Domestic violence has been identified as a leading concern in the United States and other countries. It is linked to distressing long-term effects, which primarily influence women and children. By definition, domestic violence means physical, sexual, emotional, or financial cruelty against another person (Dutton 23). Lots of domestic violence incidents are triggered by men against their spouses and kids. Its signs may not be directly identifiable in many cases especially when it is in the form of emotional abuse. Women and children who have experienced domestic violence are prone to low self-esteem and feel socially separated from other members of society. Moreover, the victims may be at risk of suffering from mental conditions such as depression, dissociation, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
It is vital to study the following problem due to the ever increasing occurrences involving domestic violence, which majorly affect women and children. Usually, the consequences tend to worsen because the victims lack access to the necessary means of avoiding the problem. Therefore, one needs to identify the viable prevention approaches and the resources available for women and children affected and those seeking to escape the negative impact of domestic violence. To reach the objectives, it is necessary to investigate whether the affected females and kids can avoid the problem and cope with it. It is also important to identify the resources viable to help them when they are subsequently faced with domestic violence.
The study of this kind would be useful for current and future use in suggesting the best approaches to deal with domestic violence and its effects. Ultimately, it can provide an insight into the right interventions for particular women and children with the aim of reducing traumas and emotional injuries. Additionally, the research can help the affected men and women have a better understanding of the issue, learn about safety measures, and the ways to strengthen the bond with the abusive spouses or fathers.
Various scholars have apprised the subject of domestic violence. For example, Dutton notes that the violence directed at women and children extensively prevails (403). However, no comprehensive research has been conducted concerning the subject. One of the reasons for this is that there has been a debate questioning whether domestic violence exists (Edleson et al. 962). Data collected through national representative surveys show that men and women in intimate relationships are equally violent (Bancroft, Silverman, and Ritchie 96). According to Howard et al., a study of 82 conflicting couples has found that females are more aggressive and likely to use physical force than males (n.p.). Furthermore, it has been noted that women tend to resort to violence as a measure of resolving conflicts in familial relationships. However, the findings by these scholars contrast the data provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It indicates that women are five times more likely to become victims of domestic violence than men (Bancroft, Silverman, and Ritchie 110). As such, the outcomes of these differing attained results have led to opposing conceptualization about the existence and extents of domestic violence. Consequently, debates have been trending and have shifted the attention from female initiated violence to male initiated husband battering.
Effects of Domestic Violence
The leading effects of domestic violence on women and children are physical and emotional traumas, which has negative impact on the body, mind, and spirit. They can influence victims’ interaction and response to the world around them (Dutton 341). They are also associated with physical injuries and mind shifts, which lead to interrupted thoughts and moral instability.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental disorder caused by terrifying events such as threats, fights, and abusiveness from battling family heads. The condition is characterized by symptoms such as severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the situations and the events (Bancroft, Silverman, and Ritchie 177). Many victims of PTSD may have difficulties coping with their responsibilities and other people. They require constant care and emotional support so that they can deal with their issues.
Depression is an expected repercussion of domestic violence. It adversely affects the victims, especially women and children as a result of battering male family heads. The condition is a constant feeling of sadness, hopelessness, unexplained crying, extreme weight gain or loss, and displeasure in various activities. It affects a person’s self-esteem and may lead to suicidal thoughts. Victims may require constant emotional support and counseling, as well as regular monitoring. According to the study by Edleson et al., 60 percent of females experiencing domestic violence are prone to depression (968).
These are feelings of not being present or being ‘ruled out’. The affected persons may be entrapped in fantasies, and they may be unable to cope with the real world situations (Dutton 357). Consequently, they may be unable to deal with their expected duties and responsibilities.
Physical effects may emerge and influence a person’s overall health. They include, but are not limited to shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, sexual dysfunction, involuntary shaking, muscle tension, and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns. These may lead to severe outcomes if not promptly taken under control (Bancroft, Silverman, and Ritchie 202).
Various viable recommendations have been identified as potential solutions to the problem of the domestic violence. To start with, there are service-related interventions. Many researchers have consensually agreed that service interventions and treatments for affected women and children lead to pleasing outcomes. The victims should turn to counselors and caregivers who can provide cognitive restructuring, as well as emotional support and advice. The most effective way to treat traumas is through a cognitive behavioral model (Howard et al. n. p.). The service-related interventions may encompass treatment components such as trauma re-exposure, violence education, and cognitive restructuring. Others elements are the emotional expression and regulation, social problem-solving, safety planning, and parental training. Alternatively, direct services such as psychotherapy and support groups for affected women and children are effective too.
Secondly, there is a legal approach, which is among the most efficient ones when working with the victims of domestic violence. It helps to preserve their safety and welfare. Many of them are unaware that legal options are available and useful. Thus, the approach involves educating the victims on the legal variants to consider when they suffer from domestic violence.
Thirdly, one should mention the implementation of domestic violence prevention programs. Many human rights advocates believe that the best way to avert it is by trying to stop offenders. Various approaches may be used to reach the aim. For instance, spreading cultural messages has proven agreeable. They can be passed through the mass media, role models, and social environments. Children can be reached through schools.
Fourthly, the ever increasing problem can be solved by formulating consistent and severe penalties for domestic violence offenders. The abusers would calm down because of fear of the risk of jail sentences and other severe punishments. Presently, lack of constant and firm penalties accelerates the domestic violence as the offenders have an opportunity to commit it and, then, choose between counseling and legal charges. Their lenient preferences are quickly granted. As such, penalties should be stern and consistent.
Other useful approaches which can be viable solutions to the issue under consideration include increasing funding for support services, assisting women to become economically independent, and improving the procedures in which courts handle the cases of domestic violence. These interventions would trigger a decline in the number of incidents connected with the problem.
Presently, more than 4 million women and children are exposed to domestic violence and the adverse effects associated with it. The professionals and service providers may not quickly identify the victims because the signs of the problem may not readily manifest themselves. Moreover, the screening and monitoring by the state law are unreliable. Furthermore, the agencies expected to protect the affected women and children usually blame the victims. As a result, the suffering females and kids are not forthcoming in reporting the abuse to allow service providers to identify them.
Thus, the research into the issue would be beneficial as it would identify alternative services and professionals. They might be very useful in providing initial interventions. Additionally, the findings of the study would be extremely helpful in establishing some practical guidelines for interventions grounded on the victims’ experiences. Presently, no extensive research has been conducted on evidence-based practices regarding the interferences viable to assist the affected women and children. As a result, one needs to provide more effective techniques to be used in screening victims and pointing out the preferred points of entry for professionals. It would also assist in the identification of efficient intervention strategies.