Monday, January 27, 2020


In spite of the attention paid to domestic violence in recent years, the research endeavor is still quite young. So much remains unknown. You may find yourself asking questions such as; Just what is domestic violence? Is it gender based? Does it attack certain social or economic classes? Why would someone take it? Why doesn’t the victim just leave?
Domestic violence is a crime. It refers specifically to violence of any sort within a home, by and to persons living together. By Florida Statute, persons defined as “Family or Household Member” are divided into six areas. They are: spouses, ex-spouses, related through blood or marriage, lived together in the past as if a family, have a child together even if they never lived together, a child battering a parent. The term Domestic Violence has been used to describe a wide range of acts, including physical assault, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, battering, stalking, murder, rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. Violence is perhaps better described as any aggressive behavior that adversely and disproportionately affects a person.
Assault - a threat by work or act to do violence, with the ability to do the violence, creating imminent fear in the victim.
Aggravated Assault- an assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill.
Battery - to threaten, attempt or actually inflict physical harm on a person. Touching or striking a victim against their will or causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement. Throwing objects at another person. Pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, hitting or choking.
Sexual Battery - Carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Sexual penetration of any type including vaginal, anal or oral penetration whether by penis, fingers or objects against her will.
Sexual Abuse- includes demanding or with-holding sex or the act of forcing sexual acts not accepted by the victim.
Emotional and Psychological Abuse- refers to the types of behaviors involving psychological and emotional assaults. These include but are not limited to verbal attacks such as ridicule, verbal harassment, and name calling. These assaults are designed to make the victim believe he/she is not worthwhile in order to keep him/her under the control of the abuser.
Isolation is used to separate the victim from his/her social support structure. The abuser possibly denies the victim access to finances and other resources, thus limiting his/her independence. The abuser may demonstrate extreme jealousy or possessiveness, such as controlling with whom victim has contact. Included as well are verbal threats of abuse, harm, or torture directed at the victim, his/her family, children or friends. Damage or destruction of the victim’s property.
Stalking - To willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harasses another. Includes repeated harassing phone calls. Aggravated Stalking- stalking with a credible threat to place the victim in fear of death or bodily harm; or if there is an injunction and misdemeanor and stalking occurs. Includes threatening his/her family.
False Imprisonment - forcibly or by threat or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without authority and against his/her will.
Kidnapping - forcibly or by threat or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning or restraining another person against his/her will and without lawful authority with the intent to: hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage, commit or facilitate the commission of any felony, inflict bodily harm upon or terrorize the victim or another person.
Domestic Violence is a law enforcement issue, not a civil issue. Domestic violence is a crime and is never justified as a result of a victim’s behavior.

Victims of Domestic Violence share a common thread of physical, emotional and behavioral traits. These may include blaming herself for the violence, exhibiting low self esteem (which is magnified by the abuser’s confirmation that she is “worthless”). She may fear leaving or staying. She probably minimizes or denies that a problem exists. She is often isolated from family , friends, or any support systems. She may indeed exhibit unpredictable behavior, (stemming from the unpredictable behavior of her abuser). She may feel shame and guilt. She often characterizes herself as a traditionalist in the home. She probably accepts responsibility for the abuser’s actions, and believes she deserves the punishment she receives. She may use sexual relations as a way to establish intimacy. She often believes she can change the abuser’s behavior. She often believes she can help herself without outside intervention. She often believes she can help herself without outside intervention.
Growing up in a violent home has a devastating effect on children. Children in homes where domestic violence occurs suffer from physical, emotional, behavioral and developmental disorders. Physically, these children may suffer from eating disorders, digestive problems, bed wetting, headaches and insomnia. Emotional disorders such as irritability, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, low self esteem, denial, self-blame, nightmares, extreme anger, withdrawal, uncommunicative, indifferent or impassive. Behavioral disorders may include the fact that they startle easily, cry excessively and or act aggressively. The child may be verbally abusive defiant, destructive, clinging, or whining. Also may act out violently, hurting siblings, peers, animals. May lie, steal, or become self-abusive. May model behavior of same sex parent, may give way to peer pressure easily, prone to substance abuse, promiscuity, self-mutilation, runaway or either protective or abusive of mom. Developmental disorders include failure to thrive, poor verbal skills, quiet, poor cognitive skills, poor motor skills, having a fear of change or new things, and people,. May have bad grades or fail in school, learning disabilities, poor peer relationships, few or no friends. May demonstrate immaturity, truancy and stay away from home.

Domestic violence knows no gender, economic or social level, race nor religion. It is happening to someone you know right now! Maybe your neighbor? Your sister?. Your mother? Your Aunt? Your friend?. You co-worker? Your Doctor? Your Hairdresser? The Teller at your bank? Maybe you.

1 comment:

  1. Gaining insight into her particular pattern and making the connections between her past and present help her to understand herself and her motives. However, because the unconscious drive to repeat the past is so compelling, one cannot expect themselves to change overnight. She will need to remain strong in order to brace against old patterns as they reappear.
    Breaking the cycle of abuse is a lifelong journey. She need not expect perfection too soon. Many mistakes will be made along this journey. But if she is truly committed to not being abused and not being abusive, she can be the person who breaks the cycle of abuse in her family!
    “It starts with self-reflection. Introspection. In order for a victim to recover, she must look in the mirror! This is a new beginning. A time of self discovery. A renovation of her soul. A time to reach out for knowledge, and to use that knowledge in a productive manner. A time for the rebirth of a new woman! A healthy, happy and joyous woman! A time to rejoice this new life we now lead. It continues with forgiveness of both yourself and others. We are all fallible human beings. Intolerance of our own frailties leads to stress, tension, and low self-esteem. Intolerance of others leads to blame and anger. Learn to forgive and let go.


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