Domestic Abuse - What Is It and What Can We Do To Stop It?

Domestic Abuse Affects Everyone

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Domestic Abuse - What is It?

Domestic abuse is violence against a partner or spouse. Almost always it is men abusing women, but not always. Men are less likely to report abuse, so statistics about men being abused are skewed, but it happens more often than you think. About one in four women have experienced some sort of domestic abuse. Three women and one man every day are killed by their domestic partner. 43% of our countries children live in a home with domestic violence.

Domestic abuse can come in more than one form. Most people think of physical abuse because you can see the signs of physical abuse. Bruises and broken bones are easy to see. But there is also emotional and verbal abuse, which can be just as bad, if not worse. With emotional abuse, there are no visible scars, but women carry them for the rest of their lives. Broken bones and bruises go away, but the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that are brought on take years and years to go away, if they ever do.

Domestic Violence By The Numbers

  • 9 seconds - The time between assaults and beatings to women in our country.
  • 10 Million - The number of children affected by domestic violence every year.
  • Between 55% and 95% - The number of women in abusive relationships that have never reported the abuse to any authority.
  • 85% - The number of domestic violence victims who are female.
  • 20 -24 - The age of women at the greatest risk for domestic violence

Why Does it Happen

Why does domestic violence happen? There are a variety of reasons. Men who witnessed abuse in their homes as they were children often grow up to abuse their partners. Domestic violence occurs when one partner wants to dominate the other partner. This can be for a variety of reasons – low self-esteem, jealousy, anger control issues or when they feel that their partner has some sort of power over them, whether it be social status, job status, or earnings. Some men have been raised that they are in control of the relationship and that the woman must listen to what he says. If she doesn’t, he feels he has the right to “beat her into submission.” Sometimes, drugs and alcohol are involved in abuse

Contact Numbers

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call one of the following numbers. You deserve better....

  • THE NATIONAl DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at 1-800-799-7233
  • THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE AT 1-800-656-4673
  • THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE AT 1-866-331-9474

Why Do Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?

People always wonder why women stay in abusive relationships. It usually comes down to the fact that the man in the relationship promises that the abuse won’t happen again. He tells his partner that he loves her and that he didn’t mean it. He will also sometimes make her feel as if she can’t find anyone better than him – that she is worthless and deserves to be treated badly. And after a little while – a few months or years – she believes his lies and continues to stay because she feels that he is the best she can get and that she is the reason he abuses her.

Women also stay out of fear - pure, unadulterated fear. They have often been told by their abusers that if they leave they will die. If there are children involved, the children are threatened, as well. Because the abuser has often followed through on other threats, women stay because they fear for their safety and the safety of their families.

What Can You Do?

There are many things a person in an abusive relationship can do. The best thing a person can do is to remove themselves from the relationship as soon as possible. They shouldn’t believe the false promises of the partner getting better and being sorry. It almost never changes.

If for some reason, the woman wants to save the relationship, she needs to still get away from her abuser. When she is safe, she needs to insist that her partner receive counseling or other professional help. Only when the professional feels that it is safe for her to return to the relationship should she return – and even then she should be careful.

The victim also needs to seek help. The abuse she has suffered will be with her for a long time, and she needs to learn how to deal with her feelings about it. She needs to learn that she didn’t deserve to be abused and that she has value.

Get Help

Domestic violence is a problem for people everywhere. It affects people of every race, religion, and socio-economic status. If you are in an abusive relationship, remember that you are not at fault. You need to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and to get help for yourself.

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Comments 22 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this important article.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals

Very useful read. I'm sharing because this is a MUST-read not just for women. Thank you for writing. Blessings to you :=)-Tonette


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 3 years ago

Enlightening hub. Physical and emotional abuse is everywhere and it's such a shame. In a lot of cases the fear of leaving is so strong it virtually paralizes the victim. They are told that if they leave they will be hunted down and killed, and the threat is so real that they remain. People looking in from the outside don't understand the power that is held over the victim, and in a lot of cases simply leaving is not an easy option. The fear of the consequences is just too overwhelming...


NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I had no idea so many people are killed daily because of abuse. It's really sad because no one deserves to be abused in any way. I hope many people read this hub and escape (or never get into) this situation.


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

I'm glad that I came across this hub. you make very good points. Domestic abuse is all about power and control. Thank you for raising awareness on such an important issue. I also like how you've listed contact numbers. This is good to keep handy. voted up useful.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

This is such an important topic. Great information here, LaDena. This is an epidemic in the United States, the epidemic that nobody wants to talk about. Articles like this one are crucial to raise awareness and bring this problem out into the light.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Mhatter - thanks for reading!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Tonipet - thanks for reading! Most people don't realize that men can be abuse - and killed by their abusers - as easily as women. But because of the stigma attached, many don't report it.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

moonfairy - thanks for reading! You make a valid point! I am going back and editing this hub to include your information.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

NornsMercy - thanks for reading! I didn't realize how many were killed until I started researching this hub. I was also surprised to find that men don't report their abuse.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

lovedoctor -thanks for reading! I am glad you think I made some good points. I just felt that I had to add the phone numbers. I hope it helps some people.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Bill - thanks for reading! It is an important topic - and one that many would love to sweep under the rug. As one who escaped from an emotionally abusive relationship, I wanted to help others know that they, too, could escape.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Thank you so much for this hub. I totally can understand and relate to what you have written here. We need to create awareness in both men and women on what needs to be done in such a situation. As you say, people continue to be in an abusive relationship for years and years with the feeling that this is what life will be, etc. This needs to stop, as everyone deserves to be happy.

Thank you again. Voted up and sharing!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Important article. Working in HR, I came across a number of instances of abused female partners and several instances of males being abused by their female partners. With the males in particular, there was such tremendous shame and hesitation to seek help. (I became aware of the issue because the abuse often spilled over into the workplace in terms of threats or stalking, absences, job performance issues, reports from coworkers that they were concerned about the person, etc.) Some abusers and victims even worked together. Makes a restraining order a little bit problematic, huh? Domestic abuse is one of the major reasons for death on the job for females in the US.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

FlourishAnyway - thanks for reading....It would really be difficult to enforce a restraining order if both parties worked together...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

justateacher this is a very important hub.. it has to be brought up alot so it can stay fresh in our minds.. domestic abuse does come in many different stages this hub i s very useful voted up :)


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Frank - thanks for reading and for the votes! I wish that this was a subject that didn't need to be talked about...


Ausseye 3 years ago

Hi Teachofjust(ic)!!

Great article and well worth the read:

Someone who’s been involved with Court Mandated Domestic Violence counselling mediation this article has a good deal of empathy but its not an easy issue. Not all abusers are beyond hope and not all abused are their own best advocates, it’s a very complex issues where many people get really hurt. You are right that the road to recovery is about empowerment, but it’s a step where many fall and need our constant support. Support is the glue that makes recovery stick, but its over the long haul not just the here and now as its often a long timeframe where all these factors play out. Support is the key, from all of us all of the time for however long it takes.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Ausseye - thanks for reading! I agree that no one is beyond hope - and that it is a very complex issue. There are so many factors to consider. And that we need to support these people as long as they need us....


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Thank you LaDena for your very passionate, articulate and heartfelt article here - it is a message which should be sent clearly around the entire world as it no doubt happens everywhere on the face of this planet.

It is always so nice to hear from you my friend and I hope sincerely all is well with you these days and I am sending to you my most sincere best wishes and good thoughts from Colin and his cats Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 8:39am


CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

LaDena, thanks for taking time to write and article that most would choose not to. I is very complicated indeed, and I hope communities collectively can help children, mother's and families where domestic violence is taking place. We all need to stand up and say something when we know something is not right.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Carly - thanks for reading! I hope that my writing this will help someone....

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