Causes and Effects of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence refers to the behavior of abuse whereby an individual in a relationship uses it in a bid to attain dominance over the other individual and control them. On estimate, one in every three women and one in four men suffer one form of violence or the other amounting to ten million victims yearly according to studies by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Abusers utilize different types of abuse such as physical abuse of hitting, slapping, and denial of medical care, sexual abuse whereby they force sex and commit marital rape while in emotional maltreatment they diminish one’s self-worth and self-esteem. Emotional abuse involves coercing of others, psychological abuse comprises of the use of fear, intimidation, and threats on one’s partner, while economic abuse consists of the act of making a partner financially dependent on one. The non-discriminative nature of domestic violence makes it occur among all persons due to various causes and resulting in multiple effects.
The first cause of domestic violence is drug and substance abuse. Numerous studies have observed that individuals that take alcohol and other drugs have a high prevalence of committing domestic abuse whereby eighty-five percent of all battering cases and seventy-five percent of rape cases, the perpetrator was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. According to research, drunk and high individuals tend to suffer from an inability to control their behavior, thereby leading to them orchestrating violence towards their partners. Additionally, psychologists observe that the intake of alcohol interacts with the serotonin neurotransmitters, fueling aggressive tenancies that result in various forms of violence. Also, being under the influence of alcohol and other drugs affects cognitive processes. Consequently, it leads to men misinterpreting cues and actions and interpreting them as interest for sex. Thus, leading to sexual abuse. Moreover, the abuse of alcohol tends to magnify an abuser’s antisocial personality traits such as being controlling, intimidating and inflicting physical harm.
Second is social views. The concept of domestic violence varies from person to person and in different regions of the world. Some countries observe gender roles of a man and a woman to be different that necessitate a wife to commit and submit to her husband. As a result, the man is at a higher power level of dictating what a woman can, cannot do, and even forces them to seek permission before leaving home. The second –class status of a woman in various societies further propagates domestic violence by allowing men to discipline their wives for disobedience and infidelity by beat them to enforce their dominance. As a result, the acceptable actions of punishing a woman ends up becoming physical and emotional violence. Moreover, for male individuals that suffer from lack of employment, financial problems, and jealousy, they feel alienated and develop insecurities. Consequently, to feel powerful, they use violence towards their girlfriends or wives as a way of defining their manhood.
Third, family history of abuse can result in domestic violence. Individuals that grow up in households characterized by domestic violence against one of the parents or alcoholism are highly likely to become perpetrators of violence themselves or victims. According to the social learning theory, a person’s external environment such as their rearing environment, the structure of the family and neighborhood plays a crucial role in influencing a person’s behavior in future. Social learning theory asserts that individual’s learning is pegged on observing and modeling the behavior of other persons in their surroundings, and through positive strengthening, the action becomes part of one’s personality. Therefore, for a child who grows up observing violent behavior perpetrated on one of the parents, without clear consequences such as an arrest or the abused parent leaving, and instead the action receives positive outcomes such as submission, and complete dependence, the child is likely to imitate it. Consequently, when one grows up, they tend to use physical violence or economic violence on their spouses as a way of expressing themselves, enforcing their opinion and authority to attain submission.
Domestic violence results in various consequences. First, physical abuse results in bodily harm that leads to public health problems. On estimate, domestic violence costs the health sector six billion dollars each year. The utilization of these funds is to treat individuals of this violence that present with bruising, broken bones, injuries in their bodies including on the head, lacerations and in extreme scenarios internal breeding that necessitates hospitalization and surgeries. Additionally, a victim of domestic violence ends up developing medical conditions such as chronic pain due to the repeated physical harm and numerous injuries, irritable bowel movement, pelvic pain, ulcers due to fear and severe headaches. Women, who are at a higher risk of suffering domestic violence, when pregnant suffer miscarriages, premature labor, low birth weight and death of babies. Moreover, individuals who suffer psychological abuse are at risk of developing depression, nervousness, and substance abuse, thereby necessitation psychological help.
Second, domestic violence predisposes children to developmental and psychological challenges. Studies in the United States estimate that about 3.3 million children observe domestic violence yearly. Further, the studies establish that the exposure to this violence when children are growing up expose them to higher risks of problems such as apprehension, aggressiveness, insecurity, depression and poor socialization skills. The children also develop a poor attitude in school, lack understanding, as well as, poor problem-solving skills. Additionally, they are also likely to develop mental health problems associated with the traumatic and violent incidences they witness. Moreover, such children interpret the use of violence as an acceptable method of expressing oneself. Thus, they readily use it at school towards other students or home against the violent parent.
Third, victims that suffer physical and sexual violence present numerous psychological symptoms. Both men and women experience astonishment, denial, fear, distrust, confusion, and withdrawal from other people. In women, they become dependent on other people including the perpetrator, gullible and experience difficulties planning and coming up with long-term decisions. Women, who suffer sexual violence such as rape experience depression, entertaining of suicidal thoughts and attempt to commit suicide. Repeated violence continues to cause psychological distress, which is plausible to end in their deaths.
In conclusion, domestic violence happens to anyone despite one’s age, race, sexual orientation, religion, and gender. Though the lack of specific causes of domestic violence, drug, and substance abuse propagate this issue by limiting one’s control, interfering with their judgment and magnifying their violent personality. Additionally, the society’s social views that allow the man to dominate a woman also causes violence towards them. Its effects distress the victims by creating health problems and psychological problems. Also, it affects others such as children who witness the violence by eliciting developmental and mental issues and pushing them to become abusers. Henceforth, individuals should be on the lookout for such individuals to avoid experiencing this harm, while endless support for victims should be present.