When confronted with pain, all one wishes for is for it to stop. Nothing compares to the agony of pain but worse still nothing is equitable to pain when inflicted by the ones we love and trust. There is no heroism in standing avoidable pain and suffering but who do we turn to when the subject of domestic violence marred by stigma and judgment? Domestic violence is just that, a painful ordeal that steals away the victim’s joy and makes them feel like lesser human beings in the hands of their oppressors. In a superficial society where people can wear and peel off behavioral masks at will, domestic violence is difficult to confront. When inflicted in the form of emotional and psychological torture with no tangible evidence but the victim’s word for it, it becomes hard proving what goes on behind closed doors especially if the perpetrator is a pretend outstanding citizen.
Domestic violence is a summation of physical, emotional or psychological abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner against another in the form of verbal abuse, battery, nonconsensual sexual activities or direct or indirect actions aimed at hurting the victim.
What domestic violence is a violation of the victim’s civil rights, an inhumane and barbaric act that goes contrary to the societal projected moral code and a cowardly act that projects the perpetrator’s insecurities on their victims (Mcquigg 17).What domestic violence is not is an act exclusively directed at women, a disciplinary and an act of love or a mark of the dominance of the perpetrator over the victim. Many myths surround domestic violence which makes it even harder for the victims to open up and seek help. It is often attributed to acts of misogynistic men with women painted as the helpless victims but makes no mistake of believing this misconception (Mcquigg 19). Domestic violence knows no gender, sexual orientation, social or economic standing, the level of education or even seniority in society. It can happen to anyone in the hands of the abusers regardless of their station or gender.
You would think that any normal decent person would steer off such barbaric behaviors that go against every moral fiber of their being but no, some people just have to feel like they’re in control (Mcquigg 15). The main reason that domestic violence perpetrators do what they do is simply that they can. Some of these individuals have narcissistic tendencies which make them feel like they are always right (Mcquigg 32). When the violent party realizes that the partner is not as confrontational as they are, they take advantage and exert their self-proclaimed dominance over them. They exert their dominance over the victims’ finances, sabotage their work and personal space, threaten and intimidate them or even worse get physical and hurt them. Anger management issues are a catalyst for domestic abuse and violence. Once a person’s emotions rule over their logic, they response to issues becomes more reactive as opposed to proactive. They act first and regret later. It is such tendencies that lead to battering, verbal abuse and sexual violation of the victims (Mcquigg 23). These anger issues could be triggered by alcohol and drug abuse, stress, and depression or even low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. The anger fuels jealousy and resentment which they expel through either beating up their victims or through projecting their emotional instability on their partners verbally.
In most circumstances, the red flags of abusive tendencies are as clear as day but the victims’ judgment is clouded by romantic feelings and an illusion of perfection in the relationship (Mcquigg 17). So, what are the telltale signs of an abusive relationship? Over-protectiveness in a relationship, controlling tendencies like dictating who the partner relates with, their dress code, hairstyles, and even finances as well as making threatening remarks and pulling intimidating acts on them are signs of abuse. The perpetrator may hit the victim, destroy their properties, forcefully have sexual relations with them, and belittle them by magnifying their failures and downplaying their accomplishments or even try to kill them(Mcquigg 21). It is up to the victim to protect themselves when they notice one or more tendencies mentioned above.
One of the imminent dangers of domestic violence is its ability to inflict the battered person syndrome on the victims (Mcquigg 28). This makes the perpetrator appear omniscient and omnipresent such that the victim feels caged and entangled in the web of abuse. They may feel like they had it coming and that no matter where they go the perpetrator will always find them. The best protection a person can have is their sense of self-worth. They can choose to walk away from their abusers by believing that they are good enough and strong enough to have a life after the ordeal. Reporting the perpetrator to the authorities is also a sure way of protecting oneself from the abusers (Mcquigg 29). Adopting the prevention is better than cure attitude when starting a relationship is also a good way to go in protecting oneself from domestic violence. Once you notice the red flags walk away and understand that only the violent person has the power to change themselves.
One of the most heartbreaking impacts of domestic violence is the toll it takes on the children if there are any involved. Violence may have a lifetime effect on the child making them grow up into abusers, aggressive people and may lead them into the darkness of drug abuse. The best to protect them is to talk to them (Mcquigg 33). Tell them that violence is wrong and reassure them that it’s not their fault that the abuse occurred. Leaving the abuser is, of course, the most efficient move but the kids may carry the violent memories if they are old enough. In instances where talking isn’t good enough seeking professional help from a therapist could be the best course of action.
These facts are eye openers to my perception of domestic violence. I have learned that domestic violence does not always leave a physical scar, but an emotional scar hurts just as much if not more. The causes of domestic abuse have brought to my attention the helplessness of the victims in the matter which has made me more empathetic to the domestic violence survivors and the victims. My attitude towards attention to detail when dealing with people so that not to miss the reflags has been sharpened. Finally, I have gotten an insight into how the violence affects the victims and their children and I’ve learnt how to protect myself as well as anyone else undergoing the abuse.
Mcquigg, Ronagh. “Domestic Violence: Applying a Human Rights Discourse.” Domestic Violence (2016): 15-35. Web.