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A destructive issue that remains prevalent in society is the re-occurrence of abuse, otherwise known as domestic violence. Often concealed and undetectable, domestic violence has a lingering effect on large groups of people of varying demographics. There is an unwarranted misconception that domestic violence can only occur in the physical form to women. Contrary to popular belief, this is an inaccurate notion. Domestic violence is not an act that is gender exclusive, but it occurs in both the lives of men, women and children. This paper will discuss the causes, signs and effects of domestic violence.
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Knowing the signs, causes, and effects of domestic violence will help society break the cycle to it. Society have always blamed the victim instead of the abuser. Before anyone receives the blame, we need to know every detail on why it exists. Knowing what causes the problem, learning the signs and finding solutions is the effective way of ending domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs in many forms such as physical, sexual, financial, emotional, verbal, stalking and mental. Many people become very abusive to their partners, family members, and friends because they either was abused or saw a love one being abuse. This is called learned behavior.
Imagine meeting someone and falling deeply in love with. They are everything that a person could ever wanted. Their intelligence, personality, confidence, sense of humor are some of the reasons why a person would fall in love. From one perspective, they were the perfect catch and a dream that came true. Suddenly elements changed because abuse has begun. The person that one has fell in love with is no longer the same and began to mentally destroy their partner by verbal assaulting them. Insulting their worth by belittling them- referring to them as worthless, stupid, ugly, dumb, idiot, irresponsible, etc. After a while, the partner who is receiving the verbal abuse will began to believe the ideas that are being said, and self-esteem is no longer there.
Next becomes physical, it may start off with a shove then follow up with a punch and last a full beat down. The physical abuse can get so bad where the person may need medical attention or even a body bag. This type of behavior will affect anyone living in or outside the household. These tactics that are being done is called power and control. Power and control can consist of threats, intimidation, public humiliation, fault-finding, and victim blaming. Trying to cope with abuse is draining mentally, physically, and emotionally and can cause anyone to go into severe deep depression. Speaking up and seeking help is the only way for the victim to obtain help. I know this because I am a survivor.
When a person hears the words domestic violence everyone automatic thinks a man is beating a woman. However, this is not always the case. Men and children are victims just as much as women. Domestic violence is the act of someone who cannot control their anger and uses violence to express themselves. Some experts say that A person who has anger will allow it to take over the emotionally; as that happens the individual’s entire way of perceiving and reacting to the universe is altered to justify their anger and hostility; these perceptual and behavioral reactions reflect real and long-lasting changes in the neural networks within the brain of this person. (Potter-Efron). The control tactics that are being used, is to terrorize their victim. In the book Getting Free You Can End Abuse and Take Back Your Life, Most abused women say emotional abuse or tactics of power and control are more difficult to deal with than physical (NiCarthy). Being control makes it hard for the victim to leave. Some victims believe that their abuser will change and can love them correctly.
Being abused can destroy the lives of those involved. Ranging from the abuser, victim, children, other family members, and friends. Living this lifestyle is hard especially when one is attempting to cover up the abuse. Masking black eyes with makeup, wearing long sleeves in the summer, pretending everything were good, making an effect so the children are not aware, confining the dark secrets will make anyone depressed. Remembering the first time covering up the first black eye. The night before my abuser and I had a huge altercation. My abuser was jealous and assumed that hugging another male was a sign of disrespect. My abuser believes that if a guy is not a family member or mate, a female should not hug them. While arguing, I explained that his thought process was immature, and I did not have time to be arguing with a closed-minded person. Within moments, he punched me so far that I flew onto the floor. I proceeded to defend myself, and even though I fought back, it did not faze him. After a while, I just laid there until he stopped and left the house. I was in complete shocked with all these thoughts going through my mind. The person that I was in love with, the one that asked me to marry him, and the man I gave children to just assaulted me.
Once I reached the bathroom, I saw my face. I saw how my face was once beautiful is now damaged. I called my baby sister and asked her to watch my daughter for a week. When she came to my house and saw my face, the expression on her face showed all her emotions. I begged her not to tell anyone. In her first breath she asked, what happen? Not in the right state of mind, I automatically said it was my fault and not his. I told her to keep the girls for the week until my face heals because I did not want them to my face like this.
Two days went past and the swelling in my face went down a lot. I had to return to work. This was something that I did not want to do. I knew when I came into work there was going to be a lot of questions. I applied make up on, so it can cover the black eye. I attempted to make my face as normal as possible, but people could tell that something was wrong. One of the co-workers pulled to the side during lunch and told me that if I ever needed her to call. She explained that she has been in a abusive relationship before. She stated that she knew the signs and I can come to her. The whole time we were talking, other co-workers voiced their opinions. Another co-worker stated You are stupid for allowing any man to put his hands on you. And why would I allowed him to do that? There are signs to let anyone know if they are abuser? While the other one stated You are stupid for staying with him. Only a weak-minded person will let this happen to them. I will never let anyone put their hands on me. These women did not understand that certain words can affect a victim.
When a victim is battered, all types of things are going on in their mind. They are trying to figure out where did things go wrong, what could they do to make things better, trying to find their confidence, peace, and happiness; and what could they do to prevent the next assault. Saying the wrong thing can cause the victim to go into a psychotic break. They already are afraid of their abuser and for someone to call them out their name will make their insecurities intensify, this is called a psychological abuse. One trait of psychological abuse is isolation. Battered victims appeared to be more isolated when living with the batterer, as compared to the non-batterer. (Walker)
As time went by the abuse was non-stopped. For two whole years, the mental verbal, public humiliation, and physical was affecting the children and me. It was to the point where the children mimicked the actions that they saw and heard. The last straw was when he tried to assassinate me in front of the children at the doctor’s office. He was choking me while I was holding one of our daughters. The police remove the children from the situation. My co-worker was right there when everything had occurred. She was the one who called the police and inform them that this was happening. She explained to them that she was a relative, so she can take the children rather than them being placed into child protective services.
The next day, child protective services agent and a domestic violence counselor came to my house. They both stated that the children could not stay in this type of environment. They can remove the children if a restraining order was not set into place. That single statement right there was the turning point. This account happened in 2002 when a restraining order has been placed on him and still in effect.
Not many victims are fortunate enough to leave their abuser. Some stay because of fear to start over, they think their abuser going to change, they do not want to separate the family, religious and language barriers. From the book Everything You Need to Know About Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence People who abuse others are afraid to lose control. While leaving the abuser is often the best solutions, yet, a victim needs to be aware that their abuser can abuse them again. (Kinstlinger-Bruhn). The statistic of knowing how many people went through this is scary. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some sort of physical violence by their intimate partner during their lifetimes. One in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by intimate partner in their lifetime. One in seven women and one in eighteen men have been stalked by intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed, according Center of Disease and Control. (www.cdc.gov).
A person will never know who is in an abusive relationship unless one knows the signs. Some of the signs are being apologetic, not themselves at all, denying anything that anyone suspect that is not right, covering up physical abuse, and the fear in their eyes when they see their mate. The main signs are distancing themselves from everyone while being in their relationship, always checking in with their partner, not coming to social events like they use to and making sure that their partner is pleased. If a person does not see any of the signs from the victim observe their partner. Watch to see if their mate is being controlling, trying to isolate their mate, never apologizing when they are wrong, and trying to change their mate completely. When a person does dramatics changed, especially when it comes to isolating themselves from everyone, nine out of ten they are in a bad relationship.
There was a day when things needed to be explained. The family was informed of the suffering and constant beatings that was endured. Even though a restraining order was put in place that did not stopped him from trying to scared me. He threw a break into the house the same day the restraining order was established. So, the next morning, the van was packed with everyone possessions. Money were limited but determination for a better life was the goal. All the achieved accomplishments, goals that were set and children being raised are now on hold because the move was on.
Once settled into the apartment I notice the children behavior changed dramatically. Witnessing the abuse that was endure, the children developed psychological trauma. The children needed counseling. Counseling is the number one key for anyone who is willing to obtain help. Getting counseling does not mean that you are crazy, sick, or neurotic. Counseling is a very effective outlet to help people acknowledge the cause to their issue. Counseling can be individual, couples, children and family. Some questions may be asks like Were there something in the past that made a person have built up anger? Why is the person behaving this way? Batterers choose to express their anger out on their mate is because they were raised in that environment. Either they were abused or saw a family member being abused, this situation taught them this is how a person resolve their issue with anyone. When there is abuse, everyone who is involved should go to individual first before attempting couple and family. Some people believe that counseling is not a good idea. The victim who are being beaten, intimidated, or controlled by their partner are not free to engage in the kind of open dialogue that counseling promotes. If the victim speaks openly to a therapist or counselor in the presence of the batterer it may cause them to be in danger when they return home (Yount).
There is a saying and it goes A person can only do what you allowed them to do This statement is true. So, when a victim allows their partner to repeatedly hit them then they deserved it. There is no way that a person would stay in a relationship that is harmful to them unless they like it. Even some expects says that it is not the abuser fault for their actions because victims know how to provoke them. Victims know exactly what causes the batterer to react. They do this because the victims like to be hit. Some believes that if their partner does not hit them that they are not love or wanted. Some victims provoke their abuser for attention. People play the victim role when they are the one who initiate the fight. Then they will call the police and make false accusations. Therefore, society does not have any concern about domestic violence.
False accusations can cause a lot of damage to people lives affecting not only the victim’s and abuser’s but, also the families and friends. The victim creditability will no longer exist because of the lies they told. The so-called abuser will have to defend their character. The victim will no longer be looked upon with sympathy but with disgust. Individuals who use to associate themselves with the victim will become distance. The so-called victim will start to experience certain traits of an abuse victim excluding the physical aspect. Down the line if they were to ever come across an abusive relationship, people would be more hesitant to believe them. Now for the individual falsely accused, they will have to build their life together again piece by piece. Their reputation has been tarnished and were considered a disgrace in the public eye, including some family members. For those family members that stood by the individual’s side, this comes as a relieve. Though the individual were falsely accused, they may not receive their job back because certain consequence may not be reversable. The title that is attached to them has cause struggles with daily task. Receiving stares and talked down upon would still go on after being proven innocent of the heinous act. By those viewing the situation from the outside, the individuals is seen by those who surround him as guilty.
In conclusion, society should understand the difference between real victims and those who portrayed as a victim. Blaming all victims for being abuse is wrong because there are some victims who wants to leave. There are too afraid to go because they are financially unstable or do not want to separate the family. Therefore, understanding and providing views on learned behavior, cause, effects and signs of victims and abuser can make society understand what is real and not. This is supported by personal experiences, facts, and evidenced. Well explained and articulated for all to get a good understanding of the topic.
Kinstlinger-Bruhn, Charlotte. Everything You Need to Know About Breaking The Cycle of Domestic Violence. The Rosen Publishing Group, INC, 1997. 44.
NiCarthy, Ginny. “Getting Free You Can End Abuse And Take Back Your Life.” Seal Press, 2004. XXV.
Potter-Efron, Ronald. “Handbook of Anger Management and Domestic Violence Offender Treatment.” 2015. n.d. 3.
Walker, Lenore E.A. “The Battered Woman Syndrome.” Springer Publishing Company, 2000. 33.
www.cdc.gov.” n.d. www.cdc.gov/violence/pdf/nisvs_report2010-apdf. October 2018.
Yount, Lisa. “How Can Domestic Violence Be Prevented.” Thomas Gale, 2006. 94.
Concealed Realities The Issues of Domestic Violence. (2019, Apr 15).
Retrieved May 28, 2023 , from
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