Domestic Violence, one of the most dreaded topics of concern that has disturbed the society for long, is also a topic that many do not talk about. It is the act of dominating, controlling and abusing the partner, in most cases the intimate partners verbally as well as physically. Though domestic violence is a serious problem of the society, the abusers, the victims as well as the society, often run away from dealing with it. However, the fact is that no act of domestic violence is caused without a reason. Every abuser has some sort of a history associated with him or her that leads to such kind of an act of violence. This article helps you know the types of domestic violence, its causes and how is the rehab for domestic violence done.
Different Types of Domestic Violence
People need to understand that domestic violence is not just about physical violence. Hitting the partner or the close members of the family is an altogether different issue. However, the violence is often seen in the form of verbal abuse, controlling the partner’s actions, forcing the partner to ask before taking every step, before leaving house or before doing any job. The victims have no financial freedom or independence and the abuser decides and controls every aspect of the victim’s life.
The different types of domestic violence include –
- Physical abuse.
- Verbal abuse.
- Sexual abuse.
- Financial abuse.
- Psychological, emotional or mental abuse.
What are the Different Causes of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic Violence and Traditional Beliefs: Among the many causes behind domestic violence, one of the most important causes that need to be discussed is the factor of a cliché and traditional belief that the men are stronger than women and hence, the women need to be controlled by the men. The idea or rather misconception that men are superior to women and the concept of women claiming equality in society, relationships and in other sectors of life, cause the men to execute power over women through physical or verbal violence.
As per the United Nation Population Fund Report, about 2/3rd of the Indian married women, are victims of domestic violence caused by this baseless orthodox belief that the men are physically, socially, financially and emotionally stronger than women. This number is quite similar in many other countries across the globe. Quite surprisingly, the first world countries also give shocking statistics regarding the domestic violence cases caused by similar beliefs. Hence, it can be said that this orthodox belief has got nothing to do with race, ethnicity or geography or even socio-financial groups. It is a universal misconception that is manipulating an entire gender group to think of women as inferior and use domestic violence as a method to establish their point.
- Lack of Self-Control leading to Domestic Violence: Anger is a common feeling that every person experiences at some point of time; even in daily lives. However, self-control helps the angry person to avoid the situation or person that has made him or her angry.
However, some people have serious problem in controlling their anger and they express it. Some do that publicly and some take the anger to the domestic sector and express the anger within closed doors. This lack of self-control is also a cause of domestic violence.
- Painful Childhood as a Cause of Domestic Violence: It is often seen and even research study reports have shown that in many cases, the reason behind the violent behavior of a person is a painful childhood. The children, who have been frequently beaten up by the abusive parents or guardians, turn out to be abusers themselves. The trauma that they have been through might have left a deep sense of panic in their minds that leads them to do such abusive behavior towards their partners.
Children, who have seen their fathers beating or abusing their mothers, often learn to believe that this is the behavior that needs to be shown towards the wife in the family. However of course, it must also be kept in mind that there are many people in this world, who have had painful childhoods; who have seen their parents abusing each other or one of the parents abusing and hurting the other. Still, they do not take that as an excuse to repeat the same and lead a perfectly peaceful life, rather more careful lives with the spouses. Hence, many of the experts say that the painful childhoods are often taken as an excuse for such immoral and violent behavior.
- Inducing a Sense of Fear in the Partner’s Mind: Sometimes, the abusers use abusive language or abusive behavior as well as physical violence as a shield or self-defence from their partners. There is an underlying fear that the partner might leave him or her and inducing a sense of fear in his or her mind might force the victim to stay in the relationship. It is just a strategy for them to survive and the deal with the fear within their minds that the partners or other family members might leave him or her.
- Domestic Violence and Drug and Alcohol Abuse: What makes the subject of domestic violence an even more difficult one is its close association with substance abuse. According to the reports of the U.S. Department of Justice, about 61% of all abusers accused for domestic violence, are reported to be addicted to drug or alcohol.
Whether it is associated with drug and alcohol abuse or not, the problem of domestic violence remains a serious one. The statistics are shocking, with about 9 women every minute falling victim to domestic violence in the U.S. About 1 in every 4 men commits violence against his intimate partner and about 95% of all domestic violence cases are committed by men.
The scenario is not different in other countries, making domestic violence a global and social problem and not a regional or racial one.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction as a Cause and Effect of Domestic Violence
Since research studies as well as reports have shown how the drug and alcohol addiction has been closely associated with domestic violence, it requires special mention here that it is both the cause and effect of domestic violence.
- Drug and Alcohol Addiction as a Cause of Domestic Violence: As already mentioned, about 61% of all domestic violence cases are found to have association with drug and alcohol addiction; it is at times the root cause of such violent activities. The offenders are, in many cases a victim of domestic violence, have seen fathers or other family members being abusive and violent towards others. If they have been a part of a gang or other anti-social groups, drug and alcohol addictions are common and this contributes in the violent activities. However, drug and alcohol, just by itself, is not the only cause of the abusive behavior.
- Drug and Alcohol Addiction as an Effect of Domestic Violence: Not only is drug and alcohol addiction a cause of domestic violence at times, many a times it is also an effect of such a situation. Often, the female partners or the other victims depend on drug and alcohol addiction as an escape from the memory or pain. As they feel trapped into the relationship and fail to leave the offender either due to financial dependence or due to an emotional attachment, they take a refuge into drug and alcohol addiction. Sometimes, the supplier of the drugs and alcohol are the offenders themselves and therefore, the victims fail to leave the violent setting and the offender. Many a times even the offender abuse drug and alcohol to escape from the suppressed guilt of being abusive.
Hence, it can be said that drug and alcohol abuse is a significant cause behind domestic violence.
- Lack of Trust between Partners: Though this should never be a cause behind being physically abusive or violent over another person, sometimes, the cause behind domestic violence is the lack of trust between the partners. If one of the partners suspects the other cheating on him or her, domestic violence is a result. Though extra marital affairs are sometimes the answer for the abusers against the victims, often there is no such case in fact, but sheer doubt and suspicion.
- Petty Issues between the Partners: This should be mentioned in association with the male superiority complex as well as the lack of anger management and often the causes of domestic violence are petty issues between the partners, such as –
- Refusing to have sex.
- Arguing with partner.
- Not telling before going out.
- Not asking for permission.
- Not cooking favorite meals or meals on time.
Along with these issues, there are also issues like dowry, infertility etc. that cause abusive and violent behavior of the male partner against the female partner, in many countries.
- Financial Reasons for Domestic Violence: Financial factors are sometimes the cause as well as the trigger behind abusive and violent behavior against the partners as well as other family members. Here it should be mentioned that not just the spouse or partner, but also the other members of the family can be victims of abusive and violent behavior. If the abuser is going through financial insecurities, lost the job or is living on the income of the other family members, domestic violence is a frequent event.
The reason behind this is the male chauvinistic ego that they have to depend on the wife’s income or the son’s or daughter’s income. If the abuser is an addict, the probability of domestic violence is even more, as they go to any extent in order to get money from the partners, from the kids or from the aged parents.
- Watching Violent Shows Leading to Domestic Violence: The television has had an immensely bad impact on the people’s mind. Though it has also done some good, the bad is more severe in intensity. Kids watching action movies and animated shows as well as sports like boxing, wrestling etc. that are associated with violent movements, turn out to be more violent. Schools have many reports of the students fighting with each other, resembling their superheroes or wrestling champions etc.
- Friend Circle influencing Domestic Violence: Meeting, growing up with and following people, who indulge in violence, bullying others etc. can be the cause behind such activities and behavior. Having the right friends has a great impact on your thought process and vice versa.
- Stress, Depression and Anxiety as a Leading Cause of Domestic Violence: Stress, depression and anxiety are sometimes the psychological conditions that lead to domestic violence.
- Mental Health as a Reason for Domestic Violence: Though in many cases the domestic violence is a planned act, sometimes it is an impulsive act that is a result of mental illnesses. In that case, the abuser can be unaware of the behavior or is guilty of the behavior.
How is the Rehab Done for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a serious problem that needs attention and treatment. There are Rehabilitation Programs as well as the Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programs that can bring significant help within the domestic setting that was vulnerable to domestic violence and abuse. The abuser needs to be either brought in for an in-patient rehab program, or for an out-patient program that is usually longer. The in-patient programs are generally 6 months long and the patient is kept within a rehab setting, away from the family.
The choice certainly depends on the patient and/or his or her family. However of course, the doctor and the psychologist and other professionals guide and recommend the right program for the patient.
The programs not only help the patient to get rid of their abusive and violent nature, but also help the abuser as well as the victims and the entire family to overcome the trauma and effect that the entire experience has had on them. For that the professionals do a thorough and detailed medical check-up. This includes physical as well as mental health.
The expert professionals conduct the entire rehab program with certain beliefs and these are –
- The abusers are loving and kind people.
- They too want a healthy, loving and happy family.
- The process to achieve a happy relationship is misunderstood by them.
- They have either acquired or learned the violent behavior or have been suffering themselves from a psychological trauma.
- Violence is their shield of protection.
- It has become a habit only with time.
Here it must be mentioned that the new rehab programs work differently. They address the cause and treat the problem. The concept of anger management as the solution for the violent behaviors has changed.
In this process, even the victims need to take part. However, they are not brought into direct interaction with the abusers, during the counseling. The psychologists or counselors talk to both the abuser and victim separately. The reason behind this is that the victim might not speak out or open up completely in the presence of the abuser, due to the fear that after going home, the abuser might again be violent. Even the abuser might not be willing to participate into the program due to various complexes.
In case the abuser is a patient of drug or alcohol addiction, the rehab programs also provide lifelong support to stay away from addiction. They offer forums, group discussions and a circle that will help the abusers to feel that they can always come out of what they have been doing.
The success of the entire rehab program lies in the fact that the abuser admits the fault and is guilty of it and is ready to change the behavior or habit. If he or she is not guilty of the condition and does not realize the extent of the situation, then it is an indication that the program might not be successful enough for the abuser.