Researching of Domestic Violence

Introduction

Domestic violence can be a physically and emotionally scary ordeal. Kaur & Garg (2008) define domestic violence as the abuse of power by an adult in a relationship to attain an upper hand over the other person. They further state that domestic abuse is prevalent, profoundly established, and has substantial consequences for victims. Domestic violence is morally unacceptable and yet no other public health issue has been so largely disregarded and misunderstood. This paper aims at bridging this gap of study on domestic violence by giving an insight into the different types of domestic violence, its consequences, and the process of ramifying domestic violence.

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Both men and women are perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse. Research, however, shows that the majority of domestic violence victims are women. In the United States, for example, it has been reported that domestic violence accounts for 85 percent of all violent crimes committed against women, compared to only 3% of violent crimes committed against men (Kaur & Garg, 2008). The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005, defines domestic violence as any behavior, action, omission, or violation that damages or harms, or has the power to hurt or injure, a woman (Kaur & Garg, 2008). The prevalent statistics show that the rate of domestic violence keeps on rising and for this reason, it should be termed a crisis.

Types of Domestic Violence

Whenever people hear of the word domestic violence, they typically think of a physical attack that leaves the victim with physical injuries. This is just one sort of mistreatment. Abuse can be classified into various categories, each with its own set of disastrous repercussions. The severity of physical abuse tends to put the victim in greater danger, but the lengthy erosion of individuality that follows the other types of abuse is crucial and needs not to be overlooked. In emotional abuse, the perpetrator uses words and actions to berate, shame, or degrade the victim’s self-esteem and harm their psychological well-being. Owing to its non-physical characteristics, emotional abuse is more difficult to define. Financial abuse occurs when a partner tries to get complete control over the other’s financial liberty and freedom. Sexual assault refers to sexual molestation perpetrated by one individual against another. All these types of domestic violence cannot be overlooked and they need to be addressed with the severity they deserve.

Causes of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence especially against women has been a long-standing problem as women have long been seen as weak, defenseless, and easily manipulated, hence making them the easier targets. Although cultural norms, religious traditions, and economic and political circumstances may influence the initiation and perpetuation of domestic violence, committing an act of violence is ultimately a personal decision made from a variety of possibilities. External factors like socio-cultural norms play an important role in the etiology of domestic violence (Wacek, 2017). In addition, other individual-level variables such as witnessing violence between parents as a child, having an absent father, and negative peer pressure largely contribute to the development of domestic violence.

Gender imbalance resulting from differences in physical strength and size also contributes significantly to domestic violence as the perpetrators regard the victims as weak and not a threat to them. Notably, women in countries that advocate patriarchy and are governed by rigid gender norms are generally ill-equipped to defend themselves if their spouses resort to violence (Wacek, 2017). Additionally, part of the discrepancy stems from how men’s reliance and fearfulness contribute to cultural disarming. Husbands who hit their spouses often believe they are exercising a right by keeping the household in order and correcting their wives’ misbehavior, particularly their refusal to maintain their appropriate place. Notably, violence may be directed against a kid, older family members, or other relatives in some situations, the results of which cause even greater harm to the victims.

Outcomes of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence not only results in physical harm but it also hurts the well-being of society at large in terms of social, financial, mental, spiritual, and psychological capabilities. Domestic abuse is a big factor in the victim’s poor health as its ramifications affect their physical, emotional, reproductive, and sexual wellbeing. These types of violence result in Injuries, gynecologic issues for women, partial or total disability, melancholy, and often, suicide. Individuals, families, communities, and society at large all suffer social and emotional consequences as a result of these psychosocial effects of domestic violence.

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The emotional and physical torture negatively affects the victim’s academic and career pathways. As a result, they are interrupted or terminated, resulting in severe economic reliance in the long term. When family life is interrupted in example cases that result in divorce, there is a profound impact on children who could end up losing faith and trust in the institution of the family. Statistics have shown that a single act of domestic violence results in a woman missing days of employment. This accumulative loss in the United States amounts to $12.6 billion per year, whereas Australia loses 6.3 billion per year as a result of this (Saito et al., 2019). Impacts of domestic violence are sometimes hidden as they are indirect. As the result of which, an accumulated emotional turmoil elapses later in life and causes harm to the loved ones. Stemming from the impacts of these actions is a need to address this crisis of domestic violence.

Addressing the Crisis of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is both an individual and a national crisis. Kanel (2015) defines a crisis as an event that occurs when a person’s typical or stable state is disrupted. This type of assault is regarded as a situational crisis that occurs unexpectedly and disrupts the victim’s stable way of living. Kanel (2015) in finding solutions to a crisis, suggests the adoption of Golan’s model of problem-solving which involves three stages: assessment, implementation, and termination. The assessment stage involves acknowledging that a problem does exist and defining it. The implementation stage involves running a background check to try and identify the root cause of the issue. The termination stage, on the other hand, involves the complete elimination of the problem by using information gathered from the implementation stage to ensure that future causes are mitigated. If properly addressed, domestic violence has the likelihood of becoming a thing of the past because the failure to address it properly in the past is what has resulted in it becoming a recurring problem for the next generations.

In addressing domestic violence, strategies should start by correcting the wrongs that have already been committed to victims. This involves finding victims of domestic violence and offering them the necessary help to assist in recovery from the traumatizing incidences. Sapkota et al (2019) suggest that these victims should be offered counseling, psychotherapy, and education since such remedies have shown encouraging results. Follow-ups and long-term assistance should also be afforded for these victims to help prevent further damage.

For victims who choose to stay silent or are too afraid to speak out, hospitals should be in the frontline to try and identify early signs of domestic violence. For this to be achieved, health care personnel need to be trained adequately on how to identify these early signs. The health sector can play a critical role in providing victims with access to essential treatment and counseling, and connecting them to appropriate services. They should offer an environment in which, victims feel protected, are respected, and are not exploited or stigmatized.

Perpetrators of domestic violence should be punished severely regardless of their social status or reasons. In as much as most perpetrators claim to have reasons for abusing others, there is no justification for such violence. As such, anyone found committing such a crime should be sentenced to serve a jail term and follow-ups should be made to ensure that they do not turn into repeat offenders. Conversely, in cases where a perpetrator is found to have repeated the offense, the severity of the punishment should be increased. Victims should be encouraged to speak up and they should be offered the necessary assistance when they report such cases. This will help in giving a voice to the petrified victims who could be silent because they doubt the justice system.

Governments also need to devise programs that aim at addressing the needs of abused victims, such as those that emphasize self-efficacy and vocational skills. Domestic abuse survivors can also be encouraged to create and implement programs to guarantee inclusiveness and efficacy. This will help in shifting the mindset from being victims of abuse to being agents of change and rights. (Kaur & Garg, 2008) argue that a bill by itself cannot prevent domestic abuse and that a shift in thinking is required. This calls for the use of an integrated system to achieve the desired results.

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Conclusion

Domestic violence is fast becoming a national concern and a crisis for different nations. It is a scary ordeal that often leaves its victims psychologically disturbed and/or physically incapacitated. The victims of domestic violence cut across gender, age groups, and different social levels. This creates a need to pay attention to domestic violence because it results in great losses and wasted opportunities for the victims. From missed workdays to the inability to concentrate in school, all these are the aftermath of domestic violence and they pose a long-run danger for individuals and communities. For this reason, measures such as strict laws and a shift in mentality need to be put in place to ensure that domestic violence is curbed. Health care institutions can also play a great role in reducing domestic violence since they have the capacity to identify early signs of domestic violence and collaborate with the relevant authorities for assistance. In reforming mentalities, initiation of support programs for domestic violence victims that aim at making them ambassadors of justice and equality as opposed to them being images of victimization could go a long way.

References

Kanel, K. (2015). A guide to crisis intervention (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Kaur, R., & Garg, S. (2008). Addressing domestic violence against women: an unfinished agenda. Indian journal of community medicine: official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 33(2), 73–76. Web.

Sapkota, D., Baird, K., Saito, A. (2019). A systematic review of interventions for reducing and/or controlling domestic violence among pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries. Syst Rev 8, 79. Web.

Wacek, B. (2017). SOPHIA: St. Catherine University’s Institutional Repository. Web.

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