Domestic Violence Injurious to both Child and Abused Spouse
In the United States, more than 10 million cases of domestic violence are reported every year. A great majority of the victims are, of course, women, aged between 16 and 34, who are raped, physically abused or stalked by their intimate partner.
Domestic violence is a form of abusive behavior committed by an individual over his/her intimate partner. It can take the form of emotional, psychological, physical or sexual abuses or threats of abuses to enable the perpetrator to gain control and power over the other partner. This abusive behavior tends to terrorize, frighten, threaten, injure, hurt, humiliate and intimidate a partner until he/she loses his/her sense of self-respect and self-confidence. And anyone can suffer domestic violence regardless of religion, age, race, nationality, economic status and educational background. If someone you know suffers from the signs listed below, speaking to a legal professional who is experienced in battery or assault cases may be helpful.
The many specific acts of violence or abuses in the home and a number of ways how these acts are committed are:
- Psychological – includes fear through intimidation, threat of harming or hurting one’s self, children, partner or those close to the partner, like family or friends, and destruction of property.
- Economic – one’s complete control over financial resources by withholding or greatly limiting the other partner’s access to money, prohibiting attendance at school or reporting for work, to create in him/her total financial dependence.
- Emotional – committed through repeated criticism, name-calling or taking no notice of one’s abilities, to undermine the other’s sense of self-worth / self-esteem.
- Sexual – acts of abuse can be committed by treating the other partner in a sexually humiliating way or forcing sexual act after physically mistreating him/her; it may also be a case of attacks on sexual parts of one’s body or marital rape.
- Physical – some of the most common acts committed under this type of abuse are slapping, hitting, pinching, hair pulling, grabbing, shoving, biting, forcing intake of alcohol / use of drug upon the other and denying the other the medical care he/she needs.
To the abused, the effects of domestic violence can be lifetime psychological trauma. Its immediate effects, on the other hand, may either be injuries or an illness, which leads to absenteeism which, in turn, usually results to termination from work. It also causes the abused to withdraw from family, friends or other people who may be capable of providing help, due to loss of self-esteem and embarrassment.
Violence against one’s partner (usually the mother), does not only hurt the victim, though, for whatever hurts the mother, can and will hurt the children too. And since children cannot protect their mother (or parent) from being abused, they are burdened with the feeling of guilt. Mixed feelings of shame, fear, stress and confusion are developed in children too which lead to emotional and school problems that make them withdraw and shy away from others as well.
Treating domestic violence as a crime, which it really is, is maybe one solution to allow authorities to clamp down on reported abusers and finally bring them to justice. In some court proceedings, however, the accused, rather than just being proven guilty, is made as an example by the overzealous prosecution – this is one concern pointed out in an article posted in the website of Kohler & Hart . And since the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty, even they, therefore, deserve a just criminal defense – made more possible through the help of a highly-knowledgeable and experienced lawyer.