Updated: Aug 7, 2020
A home is a place where a person feels the safest, but what happens when it becomes the absolute contrary? A person, a woman, or a child doesn’t feel safe in their own house and find no measures to escape it either.
Let’s begin somewhere taking an example. Just before the lockdown a woman ran from her abusive husband’s place and went to her parent’s home hoping to feel safer. But instead, a few days later, she got beaten up by her brother on account of becoming a burden for him to serve her in a middle-class low-income family. Someplace another, a woman and her child were cruelly beaten up daily by their husband/father just because of frustration caused to him with no availability of alcohol. A young orphan lad lost his job so he misused forcibly his grandfather's money in gambling by making them emotional.
Such and several other cases that were registered and have experienced a hike almost double as compared to prior to the lockdown proving that such people are trapped at their houses and are completely helpless.
Domestic Abuse is the violence committed by the victim’s close relationships or someone in his/her domestic circle. It can be caused by anyone including partners, ex-partners, family members, family friends, or other relatives.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Women have been subjugated by men since ages thinking that they have conquered some huge territory and that they can do whatever they want with them. Women have always been taught since childhood the etiquette of behavior like how to talk, how to walk, how to sit all for maintain the respect of the family. But, what they aren’t taught is do whatever it takes to take care of their respect without caring about anyone else. And men, on the other hand, are taught that they are the superior ones and the head of the family which gives rise to their egoistic behavior. As a result, this turns out to be the roots of domestic violence in the coming future which is not limited to only the relations of husband and wife as we saw in the examples above.
Though the word Domestic abuse or violence seems more likely to be about just females, which is more in the ratio compared to others, the violence is not just restricted to them. It can be against any person, child, parent, friends, etc.
VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN
As said earlier the violence is likely to be about women and due to this, men often are scared of admitting or reporting their victimization. This happens because some men are of the thought of becoming a victim of the social stigmas instead. Like, how can a man be a victim? Especially, of domestic violence? Is he not manly enough?
Other men think that society would see it as hiding or trying the truth of the woman, who would be an actual victim and must be just acting as self-defense or retaliation. They fear coming out as LGBTQ, as to be judged by their male peers or being questioned upon their masculinity. Most of these cases go unnoticed because of the fear of being laughed upon, but it’s a no laughing matter. Only the person going through knows the actual suffering; irrespective of the gender.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
Domestic violence occurs against children mainly through adolescence. The minds of children are highly impressionable; whatever happens at this age makes up for their entire life. Going through emotional, mental, and social damage can become a barrier to their developmental growth. Domestic abuse at home often leads them to believe that they are to fear and then start to live in constant fear.
Being beaten up or shouted by an alcoholic father, or a mother who is also the victim of domestic violence by her husband. Being stuck between abusive parents who have lost their compatibility and forget what it affects upon their child. Most children can’t report their cases due to a lack of resources at this age or just out of respect for their elders. This makes them difficult to make friends and become socially isolated instead and lose their empathy towards others.
GERIATRIC DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
For most of the time abuse of the elderly, remains a private matter or hidden from the public view. Initially seen as a social welfare issue and subsequently, a problem of aging, abuse of the elderly, like other forms of family violence, has developed into a public health and justice concern. The geriatric abuse may be of neglect, physical nature, emotional or verbal aggression, financial issues, or any other material maltreatment.
Being thrown out of the house by their children or getting mistreated by them at home or even at any old age house. Being mistreated by the children for the distribution of property or illegal and exploitative use of the funds of the elderly people. In the case of neglect, it might not involve a conscious attempt at the mistreatment. Most of the time it’s intentional, but can be unintentional as well. But all of it eventually leads to a decrease in the quality of life of older people.
Till now we were only talking about the physical injuries that are visible in the name of domestic abuse, but it is surely not confined just to it.
Types of Domestic Abuses
1. PHYSICAL ABUSE
It involves the use of force leading to severe injuries of the victim. Hard slaps, battering the feet, hitting with a belt, punching, stabbing, and forcibly making do things such as drugs. Even if the injury is minimal and it’s just a slap, it would still constitute domestic abuse.
2. EMOTIONAL ABUSE
It involves degrading the self-worth of the person by any come-what-may means. Constant humiliation, insult, criticism account for no reason and making the person believe he is not worth a penny. But it is not only emotional abuse that counts for domestic abuse but comes with all the other abuses.
3. SEXUAL ABUSE
It constitutes the demeaning behaviors such as sexual assault, rape, harassment. If the victim has been forced for an abortion or forcibly not allowed to use any method of contraception such as condoms, IUD, etc. also comes under the same category. This unwelcomed touching can have many diverse effects on the victim’s body.
4. FINANCIAL ABUSE
It is a form of control but is usually less than sexual or physical abuse. It involves asking for dowry again and again or not letting the women gain an education or get a job outside the house. It often includes the dependency of the victim on the offender. With no other source of money, the victim usually forced to go under the abuse with no other choice left.
5. PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE
It mainly involves fair-causing behavior by the offender which is persistent and significant. Unless the abuse is going on for an amount of time, it won’t be considered as domestic abuse. It can include the offender making the victim as his submissive, preventing her to do anything without his permission such as going out, talking to people, wearing the kind of clothes, etc. It eventually leads to emotional abuse with emotional blackmailing.
Effect on Mental Health
Everybody has problems in their lives. Everybody is frustrated. But that doesn’t give everybody the right to take it out on someone for whatever reasons.
Whatever the domestic abuse is, it always leaves a mark on the mental health of not only the victim but also the abuser. While the victims remain shyer and quite, the anger of the abuser keeps escalating due to which none of them remain in their normal state of mind. But, the bigger problem is obviously to be faced by the victim.
Such cases often go unreported because the victim itself doesn’t identify what’s actually going on. Either the victim is scared or neglects the abuse in the name of love and hope for a better future. Being victimized in such situations increases the chances of self-doubt and creates feelings of helplessness all around. This helplessness takes over the control of the mind and makes it lose all the confidence to stand up for oneself and eventually lead to anxiety disorders or depression.
Their minds are so much filled with negativity and frightfulness that even one point of time even therapies don’t work to get to a normal state of mind. It takes a lot of courage after knowing all of the possible risks for one to take a stand for himself but, this is the only solution to get out of such situations. Seeking help, not thinking about the reputation but just one’s life is a very important aspect of getting rid of such abuses.
“At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.” ― Christine Mason Miller