I have written that in the formal training, analysts learn that victims of domestic violence often adapt language patterns, just as they adjust their own life patterns to avoid violence, threats and escalation from the abuser.
Certain wording suggests pattern, or 'norms' in life. Here, let's revisit the statement by the Sheriff's wife, using the analysis already complete, to see if a portrait or profile emerges from her words, allowing us to either obtain insight into her life, or to prepare for the investigatory interview that is to follow.
The alleged assailant is an elected Sheriff. His statement showed "Deception Indicated" and was such that those without formal training recognized the deception, particularly of the "never ever ever" statement. What may not be so recognizable, however, is the patterns that are suggested in the words he chose, as well as in the order presented. Here is his wife's statement.
I would like to clarify what occurred between my husband and I on April 10, 2016 as some of the information that has been released and reported has not been accurate, and may be the result of some misinterpretations.
The subject is in a peculiar position. She called 911 to report that her drunken husband attacked her. The husband is a public figure. She may be dependent not only upon him for her provision, but she may be dependent upon his reputation for her lifestyle. This may be what is behind the heavy Facebook posting.
Where one chooses to begin a statement is always important and in some cases, it is the reason for the statement itself. It shows priority for the subject. We sometimes find two introductions:
1. The introduction in the statement itself.
2. The introduction of "what happened" found within the statement.
These show dual priorities, with the priorities separated by context. If you want to know what happened that night, listen to them both and they will tell you the truth.
a. She "would like" to clarify begins with weakness, of what one would like to do rather than directly doing it.
b. "clarify" means to make clearer. The subject is not saying that the report is false, but it is in need of clarification instead. This makes its base reliable, only the surface needed "some" clarification.
c. "what occurred" tells us that, in deed, something did occur that day.
d. "my husband" is not a complete social introduction, though it retains the pronoun "my"which tells us of her perspective; incomplete social introduction indicates trouble within the relationship, while using the pronoun "my", she still takes possession of him. We must be open to the possibility that the victim still wants to be married to him.
e. Accuracy of what has been reported: She affirms that only "some" has not been accurate which uses the word "some", which is a 'dependent' word, meaning, it only 'works' when another reality is in play. This tells us that "some" of it is inaccurate while some of it is accurate. Remember, 90% or more people will deceive by withholding information rather than a direct fabrication of reality. Here she tells us that "some" of the information is reliably accurate.
f. She further weakens the notion of "clarification" by taking yet another step away from verbal commitment: the portion that may not be accurate "may" be due to misinterpretation.
This is to say: what happened did, in fact, happen, but how it is interpreted may be what is in need of clarification.
Since the topic of how to interpret what happened between them has come in the opening sentence, along with confirmation that other portions of the information are accurate (not in need of clarification or re-interpretation) we see if this is, in fact, her priority in the statement. She now goes back in time (out of sequence for now) to her "interpretation" of what happened. The reader should now be on alert for:
1. An accurate and reliable description
2. The subject's own interpretation of her own description.
Ron was at an event with some friends. I was out to dinner with my son.
Here he is "Ron" and she wrote the word "with" in between "Ron" and "friends." This is to create distance between Ron and the friends. She did not say "Ron and our friends..."
One might question her feelings about his friends. They are "some friends" and not "his" friends.
This now makes more sense in light of the release of the 911 call in which she expresses her concern that he is going to tell "everyone" by calling everyone, and blame her. My guess is that she has some issues with his "friends" and may report some being loyal to him due to his position as "the sheriff", rather than the man.
Who was at the event? It was "Ron"; first name. Here he is not "the sheriff", which may strengthen the possibility of an expression of hypocrisy in the call.
We see the same distance with her son, and he is introduced without a name equaling an incomplete social introduction. In context, this may be due to not wanting to use her son's name in the press. Note also that "my son" is generally a signal of biological son. The distancing language of "with" could be anything from the eating of different meals, or actual psychological distance due to relationship and/or topic of conversation issues.
Both sentences, viewed in structure, are likely to be reliably stated. We believe what one tells us unless we are confronted with structure that tells us otherwise. This is likely to be truthful and has no interpretation or 'clarification' needed by the subject.
As far as the account: please note that this is where she began her "account" of what happened. This is a priority in the context of the event that needs clarification. It is a "second priority" after the initial "clarification" priority. It is a sub-context priority for the subject.
She is addressing Domestic Violence with "what happened" and she has begun her statement, not in the home where it is alleged to have taken place, but in restaurants.
What happened between the subject and her husband is as a result of what happened at the restaurant. We now learn, from the release of the 911 call, that she reported him as drunk.
I had not been drinking.
This is a very important statement.
a. It is in the negative, elevating its importance. She does not tell us what happened, but what did not happen.
b. It is reliably written, meaning that statistically, it is likely that she was not drinking.
c. Note the strong pronoun "I"
d. Note that she introduced the topic of alcohol in context of an alleged Domestic Violence incident.
e. Statement Analysis deals with what one says and what one does not say.
She does not say that her husband had not been drinking. This is vital. Another hint into what happened is her verb tense; she does not use the perfect past tense, "I did not drink."
Instead, she wrote "had not been" drinking, which stretches out time.
This is an indication for the reader/analyst to be aware that she may believe that not only was her husband drinking, but the drinking was long and spread out over time, heightening that he was likely intoxicated. This is something to consider, though not concrete at this point. Will the statement affirm this? Deny it? Or, will it not be addressed?
*This reminds me of some other analysis on the blog.
"They said I was a rapist and a recluse. I'm not a recluse." Mike Tyson
Recall the man who was accused of writing on a waitress' check and said that he, in his home, wasn't raised that way, introducing the question of:
"Was your wife raised differently than you?"
When I came home at about 6:30, Ron was here alone.
She now brings us to the point of her arrival and she is thinking of time, with "when" and while considering the element of time, it is important for her to tell her intended audience that Ron was "here" (at her location of the writing) and that he was "alone."
She does not say "Ron was already home" but Ron was "here" (not his "home" as her language shows. She came "home" but Ron was "here"; this suggests that the investigator should explore any relationship troubles between them. Ron was not "home alone" but "here" and he was "alone."
Was she expecting him to be somewhere else?
Was she expecting him to be with someone else?
There may be something else to consider what would produce the word "alone" in her language. She went to dinner with her son and then returned to the home.
As she returned, she did not mention her son.
The reader/analyst should consider: Did her son witness the abuse?
Updated info: We now learn that her son may have been present when the father held her down on the bed, perhaps even at her throat. This is traumatizing for anyone, but the impact is worse for children. As a young teen, consider:
The boy would be not strong enough to protect his mother;
Not strong enough to stop his father;
Horribly conflicted about being both incapable of helping mother, but also in attacking father.
Domestic Violence sets up children, as witnesses, for a life of trouble.
He was upstairs, and came downstairs.
This is the language of Domestic Violence abuse victims. Think of how she is 'scoping out the landscape' of the violence.
This is what victims do.
This is indicative of the presence of the fight/flight hormone elevated.
His location (which slows down the pace, intensifying the view or visual perception expressed linguistically) of where he was initially and where he went, is very important to her. This is sometimes part of the language due to the element of fear.
Remember: most D/V victims are not controlled by violence; but by the threat of violence. This is so important to her that her senses or awareness is on high alert: She is recalling the evening in question and recalls his initial location (situational awareness) and his next location: not that he "went" downstairs, but, in her language,
he "came" downstairs, suggesting that it was her entry to the home that brought him to the location where she was. We are not told what caused the change of location and now may consider the son's presence.
The language here also suggests heightened hormonal activity.
He appeared agitated, and told me he wanted me to leave the house.
That he "appeared agitated" is to show a sensory response. Even while it is a weak assertion (as if this is her recantation that the husband told us to expect) she still reveals information.
He "appeared" agitated is a good example of one who does not want to commit to agitation (assertion) yet her own words tells us otherwise.
Even in recantations, Statement Analysis gets to the truth, just as it does in False Confessions.
The communicative language of "told" rather than "Ron said..." shows an increase in tension, as it is authoritative language. One might consider what conversation she and her son had at dinner including the possibility of one or the other (husband or wife) moving out, or perhaps to soothe the son's concerns. It is related to what happened as it was important enough for her to mention in context of D/V.
Initially I refused.
The language suggest veracity. He "told" and she "refused" is consistent. "Initially" tells us that another thought came later.
The pronoun "I" is strong and this tells us of defiance. Updated information is the 911 call where she swears an oath defying him to come closer to her.
Why did she refuse? We look for her language to guide us:
He went back upstairs, and I followed him into the master bedroom. We began to argue like alot of married couples do from time to time.
Domestic Violence Victims routinely blame themselves.
Some are even creative in the way they blame themselves. This may be due to several variants but consider:
*Long term living under the threat of violence teaches a woman how to be very careful with her words in the home. She becomes 'successful' over time by her 'walking on eggshells' skill of keeping him pacified. This is the type who knows how to keep him quiet and happy, including keeping the kids happy. This overtakes everything in life, from the children, to meals to the bedroom. Her life is not her own.
Now, consider this:
In this long term "success" of avoiding his violence, when it finally happens, she blames herself, as a "failure" to maintain the peace; something she works at every day and every night, in all aspects of life.
His statement reeks of bully. His "hi folks" is nauseating. This is not Statement Analysis, but an emotional reaction to a politician addressing the public after being accused of a drunken assault. It is not the language of penitence, admission, nor of even concern for his wife.
If there were those calling for his resignation before the statement, the statement itself likely built a wall of anger against him.
She used the word "we" regarding argument between them. This is an insight to her thinking at this time. She sees them as still together rather than separate.
Note "like a lot of married couples do from time to time" is, in Statement Analysis, "normal"; that is, when someone uses the word "normal" or words that wish to portray something as normal, routine, etc, it is a very strong indication that it was anything but normal. It is a need to persuade the audience that what took place between them was just like others. This need to persuade tells the analyst:
This was not like other couples from time to time. She has just elevated the account and has left off simply reporting what happened and is now editorializing the account.
This was not a normal argument, though she sees herself as connected to him, via the instinctive pronoun "we" in her language.
At no point in the argument did Ron punch or hit or kick me.
This sounds awkward and for good reason.
"Ron did not punch me" or "Ron did not punch or hit me..." would be a direct contradiction of reality if her 911 call statement was truthful.
Now, based only upon structure, let's look at the two statements together:
911 Call: The sheriff is drunk and he just punched me in the eye."
Recantation: At no point in the argument did Ron punch or hit or kick me.
The first is 'straight forward' language. It is not complex. The law of economy says that the shortest sentence is best, and takes the least effort (we are lazy creatures) and that additional information is vital. If the additional information is "unnecessary", it becomes even more important.
If the "additional" and "unnecessary" information then includes words of which the sentence will remain compete if removed, we are looking at crucial information.
The first is "Reliable on its Form." It is present tense, and the additional word "just" introducing the timing of the event, which appropriately matches the present tense verb. There are no sensitivity issues, nor anything out of the ordinary. Statistically, it is very high on the reliability scale.
To deny this, she should follow the same formula of reliability.
"The sheriff is drunk and he just punched me in the eye" should become
"Ron didn't punch me in the eye..." which would directly confront her initial statement.
It is rare that one would lie in this manner. Look at the element of "time" between the two assertions:
"At no time" places the element of time ahead of everything else. It avoids the direct "Ron did not..." while spreading out time. "Just" was in present tense, indicating timeliness: it happened just prior to this sentence. It was precise.
"At no time" is in the negative and it is imprecise.
Then, we have something that should not be missed:
"Additional" information. "At no point in the argument..." also addresses time, but now, instead of being indeterminate, she restricts the element of time to the contrary: instead of the vague "at no time" (which 'no time' does not exist) she uses a very strict interpretation and this statement may even be true!
"during the argument" follows "at no time" which tells us:
In her description of their argument, they spoke, likely at one and another ("told") and when he punched her in the eye, it came after the argument, not during the argument.
At no point in the argument did he punch, hit or kick her.
I believe her.
When we look at violence, especially domestic homicide, we often find the element of communication just prior to the assault or murder.
Cain and Abel went out to a field (private) to talk. The talk escalated into violence.
This pattern has been repeated by human nature ever since.
It was something that she said that likely triggered this specific punch.
Did she threaten to leave him?
Did she threaten to expose him?
Investigators must focus upon this specific time. Remember, people rarely ever lie outright, making even deceptive statements valuable for content!
Here she tells us what he did not do "in the argument", which is to indicate that she leaves out:
a. what he did do to her during the argument
b. what he may have done to her after the argument (or even before it).
Communicative language is a separate chapter in study and it is vital in assaults and domestic homicide statements.
It is very likely that although deception is both indicated and intended, that the words are, technically, 100% truthful.
Telling us what did not happen elevates the situation, affirming the analysis of "normal" above. He did do something to her during this argument, however, which now brings us to her point of introduction:
how she interprets what he did to her:
He did not intentionally hurt me.
He hurt her but she interprets this as not "intentional", ascribing to him a motive. This is to affirm her introduction and why she brought in the word "interpretation" to the text.
This is to say: he did assault her and he did injure her, but she wants it to be interpreted as unintentional. We must consider that "hurt" may be physical injury, or pain, as well as emotional. This is something that investigators need to explore, by specific interviewing technique: their history and her verbalized perception of it.
No one is perfect, or has a perfect marriage or relationship.
This is to revisit the term "normal" in analysis, moving to the "universal second person" distancing language. It is an unnecessary statement and it is very important. She does not wish to be 'alone' with what he did to her.
I did not obtain a Protective Order because I am not afraid of Ron, and do not need one.
Note the past tense change to present tense. She "did not" because she "is not" afraid of him.
After all that has come out, including his arrest (something I believe she has threatened to do in the past) she is not, currently, afraid of him.
If you think reading into the verb tense is too much, note the additional, unnecessary wording: "and do not need one", which is present tense. Yet, since "I am not" is present tense, this additional wording is most unnecessary and very important.
Here is a very sensitive point to her: she feels the need to explain why she did not get an order of protection. Yet, even in her reasoning, she gives us additional information. The 'law of economy' tells us that the shortest statements are those most likely to be truthful and have less emotion. By adding in "and do not need one" is unnecessary to say since she already said the reason 'why' she does not need one.
This is akin to "attempt to persuade" but it appears in context to be not simply her audience, but herself.
Please consider this with the initial description of "when" she arrived home: fear triggers the hormonal response which gives heightened situational awareness and shows itself in language. She knew exactly where he was, where she was, and where he went and felt it so important (it is unnecessary for the account) that while recalling what happened, she does not go to the argument but goes to:
that she was not drinking.
She placed him also at a restaurant but does not tell us that he was not drinking.
I do not believe anything that occurred between us is criminal, and was nothing more than a heated argument between a husband and a wife.
Here is a signal that she is a long term victim. The minimization is expected.
"What happened between us" is the language of a victim blaming herself. She was not, in her wording, "successful" in three things:
1. Keeping him sober
2. Keeping him calm
3. Keeping her son sheltered
As to keeping him sober, note that she not only begins the story with him going to an "event" where "she did not drink", but uses distancing language regarding his "friends." This may have been the initial disapproval.
Keeping him calm is what D/V victims do, every day and every night. It is why "personal hygiene" is so important to them: they lock the bathroom door, and they control life, even if but for a few minutes. Hence, "I woke up, brushed my teeth..." enters the language of D/V victims whereas most people have no need to share something personal like teeth brushing.
She does not rely upon a denial, as she did above, but seeks to 'hide' or 'share' within a crowd of "everyone else" in relationships.
Here is her interpretation again. It is a weak assertion. She did not write, "What happened between us was not criminal" but only that she "believes"; which allows for her to change her mind, and for others to believe something different.
She then uses another small word that is similar to what we find in Domestic Violence victims, including those who may have lived their entire marriages without a single assault, yet were controlled by the threat: "is."
This is present tense language of a past tense event. The reduction in commitment is noted, yet it suggests some ongoing trauma (post trauma) impact upon her, to the point where she is writing.
Note also the "universal" distancing again with "husband and wife."
This need to distance herself tells us how acute this event was.
I do not wish to pursue a criminal prosecution.
She does not say "I will not pursue criminal charges" only that this is her "wish" right now, also leaving herself the option later. This may be a strong message to him. This threat may be why she is not, presently, afraid of him.
Please consider her vulnerability: if he loses his job, they all suffer...again. This may be the threat by which she gains a measure of control over him.
This is the only public statement I intend to make regarding this incident.
Another weak assertion. "This" brings it very close to her (consider this word "this" rather than "that", when you re-read her use of the word "is", in present tense, to understand just how this may be affecting her at the time of the writing. This was no small or 'normal' argument.)
We may hear other public statements from her.
I did not appear at the press conference with Ron yesterday because I felt it was more important to be available to my children,
Here is some more insight: she found it more important to be "available" to her children. She called them "my children" (biological) and tells us:
There are things in life where she has felt that she has not been "available" to them.
This may refer to the public persona that an elected official lives by, and her many FB posts, as well as a reflection of her threat to regain some control over him, including counseling, though if you listen to them both superficially, they argued like "anyone" and "everyone", therefore, what need of counseling?
This may further infuriate many while reading his "never ever ever" statement.
One may wonder how it is a sheriff in law enforcement can be so unfamiliar with simple Lie Detection 101 and use such an obvious lying response.
When we speak, as soon as we begin to freely edit our own words, the timing is less than a microsecond that the brain chooses the words. Emotionally, "never ever ever" has a powerful need to persuade, belying his own assertion. It is as if it is Statement Analysis 101, Chapter 1, page 1.
I do not think the Sheriff is going to schedule a seminar with Hyatt Analysis Services any time soon.
Back to the analysis:
Hence the need to explain "why" she was not there is already answered in her own wording. Note that "I" and "Ron" is separated by the word "with", which gives the distance.
Note the children and consider the need to tell us who she was at dinner with.
Her "wish" and "intentions" are all non-conclusionary: her choices remain open. She has likely thought of, or have been spoken to about seeking protection not only from the court, but, perhaps, from the help of a Domestic Violence Shelter:
and shelter them from the media.
Here she uses the language of someone else. This suggests that she has spoken to:
a. someone with Domestic Violence experience in investigating or;
b. A Domestic Violence advocate
This word is the word she chose, not us, and indicates what is on her mind. She is concerned about her own safety but here she also signals that she has seriously mixed emotions: the word "we" regarding herself and Ron, and the need to protect the children from even witnessing D/V.
Children, including infants in the nursery are impacted by Domestic Violence, for many years to come, including adulthood. Here she is telling us that she is a conscientious mother who feels guilty for not being available to them, and for not sheltering her son, who may have witnessed, to his detriment, the violence.
It is my desire that Ron and I alone deal with this privately, and that people stop making statements and comments about things they do not fully know or understand.
She does not say that this is "our" desire. It may be that she is telling us that she is more interested in staying married that he is. Although it is likely that he wants it to stay private, it is interesting to note that she does not ascribe this to both; only to herself. This is a form of 'assertion' and may be a signal to others. It is likely that this subject is one who, as a norm, invites people into her personal life, and now may have a need to "un-invite" them, such as common with people using social media to affirm their love, repeatedly, which shows sensitivity and, perhaps, the need to persuade. I sometimes joke that when someone goes on and on and on about their professed love of spouse, publicly, a divorce is not far away. It is in the repetition that sensitivity is seen, and it can become a need to persuade, both self and others, of that which is hoped and longed for, rather than what is. There is a difference between spontaneous devotion and a need to persuade...the public, (and self) of something.
They are hurtful to me and my family - especially my children. I would ask that everyone respect our privacy, and stop calling me and asking me questions. Thank you.
That she adds "children" here suggests that she is part and parcel in the world of appearances for the sake of his career. She already exposed her children to his violence, and her son, in particular. This, alone, is enough for child protective services to investigate. She does not want questions and this is within the context of her children.
Analysis Conclusion The Sheriff, Ron Bateman, assaulted his wife in front of their son.
Her language suggests that she is not only a victim of D/V, but the subject is familiar with the language of abuse and likely is a long term victim of Domestic Violence. Her 'recantation' is deceptive and she actually reveals that her husband was highly intoxicated and violent, and that she has lived with this before. Her wording shows injury and a desire to protect her husband, as she blames herself, while struggling to maintain her own dignity. She has revealed a neglect, for his career, of her children, as well as a failure to protect.
Whatever words exchanged that night, he assaulted her in a criminal manner, one of which she is unwilling to deny, leaving open the possible consequences upon him.
His abuse of her has violated the trust the public has in him as Sheriff and his statement shows not only deception, but a lack of concern for his wife, his children and for anyone other than himself and his public persona. As a public official, he has lied to the public and likely coerced or pressured his wife into the false recantation.