Domestic violence occurs in various forms and it is sometimes difficult for one to identify that they are in a violent relationship. It occurs in relationships where one partner seeks to exert control over the other partner. The batters apply various abusive actions towards their victims. Domestic violence does not only involve a man beating his wife, but it differs depending on the form of violence used and the partner abusing the other (Duxbury, 2003). There are different categories of domestic violence common in intimate relationships including physical, sexual, psychological emotional and economic abuse. In most cases, these crimes are hardly reported due to the nature of the relationship or fear of their partners. These have serious consequences for those involved and the effects may last for a long time. The causes vary with the relationship though the main cause is the individual acting violently towards the other one in the relationship.
Physical abuse or violence involves the use of force by one partner against the other. This ranges from one partner or both partners shoving each other, hitting, biting, restraining, choking, burning or forcing them to the use drugs or alcohol. This form of violence can result in injuries that may need medical attention (Carlson, 1984). The other form of domestic violence is sexual violence that occurs when one’s body integrity is violated. This may include one rape, prostitution, forcing one to have sexual contact or sexual harassment. Others treat their partners in a sexually demeaning manner either physically, use of verbal cues or doing it none—verbally. Other ways through which sexual violence occurs is limitation of reproductive rights where one is forced to do an abortion or use of contraceptives. It entails violation of one’s control over their body and sexual integrity.
The other category is psychological abuse where one undergoes intimidation, threats and in other cases isolation. These occur when one damages property or abuse pets, supervising the other partner, controlling their social circle and actions and movements. The aim of these abuses is to intimidate and make the other person fear you. Spiritual abuse is also part of psychological abuse as a partner may use religious teachings and beliefs to manipulate their partners to do things they do not want to do. This may include the use of religious quotes to justify one’s actions like beating the wife or children and forcing one to act in a certain manner.
Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence that occurs when a person’s self-worth is not upheld. Criticism, calling each other names, mocking a partner, humiliating them in front of others or mistreatment all fall under this category. It undermines how one fee about themselves and tends to lower their self-esteem. The last category of domestic abuse is economic abuse whereby the abuser in the relationship makes the victim financially dependent on him or her in order to exert control over them. This happens when one partner forbids the other from working, getting an education or taking control over their finances. Others block access to economic resources in an effort to minimize any financial capabilities.
In this vignette, the offender fits into the category of physical violence because he restrains his wife on the floor for fifteen minutes. He also claims that he hit her in the mouth after she bit him. He also describes that he had been convicted before fro grabbing his wife in public. He also fits in the category of emotional abuse as he tells his wife that she is relapsing and needs medical care. He also embarrassed his wife by grabbing her in public instead of talking and solving the issue violently (Jouriles, 2002). There are many reasons for domestic violence and the offenders committing domestic violence have varied reasons for doing so. In this case, the offender felt offended when he came home and found his wife drunk. She acted irresponsible by letting her daughter and friend stay in the bathtub for long without checking on them. He may have been frustrated at his wife especially after he found the house in a mess and her drunk.
The other possible reasons for his behaviour were his drunken state. Though this is not a sufficient reason for him to attack his partner, his state did not allow him to act rationally. Considering his wife was also drunk, neither of them was in the right state to talk about this issue. This is why both of them overreacted and ended up restraining and biting each other. Alcohol and other drugs impair one’s ability to judge and act reasonably. This is the case with the offender who was not in the righty state of mind to reprimand his wife for her actions (Qazalbash, 2013).
Possessiveness may be one of the causes for his actions. Traditional thinkers believe that men have a right to be served by women and they feel offended when they come home to find the place untidy and other duties like taking care of the children unattended. They react violently to this issue and though they use this as an excuse, most of them want to exert control over their wives in the name of their wife not being responsible. Whenever, they come home and find that something is not done according to their wishes, they blame their partners and some of them become physically abusive (Sanjay et al., 2014). The offender felt a sense of entitlement to the services of his wife towards him. Due to the fact that she is married to him, he felt that she was under the obligation of serving him and cleaning the house and keeping their daughter safe. Though this is true especially keeping the daughter safe, the husband should have understood that his wife has had a history of abuse and anything that triggers the memories should be avoided at all costs (Richards, Letchford & Stratton, 2008).
In this vignette, the offender finished anger management classes and this may have contributed to him acting violently towards his wife. Having anger management problems renders one prone to having anger fits where he or she hurts the others. In this case, the offender may have lost his temper when he found his wife drunk and his daughter and her friend in the bathtub. He reacted violently because he could not control his anger (McGee, 2000).
There are many causes of domestic violence though the reasons for the acts are to gain control or exert power over the other person. Some of the psychological causes of stress are personality traits and the mental state of the offender. Personality traits play a significant role in how one controls his or her actions. These traits also determine how one acts when faced with certain problems. Some people have poor impulse control and this causes them to act violently when provoked. Sudden anger burst are also common for people with poor impulse control. Poor self-esteem is also one personality traits that can result in domestic violence. All these attributes contribute to one acting in a violent manner. Most people with personality disorders have poor control over their actions and though it is not a good reason to abuse and other person, these contribute to domestic violence in many cases (Gerdes, 2012).
Psychopathology and personality disorders also contribute to abusive adults. Children who undergo or witness abuse when they are growing up have a higher risk of becoming abuse during adulthood as compared to those who do not witness abuse or violence. Exposure to these violence or subjections to them lead to personality disorders that will be recurrent in future. Most of the juvenile delinquency has undergone violence during their childhood. The only coping mechanisms, these children know is violence and it may be difficult for them to adapt to new ways of dealing with anger and other impulses (Huang & Gunn, 2001).
Mental illnesses also play a significant role in domestic violence. There are many psychiatric disorders that results in domestic violence. This includes borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and use of drugs or alcohol abuse. These impair the judgment of an abuser because they are not in control of their emotions and mental state. Research shows that one third of domestic abusers have a history of mental illness. These mental illnesses play a key role in shaping how one reacts to certain situations and their control over the situation. Some people may use mental illness as an excuse for their actions, but it is easy to determine whether this is true or not. The timing and place of abuse can determine the true mental state of an individual. And his or her reasons for acting in an abusive manner (Worden, 2005).
The other cause of domestic violence is marital conflict disorder. This comes about when one partner is not satisfied with the relationship. In most cases, partners feel that the other person is not fulfilling his or her obligation in the relationship. This may result in violent acts that may be physical or emotional. It is common to wife and husband batters who claim that they are not satisfied in the relationship. Marital violence can result in serious physical or mental injuries and in some cases death of a partner. This is closely related to the need to have control over the relationship or over the partner (Gerdes, 2008).
Jealousy is also a cause of domestic violence. When one partner feels threatened especially when unfaithfulness in the issue, he or she may resort to violence. This also occurs when a partners feels that the other one wants to quit the relationship. Jealousy also occurs when one partner is doing well as compared to the other. This can be financially or educationally and it increases insecurity in the relationship. This can be the issue when a woman is doing better financially than the man which may trigger jealousy. Many partners would seek to exert control over the abused by isolating them or blaming them for most of the issues affecting their relationship.
Behaviours leading to violence in a domestic setting are something one can acquired over time it is a learnt practice where one learns from his or her parents, friends or peers. It is common to find that people who are abusive in a relationship have had a history of exposure to violence. Though many people who drink and abuse drugs do not act violently towards their family members, it is common to find that when one is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they lose control over their emotions and act impulsively. This is an underlying cause of domestic violence that have serious consequences for the abused and the offender. It is common to find that abusers or the abuse blame the use of drugs on their partner and claim that they were provoked to act in a certain manner (Finley, 2003).
Lack of control may result in abusive relationship. However, most people who are abusive strive to have control over their emotions and may blame their emotions or other causes of domestic violence for their actions. The need to have control over the other partner is one of the many reasons why people will pretend to have lost control and acted in such a manner. In most cases, low self-esteem drives one partner to be abusive in an effort to control their partner’s actions. This is mostly the case when one feels intimidated and lacks control over the relationship. The other issue that comes up due to lack or need for control in a relationship is unresolved childhood problems. Children who had problems of self-esteem or other forms of conflicts may acts violently towards their partners. Feeling inadequate also causes one to act in such a manner (Lowenstein, 2005).
Some cultures and traditions also tend to be the reason for domestic violence. There are cultures that promote male dominance over women. Here, men are brought up to be in control over the relationship and it is common to find these cultures teaching men to be physically aggressive towards their wives. These patriarchal traditions encourage male in their culture to do anything in their power to exert control over women. The traditions encourage men to strive and have their rightful place in the homestead even if it means beating and abusing their wives. This is closely tied with the issue of male privileges where men had to maintain the expectations of the society by acting in a certain manner (Jackson, 2007).
Various reasons may be used to justify the issues of violence in domestic settings. However, it the real culprit in domestic violence is the perpetrator of these acts. The use of drugs or alcohol and need to have control over the relationship are some of the excuses people give fro violence in families. The forms of this violence differ and some people may not know they are under an abusive relationship and others confuse it for love (Johnson, 2008). However when one feels threatened and cannot act freely within the relationship then they need to evaluate their state. Violence in families can have serious consequences for the children and as they grow up most of them end up in juvenile prisons for violent acts of criminal activities. It is upon the parents to come out and seek help for their children. Changing the perspective of communities who promote male dominance may help in reducing the need for men to have control over the relationship (Guggisberg, 2006).
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