Essay on Domestic violence
Domestic violence is aggressive behavior that occurs within the home. In the US, one in three women and one in four men have been subjected to a range of behaviors that include but are not limited to slapping, pushing, and shoving.
In addition to violent altercations between spouses, domestic violence can also affect others in the home, especially children.
Regardless of the type of abuse witnessed in the home, children can develop a series of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The following is an overview of domestic violence and the processes in place to help safeguard victims.
The Cause of Domestic Violence
Despite the studies conducted regarding domestic violence, there is no one cause. However, domestic violence is often used to maintain control and can involve several different behaviors, including physical violence, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.
The personality traits of those carrying out domestic abuse can include the following but are not exclusive.
- Extreme Jealousy
- Continuous Bad Moods
- Verbally Abusive
In most instances, the signs of domestic violence will be subtle but will become more gradual over time. This means that signs of domestic violence can be difficult to spot at first, meaning that domestic violence can also become more severe as time passes.
The Signs of Domestic Abuse
Although some can carry out domestic violence straight away, there can be instances when aggression is subtle, although still detrimental to victims.
One of the most worrying aspects of domestic abuse is that some can be unaware they’re in an abusive relationship. One of the most notable signs that people are in an abusive relationship is fear of their partner.
An example is a fear of stating their opinion or saying no to sex. In some instances, the anxiety may seem normal after a period. However, fear has no part to play in a healthy relationship and can help identify where a domestic environment is deemed abusive.
The signs of domestic violence will vary depending on the person and the environment. However, the following is an overview of some of the more common signs of domestic abuse.
- Accusations of Cheating
- Threats to Kill or Harm
- Maintains Complete Control of Cash
- Maintains Control of Employment
- Blames the Failing of the Relationship Completely on the Other Person
In addition to those not recognizing the signs of domestic abuse, others can be aware but fear the ramifications if they attempt to end the relationship. Should there be any resistance against the wishes of those acting aggressive, then it could lead to domestic violence.
Although this isn’t always the case, there can be instances of domestic abuse that could also be considered violent, so is
The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
As children require a healthy and unified household to thrive, it should come as no surprise that children who are exposed to domestic violence can often develop symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Although domestic violence is often targeted towards an adult, children can also be targeted. It is estimated that approximate 20% of children are exposed to violence. However, as many cases are unreported the number may be higher.
The reasons why children can suffer from domestic violence vary. In some instances, the child is considered an extension of an adult. This means that a child can act as trigger for abusers, meaning they are often subjected to maltreatment because of the actions of others.
There can be other instances of child maltreatment called target-child selection. This is often referred to as ‘The Cinderella Phenomenon” and occurs when a child is targeted for violence while others are not.
There is no one reason for this occurrence, but past instances have included the child having a disability, displaying unwanted behavioral traits or not being biologically related to the abuser.
Other children viewing the domestic violence inflicted on siblings can mean it is normalized, making a repeating of behavior during adulthood likely in some instances.
Recovering Following an Abusive Relationship
The effects of domestic abuse can vary, but those trying to move on from an abusive relationship can find moving on difficult and suffer from several emotional and mental effects, including the following.
- Easily Intimidated or Scared
- Feeling Emotionally Numb
- Difficulty Maintaining Relationships
Given the lack of confidence many can have following an abusive relationship, it is understandable why some find it difficult to ask for help.
Fortunately, many organizations in the United States provide support, help, and assistance for those in abusive relationships and those trying to move forward.
The help available for those suffering from domestic abuse in the US will depend on the state the person resides in but often consist of the following.
- Domestic Violence Hotlines
- Self-Help Organizations
- Support Groups
- Mental Health Organizations and Charities
Many platforms are also available for those unable to use the telephone, including websites, social media platforms, and messaging services.
The Four Stages of Domestic Violence
Despite there being many iterations of domestic violence, many incidents often involve the following four stages.
Many environments where domestic violence occurs will often start with some form of tension. These are generally being aware of triggers that could cause the person to respond to an emotional trigger.
Those suffering from domestic abuse will often spend this time being fully aware of the potential outburst and will make proactive efforts to appease their partner to avoid any confrontation.
Also called the crisis phase, abuse is when violence is threatened or is carried out. Both are considered domestic violence and can have long-term effects on those residing in the household.
The violent outburst can often lead victors to assume they are not fulfilling their role making violence and threats seem warranted, which they never are.
It is not uncommon for those carrying out the violence to be ashamed of their actions and attempt to make the situation right. How this is done can vary but will often be done via kindness, gifts, or promises of changing behavior.
This stage of domestic violence can make partners feel valued and closer to their partners, which is why many assume the relationship is resolved, and they will be closer to their partner. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
The calm period of domestic violence can be misleading, as there can be a period when those suffering abuse assume all is resolved. Those carrying out domestic violence may say how ashamed they are of their actions.
However, there can still be elements of abuse during the calm stage. For example, violent people may blame their partner for provoking them or use other factors to excuse their behavior.
Can Those Who Carry Out Domestic Abuse Change?
Domestic abuse can occur for many reasons, but those who act aggressively in the home environment can change, often involving professional help.
Many people will be familiar with the concept of an abusive relationship when the person carrying out the abuse vows it will never happen again. However, despite the best intentions, the distorted thought process commonly associated with domestic abuse means change is difficult without making a commitment.
Those who are violent will often have little control over their actions. Domestic violence is likely to happen again until professional help is sought. If those carrying out domestic violence are unwilling to seek help, then abusers can make little change.
This is why a wide range of help and support must be available to all suffering from domestic violence.
Challenges Faced Regarding Reporting Domestic Violence
Those in an abusive relationship will often be fearful of asking for help. However, there can be other challenges for those in an abusive relationship. The following is an overview of some concerns that can be raised when reporting domestic violence and the contingencies in place when staying safe in the US.
Immigrants Reporting Domestic Violence
Those who have not been in the United States for long may assume no help regarding domestic abuse is available. Similarly, some may not have the ability to speak fluent English and find reporting domestic violence difficult.
Fortunately, several US resources, including translation services and guidance, are available. The laws in the US ensure all victims of domestic violence are safeguarded, which can offer more confidence when wanting to escape a hostile environment.
Older Individuals Reporting Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, domestic violence can be a normalized concept for some, and older people may have witnessed similar scenarios in the past.
Fortunately, awareness regarding domestic abuse is becoming widespread, and there is support for everyone suffering from abuse, even those who may be unsure of their circumstances.
Men Reporting Domestic Violence
Awareness of domestic violence ensures no judgment regarding those who have suffered abuse. Unfortunately, past traits can still exist, especially in a violent relationship.
Despite a large number of women in violent relationships, there can be men who suffer violence and feel there is no help available, or they will be judged negatively.