Domestic Violence is any act or threat intended to hurt or make women suffer which may result in, or is likely to result in, physical, psychological, sexual or mental harm .Domestic Violence against women is an expression of imbalanced power relations between men and women and it is one of the critical societal tools by which women are forced into a minority position compared with men.Domestic violence is an issue of global concern. Historically, domestic violence has been a generally acceptable facts if life in some culture.
“DomesticViolence is still a private affair in our community and its devastating impacts are largelyignored.” (FDI)
Causes of Domestic Violence
- Low self-esteem
- Extreme jealousy
- Inferiority complex
- Childhood observations of Domestic Violence
- Exposure to community, school, or peer group violence during childhood
- Living in a culture of violence (e.g., violent movies or video games, community norms, and cultural beliefs)
- Alcohol abuse and other chemical substances e.g drugs
- Cultural/Societal construction of womanhood
Impact on Children
- Behavioural, social, and emotional problems – anger, hostility, disobedience, fear and low self-esteem
- Cognitive and attitudinal problems – difficulties in school and score lower on assessments of verbal, motor, and cognitive skills
- Long-term problems – Children engage in domestic and other violence acts. They can become violent spouses in the future. Violent homes produce violent children.
- Learning difficulties, problems at school, including truanting
- Some children act younger than their age
- Internalizing distress and becoming withdrawn
- Low self esteem
- Difficulties in getting along with others
- Older children may start to use alcohol or drugs.
- Self-harm by taking overdoses or cutting themselves.
- Developing eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional problems
- Become violent themselves
- Become victims of violence
- Destructive behaviour
- Develop emotional and psychological illness, depression, and suicidal tendencies including traumatic stress reactions, such as flashbacks, nightmares, bedwetting, intensified startle reactions, or constant worry about danger, bad temper
How to Identify Potential Violent Spouse
- Possessive and controlling. They are more likely to become abusive
- Monitor the level of jealousy and insecurity. They overreact when you spend time with others and generally dislike your friends for no apparent reason
- Be aware of violence or threats of violence. This is never an acceptable behaviour.
- Don’t get taken in by cries and rationalized behaviour. They may use your sympathy to get to you. May try to manipulate you by making it seem like its your fault.
- Notice the act of removing you from public places in order to abuse you
- Belittles you all the time.
- Watch how your partner talks to you or about your parents or your friends. Is he rude or unkind?
- They always make you feel guilty.
- Look for consistent patterns of behaviour. People who are abusive in relationships are often abusive in other situations
Impact on Women
- Low self-esteem.
- Health problems: Like headache, weight loss or gain, anxiety, eating and sleeping disorders. Victim may develop harmful or reckless behaviour—such as using drugs or alcohol, keeping bad company etc. as a way of coping with violence.
- Pain and injuries: broken bones, burns, black eyes, cuts, bruises, as well as headaches and muscle pains that may continue for many years after the abuse
- Reproductive health problems. Many women suffer miscarriages from being beaten during pregnancy. They can also have problems with having children in extreme cases.
- Depression: Persistent sadness, crying secretly, and loss of energy. It can also affect the victim’s outlook, lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
- Absent-mindedness: The victim may not be able to function and concentrate on activities. This can lead to accidents.
- Death: Ultimately, it can also lead to death.
Sign of Abuse
There are many ways that husbands, partner can be abusive. Women also abuse their husband .Below are a few signs that may indicate that you or someone you know could be in an abusive situation.
- Does your partner get jealous a lot? Does your partner wrongfully accuse you of sleeping with other men/women?
- Does your partner say things to make you feel bad about yourself or to hurt your feelings?
- Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or your family?
- Does your partner go through your purse or other personal things?
- Has your partner ever destroyed your property?
- Has your partner ever grabbed, pushed or shaken you?
- Has your partner forcibly had sex with you?
- Has your partner ever threatened you with a weapon?
- Has your partner threatened to take your children?
- Has your partner ever forced you into doing something that you did not want to do?
- Has your partner ever thrown anything at you?
How to Get Help
- Seek for counsel
- Know your abuser’s red flags
- Identify safe areas in the house
- Come up with coded words with people who can spring into action and help you immediately.
- Be ready to leave at any moment
- Make and memorise a list of emergency contacts
- Be kind to yourself
- Build a strong support system
- Capacity building