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How and Where to Get Help for Domestic Abuse and Violence
A Serious Global Public Health Problem
Control, abuse, and competition are out of control in this country and other parts of the world.
A war is occurring in which humankind seems to want to nearly destroy itself through the actions of its individual members.
Domestic violence and abuse are just one element in this array of destruction. Men are abused as well as women. I have known a former professional football player that was severely abused by his then-wife. It was just a bad as anything that has happened to abused women and children. Twenty-plus years as a counselor have shown me a few elements, not all-inclusive:
- Alcohol and other drug abuse are the catalysts for some abuses, all up and down the socioeconomic ladder.
- Gambling addiction is certainly another causal factor. When parents and neighbors of peewee football teams place bets, drink too much alcohol at the field, scream at the tiny players, punish them for losing, and participate in fist fights over the game, things are out of control. This is not a ghetto venue, either, but a rich suburb. During more than one season across America, Little Leagues here and there have been closed down for the season because of similar adult behaviors.
Competition and the desire for "power over" others is pandemic. Unemployment rates have exacerbated this phenomenon in some places. Political arguments have become war. While debate and disagreement are healthy, expounding the view that the other side is evil is not. Marriage and family relationships often conceal abuse, one or more members of the unit feeling that they deserve to punish the others. Then there are the folks that seem to be in a war all by themselves, trying to draw people into combat, but these others don't want to play.
- Mental Disorders can sometimes lead to abusive behaviors. Some of these may be inherited. Head trauma, brain tumors, and illnesses can be causes. Chronic pain suffered in Workers Compensation injuries and debilitating arthritis can be causes.
- Learning abuse - Some kids grow up seeing abuse, accepting it as average behavior and then go on to apply it themselves. It becomes a learned, conditioned habit.
- Family of Origin issues can lead to abuse and codependency, which can become an addiction to abuse. USA seems to have been abused by old Great Britain pre-Revolution with all manner of restrictions and nonsense taxes. Christmas was outlawed. "Christmas" foods were outlawed. You had to pay tax on paper when you bought it and for each sheet you mailed when you used it. On and on. The English drunkenness among the first settlers (they were at-risk for drunkenness and abuse already) at the First Thanksgiving led to senseless killings of the local friendly Native Americans. And so it goes. At any rate, abusive behavior can and often is passed down through the generations. It is difficult to "fix."
- Overcrowding - The famous too many-rats-in-a-box experiment is revealing itself in the (over)population today where people are crowded or short of resources. One too many rats and the animals begin to attack each other, chew off their own legs, or withdraw and groom themselves in a sort of hair-stylist's autism. We see that in society among people as well. Overcrowding and competition for resources can lead to anger, abuse, self abuse, and withdrawal among a catechism of results.
- Defensive reactions can lead to abusive behaviors - an abused person may "explode" or begin to fight back with abusive techniques, sometimes not cognizant of their nature. it can escalate.
Many other causes and precipitating incidents might result in abusive behaviors. Further, anyone might be abusive in certain isolated events. Institutions, governments, clubs, churches, any organizations can become abusive. All of this should be taught in school K-12.
It can be difficult to ask for help. It is a sign of "good control" if you do not ask for help, but that is incorrect. Many men and women attempt to accept help several times before committing to change and action. Even then, some go back to the abuse. The rest of us can offer help, but we can't make them get help.
When you or someone you know are ready to address domestic abuse and violence that is inhibiting life and may lead to physical death, then access the resources below.
Abuse and Domestic Violence Hotlines
USA: National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/
"Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your Internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224."
USA: Feminist Majority Foundation http://feminist.org/911/crisis.html
This site offers a directory of organizations and help.
UK: Hotline is 0808 2000 247
UK: Women's Aid Homepage: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/
Offers a directory for all parts of UK, Northern Ireland.
CANADA - resources for all groups, including men, women, children, LGBT, French, Jewish, other. http://www.hotpeachpages.net/canada/index.html
Many resources for most nations around the world can be found on this site as well.
MEXICO - Línea vida sin violencia 01-800-911-25-11
CHINA - (86) (10) 524-1030
NIGERIA - Women's Aide Collective: http://www.wacolnigeria.org/
Support and Advocacy in USA
- National Network to End Domestic Violence http://www.nnedv.org/
- Battered Men: http://www.batteredmen.com/ International info included.
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/
- Shelter Directory Coast-to-coast HelpGuide.org -- Legal help, Counseling, Support groups, Services for children,Employment programs, Health services, Education, Financial assistance
- Medical findings and research: Domestic Violence: MedlinePlus
- FACEBOOK: The Domestic Violence Project
- Domestic Violence Survival Kit
Resource Materials for Planning Safety
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© 2009 Patty Inglish