Violencethat occurs in domestic settings affects all members of the familydirectly as well as indirectly. Domestic settings may includecohabiting and marriage. Although people who form the domesticsettings are believed to have been brought together by love, thereare factors that increase the risk of violent confrontations.Domestic violence is a term that refers to a pattern of humanbehavior that occurs in a family or a romantic relationship and it isused to acquire control and power over an intimate partner (Chhikara,Malik, Jakhar & Dhattarwal, 2013). The pattern includes behaviorsthat may terrorize, frighten, humiliate, hurt, or intimidate thevictim. This paper addresses the issue of domestic violence, with afocus on its prevalence, forms, origin, and effects.
Casesof abuse within the family setting are many, in spite of the measuresthat have been taken to contain them. WHO (2016) estimates that about20 people are abused by their partners every minute. Violence in thefamily settings can affect any member, but there is a significantgender difference. For example, studies have shown that about four inevery five victims of domestic violence are women. Thedisproportionate effect of violence in domestic settings on women hasbeen further confirmed by countries that maintain proper records. Foran instant, records in the U.S. indicate that about 30 % of womenexperience at least one form of abuse by their partners. Globally, 35% of all women have been abused sexually or physically at least onetime in their lifetime (WHO, 2016). In addition, children becomevictims of circumstances when their parents engage in violence.Studies have shown that at least one in every 15 children is at therisk of experiencing domestic violence, where 90 % of the exposedkids witness it in real life (National Coalition of DomesticViolence, 2016).
Typesof domestic violence can be classified into four groups. The firstform of violence is physical abuse. This involves the occurrence of aphysical contact that is intended to cause suffering, pain, or anytype of injury (Jura & Bukaliya, 2015). Physical abuse mayinvolve beating or the use of substances (such as acid and hot water)with the objective of harming the victim. Although most of the casesof physical mistreatment are longstanding, women are likely to becomesoft targets during pregnancy.
Thesecond form of violence is sexual abuse, which occurs when a partneris forced to have sexual intercourse without their wish, traffickedfor sexual reasons, or received inappropriate comments regardingtheir sexuality (Jura & Bukaliya, 2015). Sexual maltreatment mayalso affect children, especially in the communities that practicefemale circumcision. Female genital mutilation is also classified asa form of domestic violence because it involves the destruction ofsexual organs of the girls and married women who are forced by theirfamilies as well as communities to undergo circumcision.
Somefamily members may be considered to be safe from physical as well assexual abuse, but remain exposed to emotional exploitation. Theperpetrators of emotional abuse aim at causing harm to their victimsby disturbing them psychologically. This form of abuse may take placethrough the issuance of threats, a systematic way of undermining theself-worth of the victim, and intimidation (Jura & Bukaliya,2015). In some cases, victims may experience isolation, unrelentingcriticism, stalking, and public humiliation.
Thelast form of domestic violence is economics, which is common infamilies where one partner retains control over the capacity of theother member to access financial resources. This may occur indifferent ways, including a limit on the resources that the victimcannot use or taking resources owned by the affected person by force(Jura & Bukaliya, 2015). These forms of domestic violence mayoverlap where one person suffers from more than one form abuse at thesame time.
Theroot of domestic violence in the modern families can be explainedusing three major theories and concepts. The first theory is based onthe idea that a dysfunction in both the psychological and biologicalsystems can result in violence in the family settings. For example,brain and genetic dysfunctions result in the inability of theaffected people to control impulses and anger, which increase thechances of abusing their partners (Tsavoussis, Stawiki, Papadimos &Stoicea, 2014). Similarly, people who were abused during theirchildhood are more likely to abuse their partners or their childrenwhen they establish their own families.
Thesecond theory, non-subordinate, holds that the existence of animbalance of power between the partners increases the risk offrequent episodes of violence. Supporters of this theory hold thatdomestic violence does not result from the inability of the partnersto control their anger (Tsavoussis etal.,2014). Instead, violence occurs as the stronger partners try to puttheir loved ones under control. In most cases, violence takes placewhen women refuse to submit to their husbands. The validity of thistheory is confirmed by the increase in incidents where theperpetrators of domestic violence barter partners who make someattempts leave relationships that are characterized by frequentincidents of maltreatment.
Third,social theories hold that there is a direct relationship between thetype of environment that a family lives in and the risk of domesticviolence. For example, some families reside in communities thatconsider wife beating as part of the process of disciplining thespouses (Tsavoussis etal.,2014). Women who marry in such communities are at a risk ofexperiencing domestic violence in their entire life. Studies havealso established a positive association between the level of povertyand domestic violence (Tsavoussis etal.,2014). This association can be explained by the fact that poor peoplesuffer from stress, which limit their ability to manage theiremotions as well as interpersonal relations. These partners resolvetheir family issues by abusing their spouses.
Violencein families affects the health of the victims, their psychologicalwellbeing, and financial strength. The most common types of healtheffects are physical in nature and they include broken bones,laceration, bruises, and internal breeding (Chhikara etal.,2013). Studies have also indicated that there is a positivecorrelation between violence in families and the risk of sufferingfrom different types of diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome,ulcers, chronic pain, arthritis, and pelvic pain (Chhikara etal.,2013). Vulnerability of victims to these medical conditions isassociated with a decline in the strength of immunity and adysfunction in the body systems.
Moreover,victims of domestic maltreatment suffer from serious financialconstraints. Financial constraints occur when victims lose jobs,businesses, or partners who have been supporting them. A study hasshown that between 21 % and 60 % of the victims lose their employmentdue to factors that are directly associated with domestic violence(NCDV, 2016). This has been further confirmed by data showing thatabout 78 % of the women who were murdered by their partners betweenthe year 2003 and 2008 were killed in the places of their employment(NCDV, 2016).
Apartfrom economic and health effects, victims suffer psychologically.People who are abused by the people they trust and love feelhumiliated, disappointed, and hated, which subjects them to the riskof psychological depression and stress. In addition, data shows that90 % of the kids who are exposed to domestic violence areeyewitnesses of the conflict between their parents (NCDV, 2016). This suggests that the majority of kids live with the memory of thefight between their parents, which causes stress and depression.
Violencein families is a common occurrence that affects hundreds of thousandsof families each year. Although people of both genders may sufferfrom domestic maltreatment, women are affected disproportionately.Violence in romantic relationships and family settings may takedifferent forms, including sexual, economic, emotional, and physicalabuse. However, physical and sexual maltreatment are the most commontypes of violence that affect family members. Causes of violence infamilies may include social, psychological, non-subordinate, andbiological factors. However, there is a contradiction betweennon-subordinate and psychological causes. For example, the proponentsof the idea of non-subordination argue that violence occurs infamilies as partners try to control their spouses. Violence affectsall members of the family, including children. Effects may includepsychological, financial constraints, and health impacts. Violencemay escalate over time and cause death eventually, especially when nomeasures are taken to address the underlying causes.
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