Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another”. “It is a pattern of behavior that includes abuse or violence that a spouse uses to control the behavior of the other person”.

It is used by one person in a marriage or relationship to control the other. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and emotional abuse. Seek for Help

It is an epidemic affecting individuals regardless of age, economic status or gender. Both men and women can be abused. It is prevalent but most cases go unreported. Many men suffer abuse in silence because of the stigma of the perceived weakness of any man who admits to falling victim of a woman.

Domestic violence is different from common marital problems. It is not always determined in the early stages of a marriage if one person will become abusive. Abusers may seem wonderful and perfect initially gradually becoming more aggressive and controlling. It may begin with verbal abuse, threats, name –  calling, distrust, possessiveness, jealousy, suspicion and can build up into other violent acts. It intensifies over time. Get Help

 

WARNING SIGNS:

Warning signs to recognize, prevent or stop domestic violence include:

Belittle and demean you, criticize you, yell at you and put you down

Telling you that you are a bad parent

Take away your child/children

Get angry so easily

Tell you that you can never do anything right

Act one way in front of other people and another when you are alone

Threaten to hurt you

Threaten to hurt or kill your child

Cry so easily to whip up emotions and cover up their tracks

Persistent insults, humiliation, criticisms to destroy the victim’s self-worth.

Looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing

Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs

Threaten to destroy you financially

Attempt to coerce you into criminal activity

Accusing the victim of cheating

Threaten to kill you

Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol

Stalking the victim or monitoring the victim’s every move in person or through victim’s phone, internet or other devices and means

Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons

Shove you, slap you, choke or hit you

Use of force, kick, stab or shoot the victim

Keep the victim from working or going to school

Makes all the decisions

Forcing sex with others

Prevent you from making your own decisions

Act jealous of your family, friends, co-workers

Read your mail, go through your purse and other personal papers

Interfere with your seeing your family and fiends

Verbal abuse, threatening act or word, berating language

Showing oppressive possessiveness or jealousy

Restricting your spending or controlling your finances

Threatening harm to themselves or others as a way to punish you

Threatening to expose embarrassing personal information to others

Stop you from seeing your friends or family members

Control what you do, who you talk to, where you go

Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets

Often drink or use drugs

Insist that you use drugs or alcohol

 

Effects

Domestic violence can result in physical injury, depression, suicidal thoughts, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) or even death. It can affect one’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours and can significantly impact one’s mental stability. The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can impact generations.

Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and neglected. They know about the violence and may have emotional and behavioral difficulties causing problems in their lives, future and the society. Child Helpline

Unsuspecting children from stable homes are not safe either. They may fall victim of molestation, harassment, bullying, may be maimed or murdered by children with family problems.

There is increasing number of single parents, child abuse, street children, juvenile delinquency, youth and gang violence, suicide, substance abuse, rape and other societal problems. The society at large suffers the consequences of domestic violence. No one is directly immune or remotely safe from this scourge.

Causes

Violence is taught by example. The abuser may have a background of violence having grown up in an abusive environment. The root causes of spousal abuse/intimate partner violence may include behaviour learnt in the abuser’s childhood used in the abuser’s family as a means of maintaining control.

This may lead to the continuation of a generational cycle of abuse and violence for the abuser who grew up in an environment where control was maintained through verbal threats, intimidation and conflicts escalate into physical violence. A person who was raised with abuse and violence may have very little self-worth and poor self-esteem.

Other causes may include suspicion, insecurity, provocation, infidelity, toxic in-laws, mental illness, criminal history or tendencies, alcohol and drug abuse. Other risk factors are economic difficulties, job loss, prolonged unemployment, financial dependence, having low sense of self-worth, having more education or income than their intimate partners, lack of genuine love and the issue of the headship of man and household chores. Get Help.

Solutions

The key to preventing domestic violence is to stop it before it starts. Partners in healthy relationships respond to problems by talking things out together or seek for help. You can resolve issues respectfully and positively in your marriage without resorting to tendencies of controlling, abusive behaviours and the need to dominate the other.

Families can learn to settle arguments with words not fists or weapons, keep their home life calm, supportive and respectful.

Couples can create respectful and positive family environments by attacking problems and not their partners. They can cooperate to resolve issues and find solutions together. If a partner cannot get the other spouse to listen, they can seek help. This should be done early to prevent the problem escalating, resentment setting in, becoming greater issues.

Safety Measures

Domestic violence intensifies over time posing a danger in severe cases. The victim should not expect the abuser’s actions will change it will rather escalate. Seek police help. Social or institutional supports, legal protection through a protection order of the court to protect yourself from further abuse or threats of abuse.

Violence escalates when a victim terminates, seeks help, tries to leave or separates from the relationship. This can place a victim at a greater risk for further abuse and violence. It intensifies because the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim. Abusers frequently continue to stalk, harass, threaten and try to control the victim after the victim escapes. Get Help

When exiting the relationship develop a safety plan. Determine how to safely escape the abuser. It is even more dangerous where the abuser (or using other persons) forcefully ejects the victim from the marital home in order to shift them to a neutral ground. Seek help to stay safe.

In the face of provocation there is the need for the man to control his emotions and actions, the police will arrest the offender who may or may not be the person who initiated the abuse. Seek social support.