Intimate Partner Abuse
Intimate Partner Abuse
Violence, in either physical, mental or other forms, is a serious problem in many societies. Violence in physical form is estimated to be at 4 to 6 million per year in the US, most involving intimate partners (Rodriguez, et al., 1999). The term intimate partner abuse refers to physical, sexual, or psychological abuse perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner. While this term is gender-neutral, women are more likely to experience physical injuries and incur psychological consequences of intimate partner abuse.
Intimate partner abuse refers to abuse that takes place between two individuals inside a relationship. The relationship’s definition may vary in terms of sexual preferences, while the term abuse may vary according to its form such as stalking, rape, and physical assault. Partner violence causes several effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder, fear and learned helplessness to the victims. It also affects the community greatly in both financial and psychological terms.
The community response towards abuse involving intimate partners is important to be studied, especially by psychologists and psychiatrist because they are involved in helping the victims as well as the society.
This paper tackles the issue of intimate domestic violence from different angles even though it lacks consensual information from researches on best approaches to tackle the issues. The paper defines the intimate partner abuse, and then it tackles the effects of such abuse. Lastly, the responses of the community towards the abuse are discussed.
Intimate partner abuse materializes as an easily identifiable and problematic subject in human history dating back to thousands of years. However, pragmatic information of this legal, social, and psychological problem is rather limited in the past, but has been exploding in recent years. The victims of this violence are labeled as “battered” and the executors were labeled as “batterers”. Its recognition and conceptualization helps formulation of directed guidelines, rules, counseling, and involvement. Domestic violence is a term that emphasizes the danger to the victims contained by their own household
The rising of experiential research has persuasively established the existence of diverse kinds and models of intimate partner violence. The information gives propositions for court procedures, management, learning programs for experts, and for communal and lawful guiding principles
Definition of the term “intimate partner violence” varies in every study because of the lack of agreement among researchers. There is an issue of limiting the definition to actions that cause bodily pain or damage to another individual. This definition constricted the term intimate partner abuse because it disregards numerous other behaviors that the perpetrator might exercise such as to direct, threaten, and otherwise dictate the victim under the environment of an intimate relationship. There could also be the involvement of detention, verbal abuse, degradation, stalking, denial of financial help, services, and shelter (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
Another definition is the violence happening among married or living together partners, as well as people who consider themselves as couples. Currently, some studies focus on violence taking place in heterosexual or marital cohabiting relations while others focus on violence taking place in relationships under heterosexual dating. Moreover, there are also studies of violence taking place in same-sex dating or cohabiting relationships (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
The National Violence Against Women (NVAW) Survey’s definition of intimate partner abuse consists of stalking, rape, and physical attack by present and past spouses, cohabiting partners and dating partners. The definition includes both the same and opposite-sex relationships (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
The NVAW and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) definition are quite the same except that the CDC defines the terms rape, stalking and physical assault more explicitly. Rape is an action that happens without the victim’s permission. It entails the exercise of intimidation or strength to penetrate the victim’s vagina, anus or mouth by the penis, fingers, tongue or even objects. Physical assault means actions that intimidate, challenge, or cause physical injury. The actions could be shoving a gun, pushing or slapping. Stalking is a form of behavior aimed at a particular individual that involves frequent physical or visual propinquity; unpermitted phone call; spoken, printed, or disguised terrorization that would scare the victim (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
Effects of Intimate Partner Abuse
One of the foremost effects of intimate partner abuse is the post-traumatic stress disorder. Intimate partner violence can cause several effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder, fear and learned helplessness to the victims (Geffne et al., 2002).
Fear is the most common effect of intimate partner abuse and it comes it two forms. The first one is the fear of remaining to be beaten over again, and the second one is the fear of being stalked upon leaving. Other forms of fears are beating, denunciation, desertion, and being by oneself. This kind of violence also affects the children who witnessed the violence as well as the entire society in general. When the violent partner is dominant, the set up of the abuse can become complementary, which means that the victim would be under subordination. Partner relationship must be based on equivalent power (Geffne et al., 2002).
The idea of learned helplessness suggests an occurrence of a learned experience when break out was not formerly probable. Learned helplessness causes the victims to stop trying to get away. The victims remain in the relationship because their former attempts were pointless.
Stress is also a result of abuse. Stress brought by violence is associated with mental sickness such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result to anxiety, hopelessness, and other mental problems. PTSD is vastly common among intimate partner abuse victims (Geffne et al., 2002).
Relationship violence also affects the society. Frequent domestic killings caused by intimate partner abuse affect the society financially and psychologically. The society would tend to be on various frontages such as the psychological health coordination, criminal justice scheme, inferior worker output, and poorer education and monetary accomplishment for people involved (Geffne et al., 2002).
The causes of intimate partner abuse shape the responses of the community. A community can be considered as an ecosystem and it employs, preserves, and use resources that form the identity of a community. Every community has particular services such as medical care, rape hubs, and shelters. A community also enforces legal systems and structured prayers or religious events.
Community response is necessary for psychologists to understand because they function in all systems, like violence prevention, mutual support organizations, and medical or mental health treatment.
In discussing the community responses, we must recognize that most of the victims are unidentified to most official organizations or systems. Balancing actual service requirements must be done with community service movements that contact individual members of the community to standardize categorization of unfair treatment, to notify them about helpful recovery plans, service accessibility, and to promote support.
The responses of the community towards the abuse of intimate partners is assessed through the determination of the number of formal community schemes, magnitude on which community response are assessed, traits of effective victim support associations, complete services for physical beating, specific sexual assault services, shortage of services for lesbian sufferers, medical care structure, mental health structure, regulation enforcement reaction, examination and imprisonment of criminals and legal system responses (Geffne et al., 2002).
In summary intimate partner abuse is a serious problem in society. Its defition is evolving with changes in the way the atocities are perpetuated. Government bodies, healthcare authorities and the society have a role in mitigating the problem of intimate partner abuse.
Geffner, R., Ivey, D., Koss, M. P., Murphy, B. C., Mio, J. S., & O’Neil, J. M. (2002). Intimate Partner Abuse and Relationship Violence. USA: CODAPAR.
Kelly, J. B., & Johnson, M. P. (2008). Differentiation among types of intimate partner violence: research update and implications for interventions. Family court review, 46.3 , 476 –499.
Rodriguez, M. A., Bauer, H. M., McLoughlin, E., & Grumbach, K. (1999). Screening and intervention for intimate partner abuse: practices and attitudes of primary care physicians. Jama, 282(5), 468-474.
Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence. USA: NCJ.