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Domestic violence is any abusive behavior committed by one intimate partner against the other and includes intentional battery, intimidation, sexual assault, physical assault, and any other form of abuse. The primary cause of domestic violence is one partner's persistent attempts to maintain dominance and control over the other. Violence occurs on a very irregular basis, and its intensity differs greatly. Domestic violence is an epidemic that exists in every community and affects a wide range of people, irrespective of their race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or age. To safeguard the victims at all costs, domestic violence is a threat that needs to be addressed. Often, abusive emotional behavior accompanies domestic violence that is only an element of the methodical design of both dominance and control (Stets, 2012). The results of domestic violence are disastrous, and they range from psychological trauma, physical injury and even death in severe cases. The devastating consequences of domestic violence whether physical, psychological or emotional can cross generations and even last a lifetime.
The most recognizable form of domestic violence is physical abuse that involves causing injury on a victim forcefully. It can be in a various form such as slapping, kicking, stabbing, punching, choking or forcing the other person to engage in drug use. Physical abuse can cause minor or major injuries depending on the intensity and frequency. The second form of domestic violence is emotional abuse that involves the destruction of the self-worth as well as the self-esteem of the victim. Emotional abuse is often in the form of persistent criticism, insult or humiliation. In most unhealthy relationships, emotional abuse is common, and most people do not understand it. However, emotional abuse alone cannot be termed as domestic violence unless it is so persistent and significant that the relationship can be regarded as tremendously coercive (Stets, 2012). In most cases, the evidence of emotional abuse is merged with other abusive actions that can be psychological, sexual, financial or physical to be domestic violence. Sexual abuse is the most common form of domestic violence. The abuse not only involves rape and sexual abuse but also harassment such as unsolicited touching and other behaviors that are demeaning. Many victims are not aware of the broad interpretation of sexual abuse. For instance, coercing an individual to have an abortion or not to use contraception is called reproductive coercion, a form of sexual abuse.
The least obvious type of domestic violence is financial abuse that can be in various forms such as a husband restricting his wife from acquiring an education or job outside their home environment. It is extremely common especially in families operating join accounts with one partner controlling it and offering minimal or no financial support. Frequently, the victim depends entirely on his or her partner for financial help and is always at the mercy of the abusive partner who may withhold money for food or other necessities. The last type of domestic violence is psychological abuse that entails behaviors that are intimidating, threatening and cause fear (Stets, 2012). The behavior should be not only persistent but also significant in causing a domestic violence action. Several behaviors such as inhibiting the victim from interacting with other people unless with permission, threatening the victim for doing something contrary to the expectations of the abusive partner as well as preventing the victim from leaving the house.
Domestic violence is a serious offense, and it often goes unreported. The victims suffer silently for various reasons such as trying to protect their abusive partners and to maintain the intimate relationship. Other victims lack knowledge on the various types of domestic violence, and they only regard severe physical abuse as violence. Victims can report any form of abuse to the police or organizations such as the National Domestic Violence. Besides, there are experienced attorneys of family law who help the victims of domestic violence.
Stets, J. E. (2012). Domestic violence and control. Springer Science & Business Media.
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