Domestic violence is any form of physical abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as that between spouses or those who are cohabiting. While it is estimated that some 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes, domestic violence is often greatly underreported, due to the secretive nature of the abuse and its tendency to take place behind closed doors.
While domestic violence is often popularly conceived of as violence between marital partners, any form of violence between those who live together can be considered a form of domestic abuse. Abusive, violent behavior from parents, children, or even roommates are all forms of domestic abuse, even if they are not frequently acknowledged as such. Other behaviors, such as stalking by a partner, threats of violence, psychological abuse, and financial abuse (such as withholding access to one's source of money) can all be considered forms of domestic violence. In some instances, domestic violence may take place for religious or cultural reasons. Honor killings, acid throwing, genital mutilation, marital rape, and stoning are all forms of domestic violence that are often performed for these reasons.
Whatever the cause, domestic violence is one of the most traumatic and dangerous experiences an individual can face. No one should feel unsafe in their own home. Those who suffer from acts of domestic violence often go on to develop mental health conditions, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and in some cases, may even be killed at the hands of their abuser. It is because of this that domestic violence should always be treated as a serious issue, and that survivors should always be believed and helped in any way they can.
Signs of Domestic Violence
Due to the secretive nature of domestic violence, much of this form of abuse goes underreported. Victims of domestic violence may lie to protect their abusers, often due to extreme feelings of shame and fear surrounding the abuse. While it can be difficult to recognize domestic violence, victims may display the following signs and symptoms:
Often, victims of domestic violence may not recognize that the behavior they are facing is abusive. You may be a victim of domestic abuse if you recognize any of the following symptoms in your or your domestic partner:
Due to the serious nature of domestic violence, it is imperative that victims get help from a qualified professional as soon as possible. Those who suffer at the hands of an abuse domestic partner may fear for their safety when seeking help for the abuse. They may believe that if they can placate the abuser, then they will calm down and things will get better. It is important to note, however, that patterns of abuse rarely get better without outside intervention. Given the increased recognition of domestic violence in recent decades, there are now many resources that survivors of domestic violence can take advantage of to ensure their safety and well-being.
In addition to the very real physical threats that come with domestic violence, survivors may often feel an additional sense of shame and guilt over the abuse. Many blame themselves for their abuser's actions. The reality is, however, that no one deserves to be treated this way. Domestic violence is never the fault of the victim, and combating harmful myths such as these is a vital part of raising awareness and putting an end to domestic violence.
If you believe you may be suffering from domestic violence, our qualified team at Overcomers Counseling are ready to help. We are dedicated to providing empathetic, compassionate support in a caring, shame-free environment.
No one should have to suffer in their own home. E-mail or call us now to set up a 100% confidential consultation. Call 719-345-2424.