Domestic Violence: Physical Abuse and Rape

There happens to be a lot of violence in the world and its taking place in several forms. And so most of us take precautions and avoid involving ourselves in acts that may lead to these harmful scenarios which violence afflict to its victims. So where is the safest place that would rid us from all these extremely damaging violence? Most of us will confidently say that our home is the safest place. But what if this place that we call home is the exact opposite of our idea of sanctuary? There are severe cases throughout the world attributed to the form of violence that people experience in homes.

According to Patricelli and Domebeck, domestic violence is a kind of abusive behavior which is inflicted the setting of a home. This kind of violence usually occurs between family members or couples, and it may take many forms such as: psychological and emotional abuse, destruction, of property, or sexual and physical assault. On less severe cases, however, domestic violence afflicted to victims can be done in the form of threatening or use of abusive languages and bad name calling, public humiliation attempts, or mind manipulation like blackmailing.

As Patricelli and Domeback describes, the abuse may be extreme enough that its damage extends to more than just physical and mental harm but to life degradation as well. This is reflected on scenarios such as when the victim loses a job because of dwindling work productivity, absenteeism or even prevention of working at all. Moreover, very extreme cases of violence are afflicted in highly severe forms such as kidnapping of children, murder and torture of pets, or physical and sexual abuse. Because of this, some even commit suicide to end this agonizing process.

In the most common form of domestic violence, a female victim, often a girlfriend or a wife, and a male perpetrator are the subject of these cases. However, there are instances where the women are the perpetrators and the men are the victims. These statistics is reflected on a finding made by the U. S. Department of Justice which confirms that there are around three women who are murdered by their partners or spouses, and thousands more injured, in a typical day. This also proves that women have a higher probability to be the victims of domestic violence, five times more likely than men (Prah 1).

Around 25 percent of women are suffering from domestic violence as compared to that of the men. This kind of violence is inflicted in the forms of rape or physical abuse from a cohabitating partner, spouse, or a date in their lifetime. According to estimates in a survey done by Tjaden and Thoennes, there are about 1. 2 million women who are raped and/or physically abused in by their partners in the United States as compared to 834,700 men victims. The history of violence against women has been evident since ancient Roman times. This, on the other hand has been commonplace in American since the Colonial times (Prah2).

The view on violence against women eventually shifted in the early 1970s drastically however with the emergence of the Women’s Movement (Tjaden and Thoennes 1). Thereafter, the 1990s became the highlight of the tremendous growth of literature on partner violence. This growth featured the emergence of the attention to classifying distinctive types of violence (Johnson & Ferraro 959). This, as a result, brings about the decrease of domestic violence cases against women by 50 percent and the murder of wives, girlfriends and former partners by some 70 percent since 1976.

Juley Fulcher and Victoria Sadler cited cases before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee such as; the 31 year old Yvette Cade from Clinton, Md. , who was doused with gasoline by her estranged husband and mercilessly set on fire afterwards, Jessica Wixkieweicz from New York, whose boyfriend started kicking and punching her when she was a senior in high school, and a 15-year-old pregnant Maria from Los Angeles, whose boyfriend battered her so hard that she was prompted to deliver her baby by cesarean (Prah 2).

These are just few of the ruthless cases that domestic violence has presented to the world, and which has moved individuals and groups into doing something about it. Luckily, these cases instigated a whole new awareness on the issue of domestic violence. The U. S. Department of Justice affirms that the good news in this issue is that domestic violence against women has dropped radically throughout the recent years. Now, a whole new measure is approved by the congress; deemed by advocates as a decree which critically needs funding.

This measure aims to stop domestic violence even before it all starts to conspire (2). However, with the success on the attempt of eradicating domestic violence in the women sector of the society, comes the failure of the youth sector to follow through with this new-found attainment. The adverse state of domestic violence has been worsening in the youth evident to the findings presented by different scholars and institutions. It seems that victims of domestic violence usually include teens who are abused by their parents as well as young parents who assault each other or their children (Prah 1).

Moreover, violence in this sector is also very dominant in teen dating since young people usually keeps it to themselves and opt not to not tell their parents about the abuse. Also, sexual violence is deemed prevalent and overwhelming in this sector. It has been reported that rape cases is a “tragedy of the youth” in America because of the fact that majority of rape cases occurs against children and adolescents (Tjaden and Thoennes 6).

This is further supported by the survey results which show that around 54 percent of rape victims who are female experienced their first sexual abuse when they were 18 years old; 32 percent of who were 12-17 years old while 22 percent – under12 years old. Rape, as defined by Patricelli and Domebeck, is a crime which involves forced sexual activity. Cases of rape occur when an attempt of sexual penetration takes place under the condition that the act is totally against the will of the victim. Tjaden and Thoennes further describe rape as an abuse that is inflicted through the form of forced oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

This kind of crime is committed as a domestic violence, usually including partners who sexually assault another partner. However, there are also rape cases perpetrated by acquaintances or by strangers. The abuse that rape inflicts to the victim does not end from the physical and sexual violence. Difficulties entail severe emotional and psychological concerns as well. , the illusion of safety completely disintegrates and implications on self-esteem and self-worth are totally damaged. This kind of injury is perceived to have a lasting effect on the victim. Still, there are more abuses a person can incur through domestic violence.

One of the most common and most severe forms of domestic cruelty is physical abuse. This kind of abusive behavior is commonly defined as behaviors that actually inflict physical harm or relentless threatening (13). Physical abuse includes a wide set of behaviors that ranges from the following assaults: punching, slapping, kicking, strangling, striking with an object, pushing someone to fall, drowning, sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, exposure to heat, exposure to electric shock, torture, humiliation, biting, cutting someone, exposure to animals, whipping, causing vision impairments, or even using a gun.

These behaviors are just some the domestic violence that is incurred through physical abuse (1). According to a finding by the U. S. Department of Justice, survey found that physical assault is widespread among American women: 52 percent of surveyed women said they were physically assaulted as a child by an adult caretaker and/or as an adult by any type of perpetrator; 1. 9 percent of surveyed women said they were physically assaulted in the previous 12 months. Based on these estimates, approximately 1. 9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United States.

This concludes that more research is needed to understand the relationship between physical assault experienced in childhood and physical assault experienced in adulthood (1). According to survey responses, physical abuse is a widespread predicament in the American society. There are around 52 percent of women and 66 percent of men who are physically abused as a child by adult custodian or as an adult by any perpetrator (5). In the most frequent reported cases, slapping and hitting are the predominant forms of abusive behaviors inflicted to victims.

However, other forms such pushing, grabbing, shoving and hitting with an object follows the list. Furthermore, cases of throwing hurtful things or pulling hair are reported by victims. Moreover, there are diverse cases reported of adult perpetrators almost drowning or choking victims. Also, some are even beat up, kicked, bitten, or threatened with a gun or knife on them (5). With the distress that domestic abuse inflicts to its victims comes the different effects to the well-being. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs highlights some of the problems that victims face.

One of which is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is caused by life-threatening experiences. People who are experiencing this disorder are often very wary of any given situation wherein relaxing is always a major issue. Victims who experience this trauma always try to avoid places and people that remind them of the trauma and push themselves hard enough to rid the traumatic memories they have. Another problem that is caused by domestic abuse is depression. This kind of illness is caused by feeling and anxiety.

Often people who suffer under this condition may feel very low energy as well as hopeless and desperate. If this illness stays untreated, adverse effect to the mental state of the victim may take its toll. Sometimes this may even lead to attempts of hurting oneself or suicide. Another adverse effect of domestic abuse may be seen in anger or aggressive behaviors. Some of these domestic violence victims may feel treated unfairly or unjustly. Often wondering why this kind of situation has happened to them. Consequently, this has stored so much resentment which leads to intense anger.

The effects of an unhealthy doze of anger within can cause so many damages with factors such as relationships with family and friends or even job issues. This magnitude of anger can lead to influenced state of violence, thus, the victim eventually becomes a perpetrator influenced by the circumstances because of the urge to overly defend oneself towards the abusive behavior inflicted to them in the past. Another coping mechanism that has built up with victims of violence is the abuse of alcohol and drugs. People who experience so many traumas from physical abuse cope with it through either excessive drinking or self-medicating with drugs.

These are used by victims to numb themselves and to get rid of all the difficult thought, memories, and feelings they have. This kind of coping method is perceived as a quick solution. However, the truth of the matter is it can lead to more problems if it the victim loses control over it. In conclusion, domestic violence is a predicament which has been given so much social attention in recent times. All the measures by different groups and individuals are slowly summing up to the recent success of the alleviation of domestic violence.

However, the problem will never be fully eradicated without the participation of everyone. The society should be well aware and involved in the truths of domestic violence. Contributions to the awareness of domestic violence, especially on cases of rape and physical abuse, are the most significant efforts by far. Thus, awareness proves to be the best armor against this highly adverse predicament. Works Cited “Common Reactions After Trauma. ” National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet. 9 December 2008. <http://ncptsd. va. gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fact_shts/fs_commonreactions.

html? printable-template=factsheet> Davis, Pat, Smith, Melinda, de Benedictis, Tina, et al. “Domestic Violence and Abuse: Warning Signs and Symptoms of Abusive Relationships” Helpguide. org (9 February 2008). 9 December 2008. Hawkins, Darren, Humes, Melissa. “Human Rights and Domestic Violence. ” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 117 (2002): 231-257 Johnson, Michael Ferraro, Kathleen. “Research on Domestic Violence in the 1990s: Making Distinctions” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 62, No. 4 (2000): 948-963. Patricelli, Kathryn & Domeback, Mark.

“Introduction to Domestic Violence and Rape. ” Mental Help Net (3 October 2005). 9 December 2008. <http://www. mentalhelp. net/poc/view_doc. php? type=doc&id=7841&cn=43>. Prah, Pamela. “Domestic Violence. ” CQResearcher (2006). 9 December 2008. <http://library. cqpress. com/cqresearcher/document. php? id=cqresrre2006010600>. Tjaden, Patricia Thoennes, Nancy. “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. ” National Institute of Justice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1998): 1-16.

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