BEHS 453 (section)
The plot covers two sides of the main hero’s life: the one when she suffered from violence and her way of surviving it. Martin and Laura Burney seem quite a happy couple from the first sight: two beautiful and young people. Martin is quite successful at work, and the housewife Laura keeps the house clean and tidy, always meets with her husband working a hot meal. It is hard to imagine that in fact the family is not so smooth. Martin changed after the wedding: from gentle and caring, he has become a cruel and maniacal. He is overwhelmingly jealous of Laura for any reason, actually without reasons, does not allow anyone to talk for a long time, allows his wife to leave the house only as an exception, the only thing that is allowed is to visit his sick mother. Martin obsessively wants the house to be perfect and pays attention to the order, for example, all banks were neatly arranged in closets label forward towels hanging in the bathroom is always at the same level, etc.
If Laura is doing something wrong, he is always ready to teach her and show how to use her fists. Martin maniacally adores Laura and keeps her in the house, like in a prison. Woman is in despair, she is extremely lonely and frightened. She has absolutely no friends, and she had no one to talk about what was happening to her. Laura can not see Martin, and he occasionally makes her perform his conjugal duty.
One day after a brutal beating, Laura decides to escape. She understands that if she will just run away, her husband before anything stops to find her and return, so she plans to terrible. Laura decided to fake his own death. Laura does not know how to swim, and Martin, of course, knows this. Unknown to him, she manages to enroll in the pool. For a long time she learns to swim and trains. Laura is the last effort trying not to give himself. She lives alone and that the hope of a speedy deliverance from her husband. When she felt ready to run, then all carefully planned and waited for an opportunity. And here he came. During a walk on a yacht, Laura falls overboard. All attempts to save his wife Martina fails - it is certain that she was dead. However, Laura manages to swim easily unnoticed. She returns to the house, clean up after themselves, picks up a bag prepared in advance with the things that Martin had never seen, throws a wedding ring into the toilet and leaves the house. Sighing finally free, Laura gets on the bus and went to a new life. Replacing several routes to be sure, she settles in a small town. She changed her appearance and name, but still can not get rid of constant fear. Soon the young woman meets an attractive neighbor Ben, and after a while realizes that she could let go of the old life and it is time to start a new life with new wonderful man. Laura does not know that when Martin returned home, he accidentally bumped into her wedding ring and tries to stalk her. This is story when good fights evil and a simple romantic story, however it depicts the reality of suffering woman at home who had not have the courage as the main hero had.
The victim in the story is a young beautiful girl who just fell in love with the wrong man. Manic tuned authoritative husband. There are several recognized types of violence: physical, sexual, emotional and economic. Physical violence it is a direct or indirect effect on the victim in order to cause physical harm, such as: mutilation, serious bodily injury, beatings, kicking, slapping, pushing, slapping, throwing objects, and so on. Body punishment in the family is a form of domestic violence. Physical violence is ranked evasion first aid, sleep deprivation, deprivation of origin vital functions (eg, denial of shower and toilet), bringing to the use of alcohol and drugs contrary to the wishes of the victim. Physical harm to other family members and animals for the purpose of the psychological impact on the victim defined as an indirect form of physical violence. Sexual violence is an intimate physical abuse and rape. Another kind of violence is emotional violence, which consists of humiliation, insults, controlling behavior, isolation, restriction of the victim's circle of friends, "brainwashing", questioning, blackmail, threats of violence. Economic violence is a control over financial and other resources of the family, the allocation of money to the victim "content", extortion, coercion, extortion. It also includes a ban on education and / or employment, and intentional misappropriation of funds in order to create family tensions. Recent researchers show that statistics is unfortunate. Moreover, domestic violence is hard to recognize and investigate.
In psychological science they identify several models of domestic violence, which predispose factors such as low self-esteem, alcohol, drugs, communication problems, social isolation, social, psychological and psychiatric problems, depression, lack of self-control, suicidal tendencies, aggressiveness, early pregnancy mothers loss of a child and children, physical and mental disabilities. The external (social) factors of violence are poverty, low income, unemployment, social isolation and family privacy, overcrowding, low educational and cultural level.
In the story the victim faces almost all of those kinds as they are very connected if the relations of violence are between married couple when two rely on each other and share the most personal spheres. Menjivar (2002) elaborates on the immigrant women that due to the ethnic, cultural and social differences suffer even more.
There are several symptoms of the influence of domestic violence that Laura faces as a consequence of the treatment by her husband. The study by Tolman (2001) provides that victims aggressive treatment and beating at home have hugely higher amounts of basic principal psychiatric disorders. Those include generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, drug and chemicals addiction, alcoholism and health problems compared to non-victims of such phenomena as domestic violence. Laura from the film had classical symptoms, as anxiety and constant fear of stalking that were not groundless though. She could not let her to fall in love for some time and let the man she trusted to touch her. She was a brave girl so she had powers to start a new life without being addicted to drugs or alcohol, however she still faced psychological influences.
There are couples of theories from which we can understand how the domestic violence starts and how it can be fought. One argues that women suffer from "learned helplessness." According to the theory, the constant beatings result in that women learn not to oppose violence and leaving the relationship with the abuser. The way of treatment is to provide women with counseling.
Another theory of "learned helplessness" ignores the fact that there are many economic, social and cultural reasons why women do not break a relationship in which they are abused. Ooms (2006) emphasizes that there is also the role of gender in the society that can cause the continuous violent behavior in heterosexual families. For example, women may be afraid of retaliation against themselves or their children, or they may not have sufficient financial resources to keep themselves and their children. In addition, in the event of their departure, they risk becoming outcasts in a family or society. This theory is also inconsistent with the fact that women offenders leave repeatedly and often consciously behave to reduce the amount of violence directed at them and the children. However, they continue to maintain a violent relationship.
Next model developed theory of conflict lies in the family. According to this model, both partners contribute to be subject to the emergence of violence in their relationship. The family conflict model implies that the victim by his behavior provokes the violence, and that the actions of the offender against it are justified. However, even when women have resorted to the use of force, this is an attack and only in self-defense.
The family conflict model is very similar to the definition of domestic violence called the "cycle of violence". According to him, the next cycle of unjust violence which alternate with moments of remorse. Lawyers for the US found that this description is contrary to the practice of violence. Many women claim that their partners never repented in the use of force and violence is constantly present in their relationship, and it was not a cyclical phenomenon.
The current understanding of domestic violence based on the fact that the offender learns to cruel behavior by applying it to establish and maintain control over another person. The brutal behavior may be a result of the impact of the social environment where definite opinion about the role of women and men prevails. Violence exists and peers and authorities fail to punish the offender.
Feldman identifies several strategies that can be used in treatment. By proactive efforts, cooperation with psychologists and deep analysis the consequences of domestic violence can vanish. First, it is important to face the problem, to share with others and then apply basic principles. It is important to say that in the movie the way of therapy is presented. Ben was a drama teacher and he entertained Laura by involving her in an artistic impressions and dancing scenes. We see how positive emotions and care change Laura’s trust and emotional well-being. Thus, there are several points that the victim of domestic violence often suffer from: the fear of the partner attempts to change their behavior and of itself, to avoid a negative reaction on the part of the partner.
In 1984 on the basis of group interviews conducted with women who attended educational courses within the framework of Duluth to combat domestic violence, the structure was designed to describe the behavior of men who exhibit physical and emotional violence against partners. Many women criticized the theory describing the violence as a cyclical event, not as an element always present relationships. They also criticized the theory to explain the violence of men's inability to cope with stress. Based on the experience of women who have experienced domestic violence, has developed a "model of power and control," which also received the name of the Duluth model. It describes violence as part of the behavior, not as a series of independent incidents of violence or expressions of cyclic checks of anger, frustration or pain (Pence, 1993).
In addition, unexplained anxiety, stress or depression, unusual and non-physical disease symptoms: abdominal pain, insomnia, chronic fatigue, changes in appetite, a sharp rise or decline of libido. Furthermore, the doubts about their own "normality" and mental health, a sharp decline in self-esteem and rejection of other relationships and life goals for the relationship with the partner.
The peculiarity of the context of violence in the family - and the perpetrator and the victim - is the need to continue the dialogue, which becomes extremely painful, preserve and maintain the system of interpersonal relationships.
In order to overcome the consequences of domestic violence and to get out of a situation of post-traumatic stress, need professional help of psychologists and psychotherapists.
A person must realize itself as a victim or as a perpetrator, to realize their traumatic experiences, internally accept it and express reconcile with the past. This step is very important to get rid of mental suffering. It helps to get rid of the burden of destructive emotions, feelings of guilt and helps build their lives more meaningful.
Feldman, M.C. (2006). The Etiology and Treatment of Domestic Violence Between Adult Partners. Clinical Psychology, 2 (4), 347. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2850.1995.tb00047.x/full
Menjívar, C. (2002). Immigrant Women and Domestic Violence Common Experiences in Different Countries. Gender&Camp Society, 16, 32-33.
Ooms, T. (2006). A Sociologist’s Perspective on Domestic Violence: A Conversation with Michael Johnson. Building Bridges: Marriage, Fatherhood, and Domestic Violence Retrieved from http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/states/0314.pdf
Pence, E. & M. Paymar (1993). Education Groups for Men who Batter: The Duluth Model, New York: Springer.
Tolman, R.M. (2001). Domestic Violence in the Lives of Women Receiving Welfare Mental Health, Substance Dependence, and Economic Well-Being. Violence Against Women February, 7 (2), 141-158. Retrieved from http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/7/2/141.short