Domestice Violence Essay, Research Paper
Domestic violence today is an ever increasing, horrible epidemic. Domestic violence not only affects women, it also affects children as well as men in a few cases. This epidemic encompasses not only physical but emotional types of abuse. After becoming the victim of abuse it becomes a lifetime of healing.
Domestic violence in our country is unfortunately on the rise instead of on the decline. This is a problem that society has only begun to recognize in the past 15 to 20 years. It, of course, has been around for many, many years. Before this problem was identified as something that people didn t talk about, it was a family thing, something to shove under the carpet, something to ignore and act as if nothing was happening. The biggest reason this tragic rampant disease wasn t recognized for so long was the belief that a woman had wronged her man and that the man was the king of his castle and ruled the roost. Therefore, the man had every right to do what ever he felt necessary whether it be yelling, cussing or name calling to the extreme of slapping, hitting, beating or using weaponry.
The categories of domestic violence are emotional and physical abuse. The emotional side of this includes yelling, screaming, cussing, and belittling of the victim. Sometimes this is as far as the abuse goes, but in fact this is the most devastating type of abuse. It is true how words will stick with a person for a long, long time. This type of abuse makes its victim feel horrible; for example, it destroys self-esteem and leaves its victim questioning their values and self-worth. This type of abuse can cause the victim to become dependant upon others for day-to-day living tasks, like selection of clothing, seeking approval for even the smallest tasks. Victims of emotional abuse can sometimes suffer from anxiety disorders, such as, panic attacks. Panic attacks are debilitating in nature if help is not sought. Symptoms of panic attacks include rash and unexplained paranoia or fears, for example, fear of germs, fear of diseases, and fear for safety. The physical characteristics of a panic attack include sweating, rapid pulse and heart rate, vision problems, and headaches.
Victims of emotional abuse wear their scars on the inside, where as, physical abuse victims wear theirs on the outside. Physical abuse is easy to detect from the bruises, blackened eyes, and broken bones. Physical abuse also comes in forms of sexual abuse, including rape, incest and sodomy. Physical abuse is often seen around the country in emergency room and victim s shelters. When victims are taken to the emergency rooms doctors and nurses regarding the nature of the injuries ask them questions, and how they injuries occurred. More often that not the doctors and nurses will hear the answers of I fell down the steps, I tripped and fell, or it was an accident.
Victims of domestic violence try to cover up the abuse they are experiencing. The victims attempt to do this by lying to others to protect the abuser, becoming withdrawn from friends and family, and denying to themselves that the abuse is really happening. A victim of domestic violence lies to others, who question then about the bruises, scrapes, and blackened eyes the same way they will lie to doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms. The victim lies because they feel ashamed for what they have been through. They feel that they either deserved the abuse for wrong behavior or, because they can t believe the abuse happened to them and are afraid of off-handed comments such as, What d you do? Or, Didn t you know when to shut up? And other hurtful demeaning comments. A victim of domestic violence will become withdrawn from everyone, including those closest to them. By becoming withdrawn the victim feels that there is less of a chance that he or she will be questioned about the abuse. Also, by becoming withdrawn the victim hopes to alleviate some of the comments and degradations from others. An abuser takes away the victim s want to socialize, and to be with others. The victim usually wants to remain close to the abuse for fear of being hurt again if they do something that the abuser doesn t approve of. A victim of domestic violence tries to deny the existence of the abuse by thinking that they are wrong for their actions and what happens is normal.
There are many reasons victims of domestic violence stay in their situations. Some of these reasons include fear of being alone, concerns for their safety, wanting to keep the family unit together, and financial concerns. A victim s self-esteem becomes so low while in the abusive situation that he or she feels that no one else will want to be with them and that they are worthless. A victim will remain with the abuser sometimes because the abuser has threatened to kill them or to take the children away from them. They threat to kill the victim stems from the philosophy If I can t have you no one can! A victim chooses to remain in the relationship for his or her children s sake because he or she feels the need to have both parents together, and have no way of supporting their children and themselves without the other partner.
Once a victim chooses to leave a domestic violence situation there are various ways the help him or her achieve this without being harmed. The Family Resource Center is an organization formed to help victims of domestic violence have a safe house away from and out of reach of their abuser, where they cannot be harmed. This organization also assists victims in becoming self- sufficient by helping the victim to find shelter, clothing, and work. The Family Resource Center helps victims to apply for housing grants, food stamps, and, job training programs. This organization helps victims to seek court orders for protection and also restraining orders. During this process, if there are children involved they also help seek custody and support orders for the children. The Family Resource Center also employees people called court advocates. The job of they court advocates is to take the victim to the courtroom that they will be in when they go to court for all of the orders. The advocate will show the victim where everyone will be seated, and walks them through the process that will happen once the court date has arrived. The court advocate is also there for the victim for moral support throughout the court dates. The Family Resource Center also maintains crisis hotlines that are confidential and open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. These hotlines are manned mostly by volunteers and are for victims of domestic violence to call for help and moral support. Another source of help for victims is the police. Today police are able to take out warrants on people suspected of domestic violence by only investigating the scene and interviewing persons involved. It is no longer necessary for the victim to come forward and take out the warrants on the abuser. This eliminates the fear of being hurt further by reporting the crime to the authorities.
Although today there are many more ways for domestic violence victims to leave the abusive situation and receive help the abuse continues to run rampant across the country. This is a horrible tragic epidemic that claims the lives of hundreds of thousands each year. Let s come together to help stop and prevent these innocent victims from dying and being hurt. Maybe someday in the future domestic violence will become extinct.