Sadism and Domestic Violence
C. W. Fincher
Show that the concept of “sadism” and its outward manifestations, affect the lives of those around them resulting in occurrences of domestic violence.
Throughout time, since the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden after sin of Adam and Eve as recorded in the pages of scriptures (Gen. 3:24), man in his sinful state has sought to dominate others, forcing them to do whatever their corrupt imaginations have dreamed up and to take pleasure in causing them pain and suffering whether by physical or psychological means.
As one looks over the whole of known history this becomes clearly seen. Just within the pages of scriptures, we find countless examples of this thought. Here are just three examples.
Nimrod, the leader of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 14), Jezebel (1 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 9:22)
In secular history, we might find just as many or maybe even more examples of this action as played out on the world stage.
Names of people that quickly come to my mind are Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, of a more recent time, Moammar Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein. Each of these people killed countless numbers of people.
Is there any evidence that they received any pleasure in doing this as defined within the definition of the word “sadist” or “sadistic” or “sadism”, as a western writer looking toward the east and trying to read the mind of an alien culture, I cannot definitively say that they took pleasure in these actions, but because of the length of time these men were in power, I can only conclude that they must have “gotten their jollies” from their practices.
The victims of each of these men were powerless to stop their oppression; they had to endure it until a force greater than their own stepped in to release them from their bondage. In the case of Mr. Gadhafi and Mr. Hussein, the people of Libya, and NATO, and the full might of the American military helped to end their reign of terror.
Let’s look briefly at two definitions of the word “sadism”.
In Dorland’s Pocket 28th Edition Medical Dictionary, we find the word defined as “the act or instance of gaining pleasure from inflicting physical or psychological pain on another.” (1)
En.wikipedia.org, an online encyclopedia source defines “sadistic” as:
“Sadistic personality disorder is: A) A pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning, and aggressive behavior, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by the repeated occurrence of at least four of the following:
1. Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some non-interpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him/her).
2. Humiliates or demeans people in the presence of others.
3. Has treated or disciplined someone under his/her control unusually harshly.
4. Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals).
5. Has lied for the purpose of harming or inflicting pain on others (not merely to achieve some other goal).
6. Gets other people to do what he/she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror).
7. Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has a close relationship, e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied.” (2)
I will offer up to you these observations from my own life as a way for you to evaluate your own life and the lives of those we minister to in our day-to-day dealings with people and then try to pull these thought together in a cohesive manner.
Some you, my faithful readers, know that I was first diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder within the last couple of years and of my struggles in coming to grip with the reality of this disorder.
I have gone into great length to shed some light on this topic in my paper, “The Local Church and the Bipolar Member”, available upon request to anyone wanting to read it.
Looking back over the time before my diagnosis, I can clearly see now the pain that I caused my family. From the afore noted list, I can see that there have been times when I was guilty of practicing numbers two, three, six and maybe seven.
I cannot tell whether or not that I received any pleasure from these acts, being unaware of my illness makes it hard to see things from my eyes looking out, but those around me could see very clearly what was going on!
Does that make me a bad person? Do I need to taken away in a police car and booked for domestic violence issues? I will let my family decide for me.
Since my diagnosis, things have improved greatly in my life and that of my family despite prolonged unemployment. This topic is a whole other matter.
Do you see anything from the above list that maybe you might have done in a moment, before you had a chance to think about your actions?
We are all are guilty of these things. What concerns me right now is the prolonged abuse many men in particular cause their families to endure!
Let me digress a small bit as once again we go to matters theological. Recently while pondering the nature of a job that I was asked to apply for by an agency in my area of central Florida, these thoughts came to me while trying to go to sleep.
This agency deals with the end results of mental illness, domestic violence and sexual violence. Due to the nature of their work, I will not name this agency; I also do not have their permission to use their name.
Once these issues are made public, they then can be treated, both the offender and the victim will receive the care they need.
The area that I am concerned with at this time is domestic violence. Why does this occur? What can its’ possible cause be?
From my studies of the scriptures, man is a tri-une being. In simple terms, “man/humans” have a body, a soul and a spirit.
I once read in my Bible the notes written by Mr. Scofield in the following statement; (3)
“(2) Man is spirit and soul and body” (1 Thes. 5.23). “Spirit” is that part of man which “knows” (1 Cor. 2.11), and which allies him to the spiritual creation and gives him God- consciousness. “Soul” in itself implies self-conscious life, as distinguished from plants, which have un-conscious life.”
I will add a similar thought that with the “body”, man is aware of his surroundings, feeling his environment, thirst, hunger, and physical pain or pleasure.
Given these facts about the nature of man, when one of these items, body, soul and spirit gets out of adjustment and the sin nature is allowed to go unchecked by the indwelling Spirit of the Living God, things go quickly from bad to worse and all sorts of unimaginable things happen!
For example, when a husband or boyfriend thinks that their wife or girlfriend is cheating on them, the soul part of him is out of kilter.
That individual needs to trust that the other is not out to hurt him, but instead they often times will begin first with psychological abuse, which if left unchecked could lead to physical abuse, which in turn leads to more abuse of a stronger and more painful nature, and over time can in some cases, cause the death of the victim (s)!
Now introduce the destructive elements of alcohol and drugs into the mix and we have a bomb larger and more destructive than any nuclear weapon ever built! Having a trigger not controlled by rational men, but controlled by the flawed reasoning of someone bent on the total subjugation of his chosen target!
Having lived through the Cold War near a Minuteman missile base in Wyoming, the uncontrolled soul of man can and does rip apart the fabric of human life while leaving just the shell of the person who once inhabited the body. Nuclear weapons are no match for this type of bomb.
I have seen in my time spent overseas as a young missionary the remains of lives touched by this type of weapon. Eyes that were hollow, not daring to look at you, in fear of their oppressors’ wrath for doing so. Bodies broken from beatings received at the hand of their so-called “loved-one”. That was a foreign country, what about our own country, the land of the “free and the brave”?
Why are the major news stories on television about domestic violence? Murder? Abducted children?
Is it because bad news sells, or is it that good news is hard to find in a world so full of trouble and chaos?
I am thankful that my county has such agencies that help the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and mental illness! Our county is a better place to live in because of their often-unseen work, much of it is done in the dead of night when they receive a call from the police saying we need you (again)! Off the staff goes to help another family start to get their live back in order after the “bomb” has gone off.
In closing, what can we do to help those in need before, during and after issues of domestic violence are made know?
If you as their friend/family suspect that there might be an issue starting to develop, get help and learn as much as you can, you can be the second set of eyes for your loved-one. There are plenty of websites to help you.
Do not hesitate to intervene if you see the danger signs of abuse, do not let it progress any further than you can. This may involve putting your proverbial nose into places that it might get smashed.
Lastly, after the abuse has become openly known, do not treat the victim as if they had the plague! They need your love, words of encouragement and acts of service in order to start their life over without the abuser. For some it can be extremely overwhelming!
If you are unable to do any of these, but you have the financial means to support such an agency, do so. Many run strictly on the contributions of the local communities they serve. Because the country is in dire financial straits right now, the need for their services has increased while giving has decreased, you can let your money serve the needs of the many in your place while your next-door neighbor may supply the muscle to help with a project.
1. Dorland’s Pocket 28th Edition Medical Dictionary; Saunders, p 740
3. Scofield Study Bible, King James Version, Oxford University Press, 1917 Edition, p 5
About the Author
A city born Floridian reared on the plains of Wyoming, later to return to the city in Florida. Experienced life in the sky as a civil aviation pilot, water as a sailboat operator and the land as a ranch hand. Experienced life and death in the cities and countryside of Haiti.
Received the new birth in Jesus Christ in 2003. Attended Bible college at age 48 and life as an older student in medical college in 2010. He holds a certificate in Biblical Studies issued by Piedmont Baptist College, Winston-Salem, NC and a certificate in medical administration issued by Everest University, Lakeland, FL.
Now he combines his knowledge of theology with his knowledge of medicine to write research papers and short stories. He has been married 20 years and has one daughter.
He can be contacted at his home address if you have any comments or would like any information regarding his writings, web site or published books.
Charles. W. Fincher, 954 Sunshine Way SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880 863-294-1101, firstname.lastname@example.org
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