgeon, ER doctor, family doctor. Also depends on the size of the wound, the deepness etc. Glue is preferred.


3. Bruising - would a man gripping a woman's face very hard cause bruising to her cheeks?
Often yes, but sometimes no. It depends on her blood counts and biochemistry how easily she bruises and for how long the bruises stay visible.

4. This is a nasty question, and I don't really want to ask it - my MC is pregnant and is going to miscarry, but I'm not sure how yet: She's about 13 weeks at the moment. I should know this, but it'll be a few more weeks until the foetus is in a position to be damaged by a blow to the abdomen, right? I can find that out easily...but what would the physiological process be? Could she be kicked in the abdomen and miscarry a few days later? Is there anywhere obvious I should be looking for information like this? Lot's of times women miscarry for no reason

5. If the story is different and she miscarries just because - no one's fault at all - might an abusive boyfriend blame her for it? Sure, he might. But he could kick her in the stomach, she could miscarry and he could still blame her. He's very excited about the baby initially, but then gets jealous of her paying too much attention to it. Would he mind if she miscarried in these circumstances? Sometimes yes, sometimes know. You could write scenarios either way. If you want the bf to have some substance and depth as a character, then you can't make him all bad. Making him all bad cheapens the whole story, because your MS becomes predictable. It also diminishes your MC. Mix it up a bit. Show her egging him on or pushing his buttons (NOT THAT THIS IS AN EXCUSE) because it'll show some of her pathology as well.

Thank you

We can help you write almost any scenario--sometimes rather than asking would he do ____, it's easier to say I want him to _____, is this typical or plausible.

Lapinou
04-07-2011, 11:57 PM
Well I would have rung them ages ago, except I was really worried that it would be taking up their valuable time - do you not think they'd mind? Obviously they'd be the best people to ask.

citymouse
04-08-2011, 12:04 AM
Is your abuser male? It may be different if the abuser is female.

missouridalton
04-08-2011, 01:54 AM
In response to the question about stitches. Depth of the cut these days isn't quite as important as length. My dear brother went in for surgery (with a very tiny incision) and it was glued down. This same brother provides me with further examples. He cut off part of a finger. Glue. Gash on the forehead? Glue. Knife wound on the palm of his hand? Glue. (I should specify here that he is not a thug, but a chef.)

They really like their glue. Patient and doctor preference rules here. A patient can ask for glue over stitches, and they can also ask for dissolving stitches over non and stitches over staples. They still use staples in some hospitals, and your best bet is to ask someone at a local ER what their preference is. US vs. UK standards will be different.

PinkAmy
04-08-2011, 12:57 PM
Well I would have rung them ages ago, except I was really worried that it would be taking up their valuable time - do you not think they'd mind? Obviously they'd be the best people to ask.

You're doing them a public service by writing a book (with their information) about the impact of domestic violence. Agencies are usually happy to pass along information and clear up misconceptions. It's also a break from the stress of their jobs and they get to feel like they are helping someone who will help others through their work. If you've got the time and inclination, you might be able to do some volunteer work and get some hands on knowledge. Volunteers usually have to go through a training, and I bet whoever you talk to at the shelter would make the packet of info available to you for your research.

It will probably have to be a phone interview--since shelters are often in secret locations so the abusers can't find them. I had a friend who worked in one and she couldn't tell me where she worked (address) other than at the shelter in X city.

Lapinou
04-08-2011, 01:42 PM
Thank you, Amy. I will give them a ring. I can't volunteer at the moment - I enquired as to volunteering at a local rape crisis centre, but the training, unsuprisingly, is not something that I can fit into my life at the moment. It will definitely be something I do when my children are grown up though.

Lapinou
04-08-2011, 01:43 PM
Missouri - thank you for that information. I think this one will be glued.

Buffysquirrel
04-08-2011, 05:56 PM
The miscarriage would provide an opportunity for the abuser further to damage her self-confidence and assert his control over her. It's her fault if he can convince her it is.