Domestic violence is not just an issue in the United States, but it is a worldwide issue. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, this issue has remained “a serious problem” in the United States and the world (BJS). Domestic violence is a term to describe an abusive relationship between a family member and other individuals in a household. This may include physical, sexual, psychological, economic, or verbal abuse against a family relative. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence” by a relative or an intimate partner and about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual violence in their lives ( Figure 1 ). It has been estimated by WHO (World Health Organization) that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical abuse in their lifetime (Figure 2). South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria are some of the countries to have the highest statistics of domestic violence in the world. In 1998, 1,394 men were interviewed, and said that only 50% of them abused their partners. In Egypt, 80% of women said that beatings were common since the women refused to have sex with their husbands. In Nigeria, up to two-thirds of women say that they are victims of domestic violence (Figure 3 ). One-third of victims of domestic abuse are staying in an emergency department for safety. Although men are more likely to perpetrate violence, women also do this but isn’t really talked about much. Victims of domestic violence are too afraid to speak up because it can lead to police officers not believing them or wouldn’t do anything about the violence. There was an incident in Ohio involving a victim disguising a 911 call by ordering pizza. The dispatcher recognized that the woman was trying to report an incident but was disguising it by pretending to order a pizza (Figure 4). The woman who called the police was called because her boyfriend, Simon Ray Lopez (Figure 5), came home drunk and was threatening her and her mother before they were punched and pushed. Lopez was then arrested and is being held at the Lucas County Corrections Center on a charge of domestic violence. The dispatcher was then interviewed on how he was able to recognize the call and stated that “He utilized his training and his experience to recognize that a woman was in distress.” He then stated that if it was someone else who received the call, they would have hung up since they would’ve thought that it was a prank. If men are the victims, they would feel embarrassed about being abused by their intimate partner, so they wouldn’t speak up as well. Domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States and around the world that needs to be fixed but is not talked about frequently. To put an end to domestic violence, we need to be able to recognize it.
In order to recognize domestic violence, someone needs to recognize the type of domestic violence the perpetrator is causing. One of the more common types of domestic violence is physical violence. Physical violence is violence involving contact in order to cause injury, pain, and intimidation. This includes the perpetrator punching, hitting, choking, slapping, pushing, etc. This can lead to trauma on the victim and possibly death. According to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), 20 people are being physically harmed by an intimate partner in the United States per minute. According to Healthy Place, 5.3 million incidents of domestic violence occur among US women aged 18 years and older, with 3.2 million occurring among men. Another type of domestic violence is sexual violence. Sexual abuse is any situation in which the victim is threatened or forced to have sexual relations with another person. Emotional abuse is one of the more common types of domestic violence. Emotional abuse can cause low self-esteem for the victim and can be controlled by the perpetrator. Most victims that suffer from this type of domestic violence may have depression, eating disorders, and alcohol abuse considering the fact that the victims are constantly being controlled and humiliated. Some ways that the abuser can abuse the victim would be constantly criticizing them, blackmailing, having control over the family, isolating the victim from their friends, etc. According to new findings from the NISVS (National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey), found that nearly half of Americans reported experiencing emotional abuse by their partner in 2013. They also found that there was an average of 80%; 40% of women and 32% of men reported expressive aggression by their partner, and 41% of women and 43% of men reported “coercive control.” One type that is very similar to emotional abuse is verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of foul language and threats to someone. Situations between partners have a higher chance of experiencing verbal abuse. In the U.S., 1 in 4 teenagers that are in a relationship ends up reporting that they are being abused verbally. Lastly, the final type of domestic abuse is economic abuse. Economic abuse is a form of abuse that makes one partner have all control over the economic resources. This type of domestic violence, it will make the abuser take more control of the family and make them feel that the perpetrator is the only one that can help them financially, but only when the abuser wants to. The abuser can also make them lose their jobs which will then cause the abuser to have even more control financially. Almost all of the domestic violence survivors have experienced economic abuse. Economic abuse is equally serious as the other types of domestic abuse since victims may be unable to leave an abusive partner or family relative for economic reasons. By this type, the victim will be struggling to find a job or even finding a place to live after leaving an abusive relationship.
There are many different causes for domestic abuse like psychological reasons that consider personality traits or disorders. Personality traits might include anger issues, low self-esteem, and maybe mentally ill. Personality traits and disorders that developed from the abuser’s childhood may have caused them to become more violent in their adulthood. There are many cases of domestic violence that have started because of one of the partner’s jealousy, which can be caused due to assuming that their intimate partner is being unfaithful, or wanting to leave the relationship. Mental illness can also be a cause of domestic violence. Being mentally ill is one of the few contributors to domestic violence as the perpetrators wouldn’t be in their normal state when in a relationship.
The effects of domestic violence can be short-term or long-term depending on the situation. Physical effects such as bruises, injuries, and broken bones are some of the most common physical effects that can happen in an abusive household. As there are physical effects, the victim can also experience psychological effects such as anxiety and depression. These psychological effects are long-term and can cause the victims to have PTSD. PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder, is a disorder in which the victim can’t recover from experiencing a traumatic event in their life. The victim can have flashbacks and nightmares which can be experienced for a very long time. Finally, there can also be a financial effect on the victim. The victim would have little to no money since the perpetrator would not have given them money since they left them. This effect has shown that this could be one of the effects that would make the victims not leave the perpetrators since they wouldn’t be able to survive without money.
As there are many causes and effects for why domestic violence occurs or why it is still going on, there are many consequences to dealing with it. One of the major consequences of dealing with domestic violence includes jail or prison time, the aggressor having to complete a batterer treatment class, and being issued a criminal protective order. According to Street Directory, Donald P. Schweitzer states how the criminal justice system doesn’t deal with domestic violence as a minor offense anymore, but rather a “unique” offense. Another more serious consequence of domestic violence is the loss of employment opportunities (Schweitzer). With one being convicted with domestic violence on their records, the perpetrator will have a harder time seeking a job, especially if it deals with the government, or can be fired due to the conviction. One could also be denied or get their state license canceled. An allegation of being an abuser can cancel or deny a state license dealing with real estate or a license to work for a care facility. Restraining orders will be issued by courts with allegations of domestic violence. According to Schweitzer, a consequence of these orders would be the “loss of liberty,” which could restrain the perpetrator to go certain places. The perpetrator could also lose the right to bear arms. This would be due to restraining orders since it automatically restrains the offender from owning or possessing a firearm. More consequences from domestic violence include an increased amount of spousal support aid. When ordering spousal support, one of the many factors ordering it would be the occurrence of domestic violence in a relationship. A perpetrator of domestic violence would be more likely to be ordered to pay for spousal support aid and pay additional damages. According to Womenslaw, the offender who is found to have committed domestic violence would lose his or her opportunity to get spousal support in California. A more serious consequence of dealing with this would be losing custody of a child or losing visitation rights. The court must consider whether the offender should have visitation rights or determine custody. The court would then determine what’s best for the child. There was a case dealing with this type of issue in 2012, dealing with the court not believing the victim about domestic abuse in the household. The victim, Hera McLeod, was pleading with the court about taking her toddler away from her boyfriend, Joaquin Rams (Figure 5), which she described as “abusive.” McLeod told the court about the Rams that he would start to be aggressive towards her and the many things he did to the family such as abusing their older child. The court ended up not believing her as there was “not enough evidence,” which then ended up in the court ordering supervised visits for Rams with the child. Supervised visitation is an arrangement in which one parent is allowed to spend time with their child or children while being supervised by someone else. After a few months, Rams was allowed unsupervised visits, which then led to Rams drowning the toddler at a friend’s home. Rams was then found guilty of capital murder in 2017. This case is one of many in which the court doesn’t really care about domestic abusers and denies claims from victims. Victims of domestic violence can also file a civil lawsuit against abusers, especially those who are/were in a relationship with them. These civil lawsuits can result in major compensation and help out in damages. There would also be an unequal division of property between the victim and the abuser. Texas is one of the few states in which they are a community property state. A community property state is a state in which they let the couple split their property 50/50. In some cases such as domestic violence, the court would decide on the unequal division of their property, favoring the victim. Domestic violence is also considered to be a crime of moral turpitude. Crimes of moral turpitude are considered acts of dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misinterpretation, and violence in Texas. This crime would lead to the question of the abuser's credibility when they’re being testified. One last consequence of dealing with this is the loss of immigration status for immigrants. A conviction of domestic violence can lead to an immigrant losing his or her green card or U.S. permanent resident status. The loss of immigration status is guaranteed, even if the aggressor convinces the court to allow him or her to withdraw a plea of guilty when they complete the anger management program. The consequences of domestic violence can be very severe to the offenders and in most cases, help out the victims.
Management for domestic violence is mostly counseling and health care. Seeking medical help can have a good impact on the victims of domestic abuse. Medical professionals help out the victims by giving them advice and refer to them to appropriate services. Counseling is also a way for the victims to manage their experiences. Counseling sessions provide a safe environment for victims to express how they feel and their thoughts. The counseling professionals wouldn’t be judgmental because they are trying to give advice to the victims and how to move forward from their experiences. Group counseling can also be helpful since it lets the victim be with other victims who share similar experiences. This would lead to the victim knowing that they are not alone and that domestic violence is more common nowadays.
Domestic violence is not just an issue for women, but an issue for everyone who experiences it. The examples that are stated in this research paper are significant since they add to how domestic violence happens and its effects. Domestic violence should be considered a big issue worldwide rather than a private issue within a family. This global issue will continue to damage society by making those who are dominant in families take advantage of the inferior ones. It must be perceived with a lot of attention as there are many people suffering from this.