Groups » Five Things to Know About Domestic Violence and How to Stop it

Domestic violence against women is a crime that shows no signs of abating. Statistics show that nearly 20 women experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner every minute. According to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, intimate partner violence is the number one cause of injury to women in the US.

A closer look into the narrative of domestic violence will reveal that most instances of violent crimes follow a similar pattern. In the beginning of the relationship, everything is fine with no hint of abuse from the partner. Then, a pattern of controlling behavior emerges, where the dominant partner physically abuses or threatens to abuse the other to get power. Emotional abuse is also a common factor, where the woman’s self-respect and courage are destroyed by sexual and verbal abuse and battery.

With domestic violence reaching epidemic levels, it is important that women learn to recognize the warning signs early in a relationship and work toward getting out of it safely. Seventy-five percent of the 4,000 women killed by intimate partners every year in the US are murdered when they attempt to leave or have just left a bad relationship.

Here are a few things to know about domestic violence and why everybody needs to work toward ending the violence:

Domestic Violence Is Widespread

Contrary to common belief, domestic violence is not restricted to certain ethnicities, socio-economic strata, or regions. It is all-pervasive in the society, where one partner resorts to coercive action, intimidation, and abuse to gain control or power over the other.

Emerge, a prominent batterers’ treatment program, reports that approximately one third of men counseled are professionally successful people including doctors, lawyers, ministers, and top level executives.

Why Do Women Choose to Stay?

Another bone of contention is the viewpoint that the woman who opts to stay in an abusive relationship is also to blame for the gory outcome.

Clinical psychologists say that victims of domestic violence and abuse become accustomed to it and may even begin to rationalize it. Poor self-esteem, coupled with a wrongly placed desire to maintain the façade of a happy family also trap women in abusive relationships.

Domestic violence develops and intensifies over a period of time. Abuse includes tactics aimed at psychologically scarring and debilitating the victim. Withdrawing food or medicines, threatening to take away or injure children, isolating the victim, depriving the victim of sleep, and harming pets are some ways in which abusers try to subdue victims.

Women are threatened with dire consequences, including physical harm and death, if they even think of leaving. Fear is one of the biggest reasons why women choose to stay in toxic relationships. Uncertainty regarding financial future, the lack of family support, and immigrant status all withhold women from leaving abusive relationships.

Link Between Domestic Violence and Crime

There is a proven link between domestic violence and crime.

Cedric Larry Ford killed four people and injured 14 others when he opened fire at Excel Industries in Kansas where he worked. The mass shooter’s girlfriend had a restraining order filed against him. Another mass shooting convict, Robert Lewis Dear, who killed three people in a clinic at Colorado Springs, also has a history of domestic violence.

It has been scientifically proven that men who abuse female family members do not hesitate to hurt others. Abusers with access to firearms pose an even greater threat to women; and if a gun is present in a home during an incident of domestic violence, it increases the chance of homicide for women by about 500 percent.

Do Not Give the Abuser a Second Chance

Many women stay in a troublesome marriage hoping things will change for the better. Statistics say that a woman leaves an abusive relationship at least seven times before she leaves for good.

Abusers, unless seeking therapy and have professionals helping them, hardly reform their ways. The cycle of violence tends to restart a few days after the woman is back.

Violence and abuse that start sporadically increasing in intensity and frequency with time. It is important for the woman to end the relationship and steps away from the toxicity as soon as she realizes that things are not as they should be.

Build a Safety Zone

It is necessary that women in toxic relationships build a safety zone where they know their partner will not be able to harm them. Friends and family figure on top of the list, but if they are not available or you live far away from them, remember that there are several agencies and support groups that can help you.

It is most important to reach out and speak up. Once you have made up your mind that your relationship is dangerous, let nothing stop you from finding a way out. It’s time to be strong and not let the abuser cow you down. In a legal battle, Maine Domestic Violence Attorney can help you better.

Domestic violence destroys homes, kills innocent women, and scars the psyche of children involved forever. If this massive problem is acknowledged and women are empowered to stand up for themselves, many lives and childhoods can be saved.

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