Domestic abuse is something that can happen to anyone at any time. The worst way to handle this kind of crisis is to think that it could never happen to you or someone you love. When you see the warning signs of domestic abuse, it is important to act quickly to protect the ones you love. The topic of domestic abuse is a sensitive one for anyone involved in the situation, which is why it is always best to be discrete and supportive. Remember that your decision to get involved could be the decision that saves a loved one’s life.
One of the most common causes of abuse in a relationship is jealousy. In many cases, jealousy is brought on by one partner’s personal insecurities. Another cause of domestic abuse is stress. Too many people feel that it is acceptable to take a bad day out on a loved one at home. In some cases, the abuser requires medication to maintain their personal control and they stop taking that medication. A sad but real cause of domestic abuse is that the practice was learned as a child: Children raised in abusive homes are much more likely to repeat that behavior when they establish homes of their own. Some of the other causes of abuse include anger control issues, a domineering personality, and a lack of respect for a gender or a particular person.
A big misconception about abuse is that it can be seen in the form of bruises and scars. Not all domestic abuse is physical, and there are some abusers who have become proficient at hiding their damage. A person who tends to avoid social situations or seems distant at all times could be the victim of abuse. Someone who takes an unusual amount of sick days from work or school could be coping with issues at home. Sometimes an abuse victim will constantly be exhausted or lack focus when it comes to personal or work tasks. A person who refuses to talk about their home life could also be hiding an abusive significant other or parent.
Types of Abuse
Domestic abuse can come in one of five forms. Physical abuse occurs when a victim is subjected to violence at the hands of a parent or spouse. Psychological abuse comes in the form of intimidation, taunting, and bullying. Some common vehicles of psychological abuse include blackmail, damaging someone else’s property, and stalking. Economic abuse is one of the least publicized forms, but it can be one of the more damaging ways that one person attempts to control another. Economic abuse occurs when one person completely controls another person’s income and determines how that income is spent. Emotional abuse takes place when a victim is constantly belittled or put down in private and in public. The abuser relishes the opportunity to make the victim feel insignificant in front of friends and family. Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual advances, innuendos, or contact.
Mental and Physical Effects
Both the mental and physical effects of domestic violence can last a lifetime if they are not treated properly. Some of the mental effects include low self-esteem, lack of confidence, an inability to make decisions, and a lack of interest in pursuing life goals. In some cases, the physical effects of domestic violence can go away over time. But in many cases, lasting effects such as scars, disfiguration due to improperly healed bones, and the inability of internal organs to function properly can occur. Abuse can also create a significant amount of stress, which, if continued over a long period of time, can result in heart issues.
Where to Get Help
The first step in being able to get help for a domestic violence victim is getting the victim to understand that they are being abused. Many of the churches and charitable organizations in your area have professional counselors who can help an abuse victim to understand their situation and look to correct it. In the case of sexual and physical abuse, there are public shelters that can house and counsel abuse victims. If you witness physical or sexual abuse, then you should report it to the police immediately.
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Emotional Abuse
- Child Neglect and Psychological Abuse
- Understanding Child Sexual Abuse
- Facts About Sexual Abuse