What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can usually be defined to include threatening, violent, or abusive behaviour in the home, between adult children and/or other adult family members. However, the term is frequently used to mean that this particular behaviour is used by one intimate partner to push power and control over the other partner through fear and intimidation. This fear and intimidation can also be mental abuse, not just physical.
Taking into account that emotional abuse in a relationship can happen equally regardless of gender, the more threatening and dangerous forms of domestic violence are usually committed by a man against a woman. Often the aggressor in a violent relationship feels ownership over the other partner, which all too often ends in injury or even death if this person tries to leave the relationship. Sadly, children are also harmed by witnessing violence within their families.
Leaving a threatening or dangerous situation is always the safest choice albeit not the easiest. But at the same time, it has to be the victims decision to leave. Of course this won’t always be a realistic choice in the case of a culture that condemns women for leaving a relationship and does not offer any resources or backup. Even in various cultures where a woman may have a safe place to go, there are obstacles that make it hard for an abused partner to walk away.
How Much Domestic Violence Goes On?
According to ONS (2014), Crime Survey England and Wales 2013 – 14. London: Office for National Statistics, every year around 2.1m people suffer a form of domestic abuse – 1.4 million women (8.5% of the population) and 700,000 men (4.5% of the population). This goes to show that if you are suffering from domestic abuse, you really are NOT alone.
Why Do I Stay With An Abusive Partner?
Some families may end up living with domestic abuse for a quite a significant period before finally getting any effective help.
Saying that, there are many reasons for living with domestic abuse for a significant period of time, or even return to their abuser after attempting to leave and it’s not always apparent to the victim that a relationship is abusive. Feeling afraid of the abuser is normal, and fearing the consequences for others if they disclose the abuse will always deter a victim from leaving. The victim may not even know where to turn for help.
One thing that stands out with victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence is that they are almost embarrassed to admit that they are suffering at the hands of someone whom they thought loved them. One of the sad parts about that statement is that the abuser probably does love them very much, however simply can’t control themselves or their own issues and feel that taking it out on the partner instead helps them to cope.
Can It Happen To Me?
Domestic violence happens regardless of age, gender, social class, ethnicity, disability or life style. There is no definite pattern but what we do know is that domestic violence and its impact upon those who experience it is dangerous and common.
Experience has also shown that children are usually aware domestic violence and will experience it with all their senses. They are sadly often involved in the dynamics and incidents of abuse through no fault of their own. Many will and have witnessed the physical and emotional impact that domestic violence has on their mothers.
Without a doubt, every child’s experience of domestic violence is different, and every child WILL be affected differently. Domestic violence can impact upon all areas of their lives, including, health, education, the development of relationships, recreation and social activities. The effects are deep and wide-ranging for children, but the main thing here is that it WILL affect them.
I Need Help With Domestic Violence
I am here to work with both adults, teenagers and children who have or are suffering domestic abuse. Whilst there is really great support out there for families/victims to move away from the violence, I can help you piece things back together and start to rebuild all your lives.
Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to: firstname.lastname@example.org.