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The Issue With Domestic Violence and You

Updated on October 17, 2015

Be an advocate


History of Domestic Violence in the World

Many people that have never experienced domestic violence probably think that it is something that will never affect them. Domestic Violence is an issue that affects Millions of women each year meaning if it hasn’t affected you or a loved one yet it most likely will at some point in your lifetime. However, even with the massive amount of people that do experience this horrible event, this is an issue that far too often doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Historically domestic violence was not a term that was given much attention. In fact the history of these types of abuse was not recognized in the past because it was once considered to be a perfectly normal practice that was not anyone’s business to interfere with. Let’s first explore where wife beating was initially recorded. In 753 B.C. if a man were to hit his wife in Rome he was not chastised or ridiculed. The truth is there was not even a law against this because it was something that was normal and expected. During these times a husband was held accountable for any of his wives actions therefore if he needed to punish her was the form of punishment that was expected. The law was that the husband could beat his wife with an object or a stick as long as it was not bigger than his thumb. This is where the term “rule of thumb” that we hear today originally came from. In the 1400s Cristian churches advocated discipline for wives that were disobedient. In America the first settlers followed what were known as old English laws and rules among which was a rule similar to the ancient roman rule which allowed a husband to punish his wife with a beating with a stick no bigger than his thumb.

It was not until 1829 that England took the first leap in changing these laws and outlawed spousal abuse. In America it was not until 1871 that the first state Alabama changed the laws in the state, making it illegal for a man to beat his wife. Still the Supreme Court made no final ruling on the issue until 1874 when they stated that there is never a time that a husband should beat his wife. Theystates further: that it would be better to your head away from these matters, than to pay attention when a man does. There have been many changes over the years concerning domestic violence and its many victims in an attempt to find a solution that will change or break the cycle of abuse permanently. However, there is still a long way to go if there is going to be a long term solution to the issue that affects so many people today. A huge problem with this issue in the past was that women were thought to be the property of their husbands and therefore it was in the past an acceptable notion for a man to punish his wife. This is no longer the main concern as women have been able to gain equal rights and the ability to make their own choices in modern days. None the less there are still many people who are victims of domestic violence and more questions than answers when attempting to change this. One of the important and often overlooked things in situations involving abuse is the reasons that the cycle of abuse has been able to continue.

10 Facts About Domestic Violence

Exploring the facts about abuse can help to build a better understanding of how this archaic custom is still an issue.

  1. Domestic violence is responsible for millions of injuries that are hospital related each year.
  2. The largest reason for homelessness points toward domestic violence against women and children as the responsible party.
  3. As many as 76% of the current population have either been a victim of domestic violence or know a person who has.
  4. There is no certain type of person or race that is more likely to encounter abuse than the other. Domestic violence does not discriminate.
  5. Couples counseling will not stop abuse or end it. The only thing it will do is help a little, if it can do that.
  6. People that stay in an abusive relationship do not always have a mental issue and should not be called crazy. It is often difficult for many different reasons to leave an abusive partner.
  7. It is never the victim’s fault that he or she is being abused no matter the situation; it is never the victims fault.
  8. Domestic violence does not get the attention it deserves. Many laws have changed and protections have been offered but the seriousness of the issue has not received enough effort or resources to make a lasting change.
  9. One in four women report being abused during their lifetime.
  10. There are 1300 people that die each year because of domestic violence. Even one is too many.

America has come a long way in changing what is acceptable and what is not. There are even laws that are in place to protect people from domestic violence and shelters for victims to escape it. Still with so many advocates against abuse and domestic violence as well as laws that are in place to prevent it this is a crime that happens as often as every 15 seconds in America. The reason that it is still an issue is that too many people ignore the signs of abuse. Even further some people outright ignore the cries for help. The only way to end this long outdated torture is to ensure that there is an advocate against domestic violence around every corner. Be nosey and don’t ignore the screaming for fear of not wanting to get involved or cause problems. Report the issue and offer help to the person. Too many times victims feel like they are alone and there is no help for them. The only way this will change is if everyone takes a stance. The victims need help to escape the abuse and the abuser needs help to stop the cycle of violence that he or she may not know how to control. Be an advocate for someone and make a difference, you never know you might even save someone’s life. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse there is a 24 hour nationwide hotline with resources that may help:

1-800-33-Haven or 1-800-334-2826


Coalition, Georgia. 'Myths And Facts « GCADV'. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

Counsil, National. 'National Council On Child Abuse And Family Violence - Spouse/Partner Abuseinformation'. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

Indonesia, Jayla. 'Domestic Violence Facts'. Click To Empower. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

Us, About, and ICADV Directors. 'History Of Battered Women’S Movement'. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

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© 2015 Cherie Reeves


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