The Psychology of a Domestic Violence Abuser

Dayna Schultz
Dayna Schultz

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- After two tragic homicides in less than twenty four hours, the question now turns to, what would posess someone to take an innocent person's life?

There are still many unanswered questions about the two men who are in police custody. But mental health experts say one thing is clear; the number of domestic violence cases is going up. And they say, it's important to watch out for warning signs.

A baby killed after being thrown off a freeway overpass.

A young woman, beaten to death by her estranged ex-boyfriend.

Two victims at the hands of men who were out of control.

"I was numb," said Maile Badajos, the mother of 29-year-old Janel Tupuola, who was beaten to death Thursday night by her estranged boyfriend. "I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it, you know."

Mental health experts say there are common threads among people who commit violent crimes against the innocent.

"A lot of times, it's power and control," said Dayna Schultz, a program supervisor at Ohia, an organization that helps battered women and their children. "So, that's the basis of domestic violence. It's a vicious cycle of not being able to have you, so I'm going to take you and kill you so no one else can have you."

And there's a new phenomenon called "roaming domestic violence" or "roaming DV." It involves committing violence on the highway like throwing a baby off an overpass.

"Maybe in his mindset, from what other people have shared is, I'm making my stance and I'm going to make you see, and I mean business," said Schultz. "So, I don't care how many people's lives I've affected, but I know that I've affected you today. I hurt you because I took your child."

Schultz said it typically it starts with verbal abuse, name calling, throwing insults to break down a person's self esteem. Then, it sometimes escalates into physical violence.

For the victims of the recent tragedies, they miss their loved ones.

"Just her. Just being with her and spending time with her," said Kealii Toelupe, Tupuola's son.

"And it's a mother's biggest sorrow when they have to bury their children," said Badajos.

They want to reach out to domestic violence victims before it's too late.

"I wouldn't want this to happen to anybody else out there, so please get the help," said Damon Pavao, Tupuola's brother.

There are services in Hawaii for domestic violence victims. Ohia is one of them, and the service is free. Counselors are available 24 hours a day. The phone number is 526-2200. For more information on Ohia, click here or the link on this page.