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Domestic violence and abuse happen to both men and women, yet the victims are always in denials, excused or overlooked. The above outcomes are common when the violence is psychological rather than physical. It happens when one member in an intimate relationship or marriage dominates and controls the others person through unconventional tactics. The aim of the dominating person is to gain control over the other. The tactics include the use of fear, guilt, shame or even intimidation to wear down another person's self-esteem. Additionally, the dominating person may use physical force to his spouse, or people around to exert his or her will. Even though domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate, it is more rampant in women, but also happens to men especially verbally and emotionally, and; therefore requires intentional programs that create awareness to empower vulnerable groups.
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As stated above, victims of domestic violence can be of any race, sex, gender, culture, religion or marital status. However, to get a clear view of the crime, it can be narrowed to members in matrimonial relationship. In a marital status, an abused woman lives in fear. She isolates herself from friends and family and become dependent on the abuser. Over time, she loses her self-esteem and starts to believe in insults from the abuser. Additionally, she may blame herself for the abuse, be in denial, or assume that it is not taking place hoping that her partner will change. It is a common that men are stronger than women; however, in most heterosexual marriages, it, may not be the case.
Domestic violence is a significant social issue in all parts of the world. While statistics vary depending on factors such as ethnicity, race, religion, and even economic class, women are victims in a significant proportion than men. In the U.S., Department of Justice Statistics show that, between 1994 and 2010, two out of ten victims of the crime are women. Additionally, it reports that, women do use violence against spouse just like men. However, their violence is distinct from men's, depending on in historical, social, emotional, and motivational circumstances. In 2010, WHO found out that, in most prevalent violence in intimate partners, it affects 30% of women worldwide. In the same years, the organization reports that more than 37% of all women murdered is as a result of domestic violence. It also reports that more than 41% of women violated by men were sexually abused. However, recent statics in USA show a decline in the trend. For example, statistics show a 65% decline between 1993 and 2000, and a 48% from 2001 and 2010.
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Most people view domestic violence as exclusive part of a certain ethnic or racial community and social class. For example, Davis, show that people perceive domestic violence in relation to race, class, educations background, and even age. However, most literature findings show that domestic violence occurs in all socioeconomic, religious, and cultural groups.
Domestic violence originates form a sense of entailment influenced by sexist, racist, homophobic, or other discriminatory attitudes. As a result, it starts when one partner in an intimate relationship feels the need to control and dominate the other. The feeling may be as a result of low self-esteem, jealous, or a sense of depression, or anxiety when they feel inferior to the other. Additionally, some men conform to beliefs that they have control over women.
Secondly, most psychological studies indicate that violent behavior is as a result of situational and individual factors. It means that violent behavior develops from family, community or other sociocultural interactions when one is growing. It may be experienced, or an individual may be a victim in the past. For instance, children who witness or are victims of domestic violence may learn to believe that violence is a means of resolving conflict. Additionally, boys who learn that women are not to be valued are likely to abuse them when they grow up. Similarly, girls who witness domestic violence in their families may fall victim of their husband's dominance. Lastly, alcohol and substance abuse may contribute to domestic violence.
Most victim of domestic violence contribute to its severity, and persistence. While statistics show a decline in domestic violence, various studies reveal that in, reality, it is not the case. Most victims in abusive relationships suffer in silence or denial. As a result, less people report such crimes. When the domineering partner acknowledges the above weakness from the other, they feel a sense of power, which influences further assaults. Additionally, fear makes such victims isolate themselves from social interactions. They leave in hiding without opening up to people who can provide advice and support them. As a result, they persevere in abusive relations hoping that the situation will change, and which, in reality, does not.
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Methods of preventing domestic violence include; developing community awareness programs, establishing social service counseling programs, community outreach programs and crime watch programs. Domestic violence preventive measure should begin when a child is developing. School, caregivers, and even parents should promote a culture of respect with children and youth at an early age. School programs should include teachers, parents and the community in reducing violence and risky behavior. Young people should receive information that support them in making good decisions, and develop positive relationships. Additionally, social stakeholders such as human rights organizations and authorities should develop communal initiatives that create awareness, and help victims of domestic violence. For example, the community can utilize the following preventive or intervention methods to curb domestic violence. The first is community policing programs, which follow-up investigations of domestic violence incidents, where officers respond to victims and ascertain their needs. For example, an officer can support to have an injunction against a domestic violence.
Secondly, local authorities have established social services counseling programs. An in-house social worker develops networks that provide domestic violence prevention seminars. Additionally, community outreach program coordinators assist and offer relevant information to citizens. The coordinator provides victims with options such as social services programs, police intervention and protective programs information. The coordinator also compiles profiles of victims of domestic violence. The data provides an overview of the population and directs services requested and received. Lastly, most communities have crime watch programs in alliance with community policing section. This programs enable social service referrals for victims that do not have knowledge about the criminal justice system. That equip the community with tools to prevent crime report them and find legal justice.
Both the State and local authorities have established programs, and allocate resources to prevent domestic violence and offer support to victims. For example, the learning curriculum incorporates domestic violence prevention and intervention programs. It aims at mitigating present and further situations of domestic violence. Officers of the Community Policing section have the training to teach curriculum to grade level students. They target the problems arising from domestic violence in two programs called "Reducing Violence" and "Managing Stress without Drugs.
Another initiative by local authorities is the establishment of domestic Violence Units. Even though is a reactive unit, it plays a vital role in domestic violence intervention programs. The unit receives copies of initial incidents from patrol officers. The unit coordinates with the State Attorney's Office, to seek legal option, which lead to the arrest of a suspect. Additionally, the unit conducts surveillance on suspects, and executes arrest warrants. It then houses victims of domestic violence in Safe Space while arresting the suspect. The victim also receive support by means of transportation to court-related functions or to obtain an injunction.
The law provides for legal avenues in case of such incidents. As a result, most recommendation will involve mobilization of communal resources, both human and financial, to assists victims. For instance, the government should incorporate domestic violence intervention programs in all healthcare facilities to ensure proper screening. Consequently, all healthcare workers should be trained on matters concerning domestic violence and how to receive such patients since they have both physical and emotional injuries. Local authorities and NGO's should ensure that vulnerable groups have access to political opportunities to facilitate capacity building.
In conclusion, domestic violence is a prevalent problem in society. Both men and women suffer from physical, psychological and sexual abuse by partners. Factors that facilitate this include psychological stress, abuse of drugs and alcohol, extremist attitudes and behavior, as well as, low self-esteem in a relationship. Both the State and local governments have established community programs that offer legal, and psychological support to victims. Such programs begin as early as grade school where the young generation learns positive ways of resolving conflict. The programs should be enhanced to empower victims in matters such as financials support, or employment. Additionally, such programs should collaborate with other social stakeholders such as religious and social leaders, and NGOs' for it to reach a wider group.