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