Profile of the Individual Who Abuses


Joseph Frey

Dr. Joseph Frey practices clinical psychology in Augusta, GA, where he frequently conducts psychological evaluations for the court system. Experienced in sexual and physical abuse defense, Dr. Joseph Frey understands the qualities of a person who abuses.

Domestic abuse comes in a number of forms, from physical and sexual assaults to verbal and emotional attacks. The abusive actions themselves can be as overt as punching and choking the victim or as seemingly subtle as attempting to control where the victim spends his or her time. In general, however, all abusers have a number of emotional traits in common.

People who are abusive also tend to be jealous. They want to know where their partners are and what they are doing at all times, often because they assume infidelity. This frequently correlates with an abusive person’s need to isolate his or her partner from family and friends. Similarly, the abuser tends to feel the need to control his or her partner’s everyday life, often to the degree that he or she will attempt to prevent the partner from obtaining work or pursuing hobbies.

Also often predisposed to explosive anger, the person who abuses may act out without warning or provocation. In some cases, he or she may blame the partner for these episodes of anger. If the partner does retaliate or threaten to leave, the abusive individual will try desperately to get him or her back. Once this cycle begins, it is likely to continue until the partner gets help.


Elements of Competency to Stand Trial

Dr. Joseph Frey, a psychologist in Augusta, GA, routinely performs forensic consultations to support court proceedings. Having practiced in Augusta, GA, since 2001, Dr Joseph Frey has assessed numerous individuals and determined their competency to stand trial.

In the legal system, competency to stand trial refers to a person’s mental state at the time that he or she would be the subject of legal proceedings. To be able to appear before a judge, a person must be able to understand the charges and must be capable of participating in their own defense. This means that he or she must be able to communicate with an attorney, process information that the attorney presents, and make decisions based on this information.

To determine whether a defendant’s mental illness or developmental challenges stands in the way of his or her competency, a psychologist will conduct an evaluation. The evaluation tests whether the defendant can recall and explain events, testify on his or her own behalf, and plan a defense based on a comprehension of possible penalties. If a defendant’s mental illness or developmental disabilities makes him or her incapable of any of these processes, the court may rule that the person is incompetent to stand trial. The court will frequently then order the defendant to undergo inpatient psychiatric treatment and request re-evaluation after several months.