Domestic violence is a serious social problem. It may be defined as “the physical abuse of a child or an adult by another with whom they are acquainted or related and with whom they may or may not reside.”
Domestic violence includes spouse abuse, child abuse, abuse of the elderly, sibling abuse, incest, and often rape. It is the type of behavior that is done in the context of an intimate relationship.
Women are the most frequent victims of domestic violence because of traditional role stereotypes and societal sanctions. We allow it to happen every day in our cities, counties, this country and other countries around the world with little or no consequences for the batterers.
Legal Definition of Domestic Violence: Abuse means inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means, placing and adult or minor in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, or malicious damage to the personal party.”
Behavioral Definition: Domestic violence or battering is a pattern of violent and non-violent, coercive behaviors whereby the batterer seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of his/her intimate partner or to punish the intimate partner for resisting the batterer’s control over her or him.”
More Facts About Domestic Violence
- Battering is common. In the U.S. alone, a woman is battered every 7 seconds. Abuse can happen to anyone. It crosses all races, gender, religious, and socioeconomic lines.
- Some of the different types of abuse are: physical, verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual, and mental.
- Some people think that a victim provokes her/his own violence. The fact is abusers are responsible for their own actions.
- It can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship. The victim may choose to stay for financial reasons, religious reasons, or fear that if s/he leaves s/he will be found and severely beaten or killed.
Am I Being Abused?
Signs that you may be in a domestic violence situation. Does your partner…
- Monitor your time, phone calls, conversations, internet use?
- Criticize, belittle or humiliate you?
- Act jealous or possessive?
- Accuse you of cheating?
- Threaten to hurt you, your children, family, friends, or pets?
- Blame you for how s/he feels or acts?
- Try to keep you from family and/or friends?
- Make you feel you are incapable of making decisions?
- Yell or call you derogatory names?
- Blame others for his/her problems or mistakes?
- Hit, slap, restrain, or push you, your children or pets?
- Throw or destroy things?
- Threaten to take everything, including the children if you leave?
- Control your access to money?
- Threaten to hurt or kill him/herself if s/he doesn’t get what s/he wants?
- Stalk you? (Follow you, constantly show up wherever you are, constantly call and text you?)