Most people would describe Domestic Abuse as violent and threatening behaviour towards a spouse or partner which could be physical or mental. However, it could also have an effect on other people in the family including children, and it can also be done by a family member or carer. Domestic Abuse is said to be more usually male towards female aggression.
Domestic Abuse can include a partner controlling and causing the isolation of the other using sexual or physical abuse. It could also include psychological abuse and stalking or harrassment.
People think the main cause of Domestic Abuse is when one partner is controlling takes the upper hand in the relationship and wants things their own way all the time. This may be prompted by a reaction to their own low self-esteem or jealousy and problems with anger. Some people have beliefs that women and men are on different levels and the men should have the dominant role in the relationship, some people may have learned this from the way they were brought up or the home that they grew up in that it is okay to treat their partner in this way.
Others believe that alcohol and drugs are a main cause for Domestic Abuse. Drunk or high people may be less likely to control their anger and emotions and take personal issues out on those who live with them so, people believe that it may be better to keep drinking and drugs to a minimum to develop and maintain a positive and safe relationship. Worldwide studies show higher chances of domestic abuse happening if one or both partners are dependent on alcohol. However, it has been suggested that rather than alcohol causing people to abuse their partners, it is just a collision of two different social problems. The World Health Organization estimates that just over half of domestic abusers were drinking alcohol prior to assaulting their partner. Women who are abused are 15 times more likely to have a problem with alcohol.68% of young people involved in criminal activity in Oregon treatment services had seen their mothers being abused or had been on the receiving end of abuse themselves.
According to the government not enough is being done to stop child abuse and help children and family members who see domestic abuse. Even though the police, health professionals, social workers etc. are doing a reasonable job at trying to prevent domestic abuse, not enough is being done to stop it or help the people who witness it. If children are involved or witness domestic abuse the fine or sentence is automatically worse as a child is involved.
A minor conviction is crimes that often carry penalties of up to one year in prison. On the 1st of April 2019 a new law about domestic abuse was introduced in Scotland. The law is that Psychological abuse counts as well. Domestic abuse doesn’t have to be physical or sexual it is also mental, emotional and psychological too. Depending on how serious the offenses are, the criminal can get a sentence of between 12 months and 14 years in prison.
Most of the time when there is a child involved in an abusive situation the child witnesses the most of it or is even hit and abused themselves. No matter what happens the children will still be affected by the abuse that goes on in their home. Young children may start to become anxious and afraid of their own family they may also grow up to think that hitting and abusing is okay, or they may grow up to have trust issues and have difficulties forming relationships. Some children lose the ability to feel empathy for others. Others feel isolated, unable to make friends as easily due to confusion over what is acceptable within a relationship.
It can be difficult to tell if someone is suffering from Domestic abuse or has witnessed it. Those who have been abused may keep it a secret as they may be afraid of what their partner would do if they found out. Children may also keep quiet but it may be more obvious that they are witnessing it. Signs that a child or young person is witnessing Domestic Abuse could be that they become aggressive or start bullying others because they may think that if they see it at home then it is okay. Young people may also start to neglect themselves from people and become anti-social. Children who are very young may suffer from nightmares or start to have tantrums. Older people such as teenagers may start to take drugs and fall behind with school which can then lead to them having a difficult time in the future.
Violent and threatening behaviour. This is many people’s experience of domestic abuse. It isn’t just women who are victims; men and children are also affected by it or witness it. Domestic abuse is awful and unacceptable behaviour. It must be stopped. Would you be able to spot the signs? Would you be able to talk to someone suffering in silence and get them help?