How Domestic Violence Against Men and Women is Ruining Society
How often do you see fight breaking out in your neighbor’s family?
How often do you hear them talking in high-pitched voice with their spouse? Or their spouse hurling insults at them?
Quite often I guess. Because domestic violence is among the most spread crimes ruining thousands of lives. A healthy society needs healthy individuals to function. Domestic violence takes a toll on an individual’s physical, mental and psychological health and in turn, destroys society.
What is domestic violence?
It is defined as violence against a family member or a domestic partner. The softer word is domestic abuse – referring to scenarios where no physical violence was involved but the victim was still so poorly treated that it affected their mental and emotional health.
The broader definition of domestic violence includes all forms of abuse, exploitation and intentional mistreatment of a family member in the hands of another. Domestic violence is mainly done to show power and gain control over a person. It can be any form of physical, mental or sexual abuse.
What the statistics says
Statistics indicates the overwhelming majority of domestic violence victims are women. It’s not that men don’t experience domestic abuse, or women can’t be perpetrators, all it means is a woman’s risk of being the victim of domestic abuse is much higher.
Hence, they must be careful not to overlook signs that indicate their partners might inflict harm on them, stand their ground in case of a domestic dispute and seek immediate legal help in the event of being mishandled by their partners or any other family member.
But what about men?
Men who are victims of domestic violence often hesitate to report, because of following reasons:
- We are so accustomed to see women in victim’s role that men are rarely believed when they claim to be victims of domestic violence.
- Even when they are believed, people make fun of them for their powerlessness.
- The law is not clear how the victims would get justice if they are men.
However, things are changing. Similar to women, men today are aware of what sort of behavior constitutes domestic violence and call out their partners on such behavior.
Know your rights
Whether you are a man or a woman, you don’t deserve violence. So, stand up for your rights. If you are suffering from domestic violence and need help, don’t hesitate to call the cops. Don’t take it lightly; domestic violence is a crime. Every victim need to raise voice against crime otherwise the crime is never going to stop. Consult a lawyer to know your rights as a victim.
If you are unsure whether a particular act qualifies as domestic violence, read below.
Domestic violence types
- Physical abuse – if someone is beaten in his/her own house or a family member’s house, it is physical abuse and first degree domestic violence.
- Mental abuse – blackmailing or hurting someone emotionally is another form of abuse i.e. mental or emotional abuse. Restricting someone’s creative freedom, especially if they are children is also a form of abuse, even though less talked about.
- Social abuse – when someone is abused socially such as humiliated in front of other people, it is social abuse.
- Financial abuse – If one spouse is financially dependent on another and the dominant spouse stops the dependent spouse from acquiring or spending money, it is financial abuse. Men are rarely the victims of financial abuse. The victims are mostly women.
If you are being abused in any of the above ways, take immediate action.
Preventing domestic violence
“Respect” is the keyword. I said in a previous article that husband and wife must respect each other. When respect is lacking in their relationship, abuse occurs. If each member of a family is treated equally and respected by others, abuse will never take place.
This message must be spread among family members to prevent incidents of domestic violence. They should be taught to love and respect each other, cooperate with each other and prioritize partnership over everything else.
Consequences of domestic violence
Domestic violence often leads to murder, mutilation or serious injuries. Even when the victims survive, they might wind up psychologically impaired for life. In the absence of physical assault, victims can be burdened by the traumatic experiences caused by routine insult and/or mental abuse. Depression, anxiety, weight loss, feeling of fear every time, etc are common consequences of domestic violence.
Young kids are more vulnerable to domestic abuse as it affects them during the initial stages of development. Those who internalize the abuse either grow up hating the abuser or idolize them and copy their personality traits. Those who find it hard to bear the emotional trauma might start taking drugs and alcohol to cope. When traditional therapies fail to offer them help, doctors suggest art therapy for healing.
Say no to violence
Violence is disruptive. It disrupts healthy relationship between individuals. Domestic violence takes place behind closed doors, so the harm it causes often goes unnoticed. But it’s time we recognize the harm it causes on us and on the society by and large, and be assertive enough to say no to violence – regardless of whether we experience it ourselves or someone else does.
Domestic violence is a disease. Strict actions should be taken to eradicate this disease from society. Cultural and social norms that consider domestic violence to be a normal practice and give abusers the right to do it should be changed immediately.