Making appropriate parenting arrangements in family violence cases: applying the literature to identify promising practices

Figure 2 - Continuum of Aggression and Abuse (La Violette, 2005)

[ Return to Figure ]

Common Couple Aggression High Conflict Abuse Battering Terrorism / Stalking
  • Aberrant act
  • Remorse [6]
  • Does not cause fear, oppression or control
  • No serious injury
  • Comes from escalating arguments
  • Could happen in any family
  • Do not solve problems well
  • Anger is an issue in family
  • May have remorse
  • May have sporadic physical aggression and/or destruction of property
  • Not emotionally abusive
  • No fear
  • Comes from escalating arguments
  • Sporadic physical aggression
  • Name-calling, but not character assassination
  • Verbal abuse, but not psychological
  • Development of apprehension
  • May be remorseful
  • Threats of abandonment
  • Threats of getting custody
  • Aggression takes place without witnesses


  • Monopolization of perception
  • Generally more regular physical abuse, but may occur without any physical abuse
  • Threats to victim’s support system
  • Isolation
  • Name-calling that attacks character
  • Threats to kill self or others
  • Jealousy
  • Putting down of family and friends
  • Destruction of property
  • Self-absorbed
  • Sexual abuse
  • Change in victim’s personality
  • More generally violent
  • Monopolization of perception
  • Insidious psychological abuse
  • Well-thought out threats to kill—very specific
  • Torturing pets
  • Extreme isolation of victim by perpetrator
  • Generally more regular physical abuse, but may occur without any physical abuse
  • Sexual humiliation and degradation

<- More likely to see gender equivalence

Male dominant violence ->

[6] It has been noted that the concept of displaying remorse may have cultural connotations. In this area, as with all aspects of assessment, professionals require cultural competence for providing service to a diverse group of clients. In some cultures, expressing remorse may be easily done, but not reflect genuine responsibility taking; in other cultures, there may be genuine remorse, but the socialization of men may preclude an outward expression of this responsibility taking (Zorza, personal communication).

[ Return to Figure ]

Date modified: