How Well do You Know the People in Your Life?

Get a Background Report in minutes.

Domestic Violence – What Exactly Is It?

This guide helps you understand the nuts and bolts of domestic violence.

Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Ever. Period. But it does – and when it does, there is help. Maybe you have lived with abuse, maybe it happened just once; maybe you work or live next to someone who is being abused right now. Whoever you are, this book can show you how and where to get help.

In 1994, 1995, and again in 2000, Michigan changed the laws that deal with domestic violence to make it easier for the victims of abuse to get protection through the legal system.

Domestic has always been an underrated crime. As it mostly happens behind closed doors, many cases don’t see the light.

Do you know that approximately, 29% of the women and 10% of the men fall victim to DV?!

Probably, no! On average, every 1 in 4 females and every 1 in 7 males experience physical assault by their partners. Horrific, right?! It doesn’t end there, sadly!

In the US, as many as 24 people a minute become the victims of stalking, physical attack, or rape. That makes up to 12 million victims per year.

And, it doesn’t stop there. These are merely a few statistics. The real threat is far bigger than these numbers. You must be wondering, why this issue is so prevalent.

Well, here’s the answer. Lack of proper awareness among the masses is the main reason here. Without the proper knowledge, how can a person fight this evil?!

Domestic Violence Definition –  So, what is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be considered as violence committed by someone to another person in the same domestic ties. This can occur between partners, relatives, and even divorcees and ex-partners.

Domestic violence does not necessarily refer to physical abuse; rather, it encompasses physiological, emotional, sexual, and even financial abuse. Most abusers use domestic violence as a way for them to acquire power over a victim.

99% of the time, domestic abuse is a deliberate form of control; however, there are times when abuse comes from escalating problems. This may manifest in the form of a lack of financial support when one lives with an abuser. In such scenarios, the abuse starts creeping in; the abuser gets frustrated.

It is a repetitive process of abuse where the perpetrator gets hold of the victim in a consistent manner. DV comes in different forms and ways.

Many authentic studies prove that most of the victims are women. Don’t be fooled by the name. This form of abuse can take place in workplaces as well.

For your better understanding, here are the main domestic abuse categories:

  • Physical Abuse: Pushing, kicking, strangling, or any other physical violence.
  • Sexual Abuse: forceful sex, sexual assaults, sexual threats, and many others.
  • Emotional Abuse: Threats, manipulation, lies, stalking, name-calling, and several more.
  • Economic Abuse: Denying access to bank accounts and other financial platforms.

If your partner does any of the above or anything similar, you’re being abused. Get help and get out of it, ASAP!

Do people underreport Domestic Abuse?

You bet!

Unfortunately, not every victim reports their situation to the authorities. Nor do they seek help. Poor souls suffer without doing much.

This UN report gives us a very good idea of how widespread domestic abuse is. More than 87,000 people were murdered across the world in 2017.

Among that, a whopping 58% were victims of domestic violence. Do you get it now?! Domestic abuse is no joke!

Alright! So, how many of these victims actually go ahead and report their agony?!

A mere 25% of all the domestic physical assaults come to the light. It gets worse when it comes to rape. Only 20% report it. When it comes to stalking, only 50% choose to do something about it.

Isn’t it ridiculous and sad at the same time?!

Even when a woman reports it, she would’ve been attacked 35 times before she goes to the police.

This is a very sad state of affairs?! So, how do we change it?! Well, let’s first see why people prefer to not report this crime.

Social Stigma & Taboo: Oh yes! Society is to be blamed to some extent here. Domestic violence has some serious taboo factor attached to it.

Victims usually prefer to avoid any kind of unwanted negative attention. This is one of the main reasons behind underreporting. And also, they’re afraid that they might lose their relationship.

According to this 2014 survey, 24% of the Americans think any domestic violence discussion is taboo. There’s more here. They conducted the survey again in 2018. In a shocking manner, there’s a 10% percent increase here.

As many as 34% of Americans in 2018 labeled domestic violence as a matter of taboo. Are we going backward?! We can definitely do better than that. Don’t you think so?!

Causes & Consequences

To solve a problem, you first need to understand what’s causing the issue. That’s pretty standard stuff, right?

So, what causes a person to hurt another person in the pursuit of control and dominance?!

What causes Domestic Abuse?

Honestly, it differs from one person to another. However, we can nail down to some of the most common reasons behind this behavior.

  • Alcohol is not only a threat to physical health, but also mental health as well. Under the influence of booze, a person could wildly.
  • A sense of entitlement will always make the person perceive others as low-levels.
  • Lack of empathy. We call them psychopaths. You don’t need any more explanation. Do you?!
  • Gender discrimination. Some people believe they’re superior to their partner, just because they’re born into a certain gender. Some call it toxic masculinity.

What are the effects of Domestic Abuse?

DV is never a good thing. Never! Victims are at the risk of many troublesome consequences. Here are a few of the drastic effects of abuse:

  • Victims of domestic sexual violence are prone to HIV or STDs due to forced mating.
  • This also has severe effects on their mental health, leading to depression or even suicide.
  • As low as 34% of physical abuse victims receive proper medical care.
  • In the US, victims of partner violence lose over 8,000,000 million days of work every year. That’s equal to 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • These phenomena also cost the US economy somewhere between $5 to $12 billion each year.
  • Due to partner abuse, 20-60% of victims lose their jobs, thanks to trauma.

Beyond these, abuse causes many more negative effects on both the victims and the society as well. This makes it all more important to tackle this problem as much as we can.

Domestic Violence & Divorce

You married folks out there, this section is very important for you. If your partner is abusing you, Run! Because, divorce can wait, but not your safety issues.

How does domestic violence affect a divorce? If you’re a woman, you need to first understand the ‘Violence Against Women Act’. Also, understanding the legal definition of abuse will help you by leaps and bounds.

Then, consulting a reputed lawyer will make things easier. Make sure, that you have proper evidence.

When you’ve something that backs your claims, everything becomes smooth for you.

Child custody is something that must be bugging your mind, right?! Well, here’s the thing. Even if you’re partner is abusive towards you, they still can get some custody of your children.

But, if they’re abusive towards your children too, they can forget about the custody.

Coming to the property division, don’t proceed without consulting your lawyer. Your spouse might be hiding a property. Lawyers can find such information.

Alimony is one other factor you need to focus on. A court will make you eligible for alimony, if your partner prevented you from going to a job. Some jurisdictions consider alimony, even if your partner hadn’t committed economic abuse.

Dealing with DV

Here comes the important question. ‘How to deal with abuse?’

Well, there’s no exact rulebook for you to follow. However, you can do a few things that can help you handle the abuse.

If you’re the victim

When you’re being abused or harassed by your partner, try doing these:

  • Seek support: After realizing your ordeal, getting help is the first thing you must do. Try talking to a friend that’s close to you. Or, you can approach a counselor. Discuss your situation and get their help.
  • Consider a refuge: There are many refuge homes out there, for people like you. If you feel unsafe to live in your home with your partner, this is the way to go.
  • Report: If you think that you’re in a danger, complain to the authorities immediately. Police will protect you and direct you to the appropriate action you should be taking.
  • Get a lawyer: Not every one of us is proficient in understanding laws and acts. So, to deal with your situation without any mishaps, hiring a lawyer is your best bet.
  • Don’t delay: This is the most important of the lot. Most of the people commit this very mistake. Thus, repeated assaults and abuses. Don’t be one of those victims. Act accordingly and immediately.

If someone you know is the victim

Your life is fine and dandy. That’s great. You can your energy to help someone whose life is in the opposite spectrum of yours. Consider taking these steps to help a DV victim:

  • Be empathetic: Most of the times, an abuse victim is drained out of all their spirit. They may not initiate a discussion about their troubles. Here, you need to be patient with them. Make them feel comfortable with you. They will definitely open up.
  • Don’t judge them: You don’t know what a person is going through. If you feel that someone is in a bad position, please never judge them. Doing so might make things worse for them. Moreover, they may end up not opening up too.
  • Know the warning signs: To help a victim, you first need to identify them. Not every victim discloses their suffering. How do you define a victim? Learn the warning signs. Black eyes, sprained wrists, busted lips, and bruises are some of the common indications.

Get Help and Get Out of the Abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. It doesn’t spare any gender, race, or region. Commoners to celebrities, everyone is at the risk of this evil.

If you know someone whom you think is being abused – a friend, family member, co-worker, client, patient or parishioner – please consider contacting one of the agencies listed below to discuss ways to safely help them.