In this article we will understand all there is to domestic violence and its effects. We shall discuss the same in view of male and female victimization.
Domestic violence or abuse usually occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a live-in relationship or marriages. “In its broadest sense, domestic violence also involves violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It can assume multiple forms including, physical, verbal emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, or sexual abuse. It can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and other violent physical abuse.”
Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. It has been researched that there exists an explicit and substantial connection between a country’s gender equality environment and rates of domestic violence. Where countries with less gender equality experience higher rates of domestic violence.
During the 19th century, various political tension gave birth to the first ever feminist movement. The same led to changes in the legislation and on opinions regarding domestic violence within the USA, UK and other countries. In 1850, Tennessee became the first state in the US to explicitly outlaw wife beating. Through this example, other countries too started following them. In 1878, the UK Matrimonial Causes Act made it possible for women in the UK to seek legal separation from an abusive husband. By the end of the 1870s, most courts in the US had rejected a claimed right of husbands to physically discipline their wives. In the early 20th century, paternalistic judges regularly protected female victims of DV in order to reinforce gender norms within the family. In divorce and criminal DV cases, judges would levy harsh punishments against male perpetrators, but when the gender roles were reversed they would often give little to no punishment to female perpetrators. By the early 20th century, it was common for police to intervene in cases of DV in the US, but arrests remained rare.
- Children born in abusive family unit often face psychological challenges. This includes:
- Themselves learning these patterns, unwarranted aggression, etc.,
- Victims may be prone to mental health issues, or illness,
- Incapability to create healthy relationships or
- Failure to establish healthy boundaries among family members,
- Emotional trauma: leads to oneself questioning self-worth, and According to the Istanbul Convention, psychological violence is “the intentional conduct of seriously impairing a person’s psychological integrity through coercion or threats.”
- Victims usually experience depression; this further leads the victim to undergo problematic experiences like:
- Eating disorders,
- Suicidal thoughts,
- Alcohol and drug abuse.
- Economic abuse diminishes the victim’s capacity to support themselves, increasing dependence on the perpetrator, including reduced access to education, employment, career advancement, and asset acquisition.
- Homelessness — nearly one-third of people in NSW seeking help from homelessness services say domestic and family violence is an issue.
- Domestic violence at best breaks families. Victims are often scared of the abuser even when there exist son active threat. Due to the same reasons, a victim may constantly move places to avoid the abuser.
- Children from these houses often tend to lame themselves and develop anxiety issues,
- Difficult to function as well-rounded adults. To name a few.
Most victims do not know that they can seek help. It is vital to spread awareness about the same and encourage victims of domestic violence to speak up and fight back. Everyone deserves to live in a nurturing environment. A place that one can feel safe and grow as functional adults.
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