that adversely affect women and children in the US. Children who witness or experience, DV may become future abusers or victims themselves if society doesn’t get involved. The federal government needs to step in and assume responsibility in stemming the tide of domestic violence. Preventing abuse is more cost-effective than paying for the consequences of abuse. The widespread occurrence of such violence takes an immense toll on the lives of the victims in addition to most of society, because of numerous behavioral, health, psychological, and economic consequences.
Why women bear domestic violence?
Following are some justifications given by women to remain victim of domestic violence for the rest of the life:
A lot of women who are a victim of domestic violence are financially dependent on their abusers. There are numerous reasons for this; an abuser will often try to isolate the victim from anybody or anything that might offer support either emotionally or economically. This allows the abuser to have power over his victim, without interference from those who might give aid to the victim. This isolation causes the victim to become dependent on her abuser, and it insures that she will have nowhere to go. Even when a victim has the wish to escape the violence, the fundamental requirements of food, shelter, and clothing for her children usually surpass her need for security. To leave a domestic violence relationship, a woman needs a place to live, a source of income, childcare and transportation. Most victims are denied access to these things in a vicious relationship, leaving her escape resources insolvent.
The trickiest issue a victim must beat in order to get away is her fear of her abuser’s threats to kill her. Alas, this fear is not always baseless. Abusive men often shoot up violence after a victim flees to security and time and again he brings back his victim and her children. Indeed, as many as 75% of visits to medical emergency rooms by battered women occur after they have separated from the aggressive partner.
The Forms of Abuse
Physical Abuse includes hitting, shoving, choking, biting, kicking, slapping, punching, pulling hair, burning, bruising, twisting, preventing access to an exit, or using a weapon to bully and/or intimidate.
Emotional Abuse is the hardest for women to remain alive her self identify. Emotional abuse is the systematic degrading of the victim’s self-esteem. This may be accomplished by withholding of love, intimidation, mocking; cruelty to pets, using put-downs, giving the details of relationships, refusing to talk, showing jealousy, refusing to allow a partner to have/make friends, taking anger out on the children and pets, not allowing the victim financial access or convincing the victim that she (the victim) is crazy.
Sexual Abuse can include forcing sex against a partner’s will, forbidding birth control, physically hurting partner during sex, oral abuse including humiliating sexual comments, forcing unwanted sexual practices on partner, hiding a sexually transmitted disease from partner, and forced sex with objects.
Economic Abuse is accomplished by preventing the victim from working outside the home, not permitting the victim to make any economic decisions, having to justify all expenditure, baseless blaming for monetary troubles, withholding of financial information, and withholding access to finances.
Characteristics of an Abuser
*The majority of abusers are emotionally deprived.
*Abusers want to feel in control; they use aggression as a means to control their partner.
*Abusers are likely to behave normally toward other family members, friends and work acquaintances.
*They are generally very unconfident and insecure. Overwhelming their victim gives them a sense of power.
*Abusers are habitually very critical of their partner.
*They can be exceedingly jealous.
*Abusers often reject blame for their actions and can even deny that any abuse ever happened.
*They reduce the abuse and blame their partners for their violent behavior.
The Sequence Of Abuse
1. Tension Building
Minor incidents occur and tension begins to build. The victim generally tries to control the situation by apologizing, making promises and accepting blame. The victim will generally seek to “smooth things over” and solve the problem in order to reduce the aggression.
Tension rises until there is verbal abuse that will often lead to physical aggression. Victims often play down or reject the brutality of their injuries to pacify their perpetrators with the hope of preventing more violence. Pleading from the victim during this phase usually only serves to increase the violence.
3. Apologies and pardon
The abuser acts sorry and seems confused by his actions; generally the abuser starts to cry. The abuser promises to ‘never do it again’. The victim focuses on how loving her abuser can be. In relationships that do not have the ‘apology’ stage the victim is likely to leave their abuser sooner and is less likely to return to the relationship. Records show that there is a direct link between the apology stage and a victim’s willingness to stay in the relationship.
Occurrence of Domestic Violence
â€¢ Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year to three million women who are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year.
â€¢ Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.
â€¢ Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.
â€¢ Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women. In 1999, women accounted for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence (671,110 total) and men accounted for 15 percent of the victims (120,100 total).
â€¢ The most rapid growth in domestic relations caseloads is occurring in domestic violence filings. Between 1993 and 1995, 18 of 32 states with three-year filing figures reported an increase of 20 percent or more.
It is clear from the facts collected that the solution to averting domestic violence is in education. It is particularly essential; to teach young people that violence is not an acceptable answer to any problem. We must bring domestic violence to the forefront of our society and not allow it to be a forbidden issue. We must definitely strengthen the value of each person in our society.
To help those already involved in violent relationships there must be more spotlights on the self-worth issues of the victim. Once a victim has confidence she is more likely to leave a violent relationship.
Economic programs must be prepared in a community in order to take away an abuser’s second biggest weapon- financial control. There is an enormous requirement for more ‘safe-houses’ in America. Domestic Violence Shelters provide a safe shelter for women and children to escape the violence.
Lastly we must teach our school children about domestic violence. They must be taught from an early age that violence is never allowable and give them the tools needed to identify domestic violence and how to get help if required.
It is understandable from all information that violence itself cannot be the subject of mediation and that mediation is not a substitute for counseling, education, and legal sanctions. This led to the clearest guideline, that no criminal cases involving domestic violence should be referred to mediation. The violent act or acts must be dealt with through the actual court procedure in order to highlight the gravity of the act and the fact that domestic violence, where proved, is indeed against the law.