Domestic violence is a problem that has affected millions all around the world. Domestic violence is abusive or aggressive behavior within the home. It is typically the abuse of a spouse or partner, but it can happen to anybody within the household mentally or physically even if you’re not the one being abused. Being abused can affect how you interact with others later in life or how you treat your spouse when are older. Being abused can make people depressed or fearful and could affect their academics when they are older. We need to ask what effect does domestic violence have on victims?
Domestic violence can have several effects on the person that’s abused. Being abused can affect the victim mentally and physically. Victims of intimate partner violence face high levels of stress. Even after years of abuse, many survivors are forced to deal with lasting reproductive health issues. After the victims separate they remain at high risk of mental health disorders. These can include; anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Some domestic violence victims have to face with partners forcing them to have unprotected sex. The chief program officer at Safe Horizons, Liz Roberts said, “I’ve worked with survivors who had to hide their birth control pills, and when they were found, they were flushed down the toilet. I’ve worked with survivors whose partners had other sexual relationships outside of their primary relationships, lied about it, and refused to wear condoms.” Kids being exposed to this domestic violence could change their lives and affect them in many different ways of how they act around people or in public. A quote from (“ThinkProgress”) said, “Kids exposed to domestic violence experience a whole host of similar health issues as we see in adult survivors, like anxiety, sleep disorders, and mental health and behavioral health issues.” (Twitter 2014). Survivors of domestic abuse can have trouble talking about the violence they suffered. Addressing these issues is overwhelming for the survivor but if they do address it, it can help them develop their inner strength and be less fearful for themselves and their families.
Survivors of domestic abuse can have many effects on the brain. Victims are typically exposed to repeated instances of abuse which includes traumatic brain injuries (TBI). “TBI-related cognitive and behavioral problems can also result in aggressive behavior that leads to the perpetration of violence, or a lack of insight and judgment, and resulting vulnerability, that can lead to victimization. While a TBI can be a contributing factor to aggressive behavior, it does not cause or excuse patterns of abuse.”
The effects of repeated brain injuries are cumulative such as those experienced by athletes who’ve had multiple concussions. “In domestic violence situations, due to emotional and physical trauma, survivors often experience depression, anxiety, tension and/or inability to adapt to changing situations.”(‘Traumatic Brain Injury and Domestic Violence’). Survivors of domestic abuse may appear to have behavioral issues. These behavioral issues may include problems keeping appointments, following through, or completing tasks that require multiple steps. Sometimes these problems are a direct cause of traumatic brain injury or the result of emotional trauma or both.
More than 15 million children in the U.S live in homes in which there has been a domestic violence situation happen at least once. The children that have had to endure this domestic violence are at greater risk for repeating cycles of abuse as adults either as entering abusive relationships or becoming abusers. An example from (‘Domestic violence and children’ 2019) said, “For Example, a boy who sees his mother being abused is 10 times more likely to abuse his female partner as an adult. A girl who grows up in a home where her father abuses her mother is more than six times as likely to be sexually abused as a girl who grows up in a non-abusive home.” Teens who have lived in abusive homes act out in negative ways. This may include fighting family members or skipping school. They could engage in risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex and use alcohol or drugs. Being abused can also affect a person later in life. A quote from (‘Domestic violence and children’ 2019) said, “Children who witness or are victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are at higher risk for health problems as adults. These can include mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. They may also include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, poor self-esteem, and other problems.”
Not every instance of domestic abuse is a crime. Not all of the answers to a parent’s discipline of their child is always easily considered whether or not it is domestic abuse. Many people still characterize instances of domestic abuse such as broken bones or bruising, malnourishment as criminal behavior. Some consider that to be proper discipline though such as other instances of parents using force to instill discipline are not as easy to categorize as domestic violence. The article (Followill ‘When parents physically discipline their children, does this amount to domestic violence?’ 2012) says, “For example, Connecticut’s definition of family violence attempts to exclude some parental discipline but doesn’t give any real guidance. The law states that the crime “shall not include acts by parents or guardians disciplining minor children unless such acts constitute abuse.” This is saying that if it is necessary for the situation then it’s acceptable but if there is no such situation then it should not be done. The same article also stated that “judges look to decisions in similar cases. Judges may also reference other sources, such as legislative records, to aid them in interpreting the meaning of statutes.” This is saying how much the judges have to do to determine if the situation was a punishment or domestic abuse. In some cases, physical abuse is hard to determine whether or not it is domestic abuse.
To help solve domestic abuse in the United States we should raise the prison sentence to people who do it and because when they do that they are harming someone who cannot protect themselves, which is another reason why it should be raised. There are also hotlines for this so if someone is being abused or is someone has witnessed someone the abused they can either call these hotlines or 911. The victims of this domestic abuse could have also suffered emotional trauma. Some workers at social services or health providers just try to focus on one symptom or behavior. To treat the whole person and not just a symptom, service providers across health and services need more education, training, and resources to recognize that the abuse could include brain injury. For children, each child responds differently to abuse and trauma. Some kids may act out or be resilient and some could be more sensitive. The child’s success in recovery depends on a good support system or if they have a good relationship with a trusted adult. The child also needs to have high self-esteem and healthy friendships to get them through this.
Domestic violence has affected many lives all around the world and it can be very tricky to depict if the abuse of a child is a punishment or crossing the line and being very abusive to the child. Judges have to look at many different cases to determine if it is domestic abuse. If these children grow up in abusive homes they more likely than a person that wasn’t to continue the cycle of abuse. Women and the children that suffer this abuse can be affected in many ways emotional and physical and affect their daily lives in many different ways and could cause brain injury to the person. To stop or prevent this from happening the witness or the person being abused should call a hotline or 911.