Domestic violence is a form of violence between intimate partners that may be living as companions or married couples. It is expressed by one partner against the other and in most cases; women are most vulnerable to be the victims of such occurrence. In the United States of America, it is recognized as an important social crisis that needs to be addressed urgently. The U.S Congress has established both the governmental and non-governmental agencies including various Violence Against Women Acts in an attempt to facilitate an effective fight against this tide.
According to the statistics regarding domestic violence, victimization is common in both genders in the U.S. About 3.2 million males and 1.9 million females are physically assaulted annually by their spouses as a result of domestic wrangles. In these statistics, a large population of men is subjected to domestic violence but is less likely to be physically hurt by their female counterparts. The worst rates of this violence are evident in the social and economically disadvantaged groups mostly the Native Americans. Some special hotlines and shelters exist to help curb the high rise of the violence as well as rescue the possible victims. Non-profit agencies are doing their best to fight the stigma faced by these victims in reporting these issues and solving them.
Domestic violence is triggered by the quest for dominance when one partner feels that he/she belongs to a more superior gender and want to control the other. One cause of this quest is low self-esteem and jealousy. In the past, according to the traditions, men were assumed to be more superior to women. Therefore, they had the right to control and dictate a woman's life because women were said to be inferior. Due to the traditional belief, men still clinch to the traditional ways while women have joined forces to overturn these kinds of ideas hence the wrangles. For instance, in the political field, the number of women is relatively lower as compared to the men who dominate these positions. Currently, women are contesting for equal presentations in different fields of professions, and some even engage in activities that were traditionally spared for men.
The quest for domination varies in various forms such as physical and emotional abuse. It then spreads like a contagious disease as children of these victims grow up thinking that violence is an appropriate way of settling conflicts. Male children who have experienced violence when growing up are more likely to abuse their future wives and kids while girls are prone to domestic violence and may become rebellious to their husbands in future. The signs of domestic violence may include one partner pushing for immediate commitment, difficulty in conveying emotions, maybe insensitive to animals, and inquisitive about their partners' whereabouts.
These signs should trigger an alarm. If ignored at an early stage in the relationship, they may escalate into serious problems in the future and result in cases of domestic violence. People should be cautious of any threats and act effectively to avoid been victims of their potential abusers. They should seek refuge whenever threatened by their spouses either wives or husbands.
Drug abuse is also another major cause of domestic violence. For example, when a partner happens to be an alcohol addict, they may always be out of their senses and engage their family members in baseless confrontations. These members are likely to experience both emotional and physical torture hence developing hate against their abusers. According to research findings, the severity of physical violence and stalking is mostly associated with substance abuse by the perpetrators (Pam Wilson, 2000).
Alcohol and drug abuse may indirectly accelerate and increase aggression hence leading to violence. In recently reported cases of wife battering, substance abuse increased the magnitude of the injuries inflicted on the victims. Therefore, drug abuse and domestic violence have several causes and effects. Their correlation applies to a sub-group of the perpetrators and victims (Testa, 2004). Substance abuse may be warnings to a need for power and control related to gender-based distortions (Gondolf, 1995). Persons who abuse alcohol are likely to abuse their spouses on any day they drink. A recent study shows patterns of alcohol and substance abuse influenced cases of homicides where people were killed in their homes and also failed murder attempts.
Statistics showed that before the violent incidence, the preceding year, female victims had used both alcohol and drugs less frequently and in regulated amounts as compared to their male counterparts. However, during the occurrence of homicide instances, about 31.3 percent of the culprits had consumed large quantities of alcohol. 12.6 percent had consumed only drugs while 26.2 percent had used both alcohol and drugs at a go. The remaining 29.9 percent of the perpetrators had used no substance when they committed the crime.
Research done shows that pregnancy does not exacerbate domestic violence. Domestic violence manifests even in pregnancy situations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data regarding the health conditions of expectant mothers. The institution used PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) to analyze enough data concerning domestic violence during the condition. (February 2006, http://www.cdc.gov/ReproductiveHealth/Products&Pubs/PDFs/Physical%20Violence.pdf) reveals that between four and eight percent of pregnant women had reported pregnancy complications associated with the violence.
There are personal safety skills that may help to safeguard and protect potential victims from their abusers. These ways may include assessing their behaviors and being aware of any possible danger signs. In case they sense any form of danger in their homes, they should seek refuge and prevent severe cases which may follow afterward. In most cases of homicide, the victims tend to stick to abusive relationships hoping that their abusers may change for the better. It leads to more abuse because these culprits tend to think of their victims as desperate and dependent.
In conclusion, both the male and female victims of domestic violence should take the forefront position in ensuring their safety. They should share their problems with trusted persons who may help them instead of suffering in silence for fear of victimization. Also, they should not expose their kids to such. By doing this, it will assist them to set boundaries and counter these kinds of problems in an appropriate way. These methods play a significant role in reducing serious IPV (Intimate Partner Violence).
Andrus, Jennifer. "Social Discourses about Domestic Violence and Hearsay." Violence Against Women in the Anglo-American Hearsay Entextualizing Domestic Violence (2015): 80-110. Web.
Goodmark, L. "Mothers, Domestic Violence, and Child Protection: An American Legal Perspective." Violence Against Women 16.5 (2010): 524-29. Web.
Gerdes, Louise I. Domestic Violence. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2012. Print.
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