All you hear from the current events section of your favorite online magazine is news on how domestic violence is taking place in all parts of the globe. No matter how progressive a country is, domestic violence is still rampant. No matter how rich or poor a person is, anyone can still be a victim of domestic violence. And how the victims were maltreated is worse than you can even imagine – it’s no longer about mere bruises in different parts of the body. Most of the articles you’ve read are now about victims being beaten up for hours and locked up in certain rooms inside their own homes – even fatally attacked by a person they trusted. You could even see the similarities of domestic violence to the most gruesome horror movies – because status quo would tell you that yes, these are happening today.
Because of everything that you’ve read online, you would never want any of these to happen to you or anyone you know.This material will educate you on the dangers of domestic violence and how you can avoid it.
What Is Domestic Violence?
As defined by the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, domestic violence is a series of abusive behavior that is commonly present in different kind of relationships. Usually, the abusive behavior is used by a partner to maintain or gain control over another intimate partner in the relationship. And no, domestic violence doesn’t only happen physically. There are different forms of abuse included in the definition of domestic violence such as emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse and even, stalking.
Why Are These Abuses Dangerous?
The abuse involved in domestic violence might happen once, but the effects of such occurrence can scar a victim for life. For some who were merely witnessing an event, it might seem simple, but for the victim, everything else in his/her life can be affected. Some of these aren’t curable by medicines, treatments and even professional counselling. These are the reasons why domestic violence is dangerous – because of its long-term effects. Some of the long-term effects of domestic violence are:
- Eating disorder
- Personality Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sexual difficulties
How Could You Avoid Domestic Violence?
You can never control how other people think and behave towards you. Sure, they might seem approachable and helpful at first, but you’ll never know what they’ll think of next. For you to avoid domestic violence, these things can help you:
- You should know the signs: When you’re in a relationship, you’re more prone to domestic violence because your partner has the liberty to inflict abuse on you – if you don’t do anything about it. To prevent yourself from getting into that situation, you should know the early warning signs of domestic abuse which usually includes your partner:
- Controlling you in all of your financial decisions
- Embarrassing or shaming you
- Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to
- Preventing you from working
- Acting unreasonably jealous, especially when you’re with your friends
- You should never ignore it: If you think the signs are happening in your relationship right now, don’t ignore it. Call the police and inform them of what has been happening, especially if you’ve been getting the same abusive treatment from your partner for years. If your friends or neighbors are the ones involved in this kind of situation, call the police right away. Calling the authorities might seem like a very simple deed, but this can save a life.
- You should lend an ear: Whenever someone tells you that they’re experiencing violence, always be there to lend an ear without judgment. Believe everything they say and make sure that you’re not taking sides. Always be there when they need someone to talk to and offer help when needed. Don’t brush off anyone who’s trying to open up to you about domestic violence. Instead, keep an open mind and be a friend to them – all of these will go a long way for a survivor’s condition.
- You should know the contact details of a nearby shelter: This is very helpful if you or you know someone who’s experiencing domestic violence. Search for shelters in your area which allow victims to seek refuge. Once you’re in a violent situation, you would want to keep safe, and shelters can be a great place for that purpose.
There are a lot of signs which can tell you that domestic violence is already happening. These signs might not be similar to the news you’ve seen in the online community but once it’s making you uncomfortable and gives you the feeling of hostility, act directly. Don’t wait for the situation to worsen as it could probably be too late to do anything by then. Make sure you’re attentive to the people you’re dealing with every day and don’t take yourself for granted.
Peggy Fleming is one of the most promising young law writers of year. She adds a modern take to her pieces on various law topics, which she writes for the common reader. She enjoys playing tennis with her siblings during her free time.