A wife beater is someone to perpetrates violence against their spouse. There is a notion that this type of domestic abuse is relegated to people who are poor, uneducated and perhaps have substance abuse problems. There are television programs that continue to portray the wife beater as almost a stereotype. A man who is on drugs or has been drinking, living in squalor who is beating his wife. What most people do not understand is that domestic violence crosses all levels of society. It does not have a barrier when it comes to social class, religion, color or culture. The well educated doctor can be just as likely to be a wife beater as the uneducated and unemployed alcoholic. The problem is that the wives of those who are prominent members of society are less likely to report the domestic violence.

Because of the stereotype attached not only to the wife beater but also the victim of domestic violence, those who live in upscale communities and consider themselves upstanding citizens in their neighborhood, church or social arena are more likely to keep this dirty little secret hidden. However, there are numerous examples of wife beaters who have been well educated, wealthy and prominent members of society.

One such instance is the case of Dianne Masters who was married to a prominent Chicago attorney. Despite years of domestic violence against her by her husband, a lawyer who was also a wife beater, the crime went unreported. Ironically, Mrs. Masters was largely responsible for creating a shelter and battering intervention program in Chicago in which she was active until her death. At the hands of her husband, Alan Masters. No one but her closest friends suspected that she, herself, was a victim of a wife beater who ultimately ended her life when she tried to get out of their marriage.

Losing the stereotype of the wife beater is one of the key elements when it comes to creating a battering intervention and prevention program such as BIPP. Those who are victims of this type of violence should not be afraid to come forward for fear they will be shunned by society and seek the help that they need. Those who are perpetrators of this type of crime need to come to terms with the fact that what they are doing is wrong, that the violence is a form of control that must be stopped and not feel as if they are above the law simply because they, themselves, do not feel that they fit the stereotype of a wife beater. A wife beater is anyone who uses physical violence against their wife in order to maintain control in their household. It is an unacceptable form of violent behavior and crosses all lines of society. Those who accept their behavior as wrong are the ones who can benefit from intervention programs

Domestic Violence Institute of Texas offers Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, Texas.

For additional information please call 281-970-6611 or visit our website www.dvi-tx.com.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Domestic Violence Institute of Texas

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