Domestic violence goes by many names and classifications: child abuse, intimate partner abuse, elder abuse, family violence, and many more. The occurrence is estimated to affect over 10 million persons per year in the United States.
Sadly, this unfortunate occurrence begets other devious forms of abuse and the cycle of abuse is extended to family, friends, offspring, and others. Domestic abuse follows a range of patterns and can be physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological. So how does one define domestic abuse? Domestic abuse can be defined as an abusive behavior where one individual imposes complete dominance over another individual or group of individuals. This power is usually expressed in unhealthy forceful ways that demean the other individual.
Why do abusers feel the need for domestic violence?
Perpetrators of domestic abuse are often motivated by unhealthy emotions and beliefs such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Anger management issues
- Cultural beliefs that support and gives a person total dominance and control over their partner
- Mental instability and personality disorder
- Drugs and alcohol users are more likely to become violent on impulse
- A feeling of inferiority
- Parental power
- Feeling of ownership after payment of dowry
- Family-inherited behaviors which often molds one’s personality
Motivation and risk factors
There are various risk factors that can lead to domestic abuse, these factors include but not limited to relationship and societal issues. It has been found that cases of abuse were predominant in poorly educated communities. This means that the lack of education and enlightenment breeds crude behaviors such as incessant violence.
Children that are born into violent homes become accustomed to this way of life and grow with the belief that violence is the proper way to settle conflicts and personal differences. Males that are indoctrinated on the inferiority of the female gender to the male gender grow up to abuse females. Females, in this case, are predominantly the victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse.
Abuse, in the form of violence, and domination may include emotional abuse, physical and sexual assault. This occurrence is a major public health problem that is responsible for at least 1,500 deaths annually in the United States.
For intimate partners, the setting for domestic abuse is cohabitation and abuse can occur through verbal, sexual, emotional, physical, religious, economic and reproductive means. Marital rape is a popular form of domestic violence. Other prominent forms of domestic violence include:
- Coercive rape
- Female genital mutilation
- Dowry deaths
- Acid throwing
- Locking victim in isolated spaces
- Forced marriage
- Forced pregnancy
- Fetish slave
- Incest rape
Evolution of domestic abuse
Today, many individuals are victims of domestic violence and a higher population of people live in fear but are unable to come forward with their story. This is due to numerous factors such as public antagonism and trauma, cultural views, custom and tradition, inability to leave patriarchs, the need to maintain immigrant opportunities, underage and many other reasons. The issue of domestic violence is a long-occurring problem that has plagued communities from the earliest of time. Here is a statistic of women who reported sexual assault by their intimate partners as early as the late 1900s
The research found that 70% of females in marriages suffered some form of domestic violence or the other. These females were said to develop a heightened sense of fear for their spouse and the outcomes were post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other health problems.
The lack of adequate laws against domestic violence plays a key role in the frequency of this problem. Some countries have alternative human rights laws that protect their citizens from any form of domestic violence, especially in marriage while most countries are yet to achieve this stride. A more progressive way to tackle domestic violence would the enactment of laws that protect men, women, and children from domestic abuse.
Signs of domestic violence
- Bite marks
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Broken bones
- Pains in private areas
Emotional and psychological issues associated with domestic violence include:
- Back aches
- Mood swings
- Lack of appetite
- Stomach aches
- Irritable bowel syndrome
How to prevent domestic violence
Domestic violence occurs on a daily basis in every community and there are signs that suggest that an individual may be a victim of domestic violence. Here are simple ways to prevent domestic violence.
Do not ignore signs
While backgrounds may differ, there are always signs of domestic violence around us. It is especially excessive among the less educated. Here are ways to make a difference:
- Report occurrences of physical abuse to local authorities
- Assist an abused person with resources, connections, or counseling towards an escape plan
- Speak out on any physical signs of battering and body injuries
- Check-in regularly on loved ones who may be victims to this act
- Suggest agencies and legal establishments that can be of assistance