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Domestic violence is an abusive behavior by one or both partners in an intimate relationship, for instance, married, dating, cohabiting, close knit, or friends. The violence may be committed in many forms, such as throwing objects, kicking, slapping and hitting. Sexual violence is the forcible penetration or sexual act in the body of another person without her consent. Dating violence is the sexual or physical violence in a relationship which includes verbal and emotional violence.
Violence among women
In the US, it is estimated that more than three women are killed by their spouses per day, which causes severe injuries. One in every four women has experienced violence by a boyfriend or a spouse. Women are 84% likely to be abused and about three – fourths of those who commit family violence are the males. It is also estimated that sexual assaults or rape in 2007 for those who are 12 years or older was 1.8% compared to the males with 0.1 per 1000 males (Catalano, 2007).
In addition, the bureau of justice statistics estimates that 3.4 million people were victims of stalking in the year 2005 – 2006, which comes in form of cyber stalking or instant messaging and electronic monitoring devices.
Family Violence Prevention Fund (2011) outlines that girls and boys send nude photos of themselves or others and sexual evocative messages through email. 50 % of the girls say that pressure from guys is the reason why they do so, and 18% of the boys say that it is the pressure comes from the girls. Adolescent girls in the US are victims of emotional, physical and abuse from their boyfriends.
Children between the ages of 11 to 14 are also victims of dating violence. Teen victims are more likely to use drugs, smoke, and take diet pills. They also involve themselves in sexual behaviors or even contemplate suicide. Abusive behavior in teen dating is the same as adult domestic violence. Teens may not recognize abuse because they have minimal knowledge about relationships. They interpret jealously and scheming behaviors as signs of love.
Children under the age of 12 years are victims of homes that experience intimate partner violence. Young children suffer from emotional abuse, physical abuse and neglect, and this makes the child to have relationship difficulties and lack of trust. If the child is abused by parents or the primary care givers they find it difficult to trust anyone.
They feel worthless, used and suffer from stigma and shame. They suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, for example bed wetting and nightmares and are at great risk of suffering from headaches and gastrointestinal problems. An adult survivor of child abuse suffers from anxiety, anger and depression and they finally become drug addicts.
Violence in Different countries
The rate of sexual violence in other nations like Japan and Ethiopia, range from 15 to 71 percent. Family Violence Prevention Fund (2011) explains that at least every three women globally are beaten, raped and undergo many abuses in their lifetime.
The consequences faced by women victims are stroke, heart disease, asthma, headaches, broken bones, and pelvic pain. 70 percent are likely to drink heavily compared to those who have not experienced violence. Psychological effects are depression, suicidal behavior, inability to concentrate, inability to trust, and fear of intimacy and flash backs.
In conclusion, to reduce violence and abuse, we need to have education programs especially in schools to teach boys and girls about dating violence so that they should stop the behavior before it begins. Many girls do not know that it is against the law to be abused. If they see early signs of an abusive relationship, they should end it before it gets worse and violence threats should be taken seriously.
By examining the underlying factors that cause abuse, counseling should be given and the victims should seek counseling as soon as possible and contact national domestic violence hotline. The abusers should seek counseling to enable them to manage anger, jealousy and mood swings.
Catalano, S. (2007). Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Web.
Family Violence Prevention Fund. (2011). Get the Facts: The Facts on Domestic, Dating and Sexual Violence. Web.