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Violence is a part of our life. No matter how hard we try, it always finds a way to enter our homes and hearts. Domestic violence occurs when an individual uses force to injure another one physically, emotionally, sexually or financially. Women believe that they are abused because of not achieving household tasks, being unfaithful and refusing to have sex.
People do not always report about the domestic violence. Many feel scared, ashamed and guilty, so they try to hide everything not only from strangers, but even from their friends and other members of the family. Teenage dating violence has lots in common with domestic violence, as one partner abuses the other one in order to gain control over him/her.
The motivation to conduct violence differs depending on the gender. Females claim to use force to defend themselves while males want to control the relationships. When girls try to use violence their partners usually laugh at them. When boys do it, girls tend to be in depression, commit suicide or take drugs. That is why it is important to report about the violence to the police and support groups in order to be safe and start a new life.
Violence is a part of our life. No matter how hard we try, it always finds a way to enter our homes and hearts. Is seems that the greatest pain is the one caused by a person we love. Violence may be conducted by both genders, by one or two partners.
In this case we are talking about the intimate partner violence, which includes teenage dating and domestic ones. It is even reported that about 17,000 homicides happen each year because of the intimate partner violence (Kenney, 2011). This abnormal relationship can turn not only an abuser into a murderer, but also a victim.
It is commonly thought that women usually act savagely one time while men tend to do long-term violence cycles. All these have a negative impact on the individuals, their family and society in common. That is why today many organizations offer mental and material support to the victims.
Domestic violence occurs when an individual uses force to injure another one physically, emotionally, sexually or financially. The force can be applied to a partner, child or elder. As a rule, women become victims of domestic violence. From the very beginning only physical attack was considered to be domestic violence. Today we differentiate different types of it.
According to Lynetta (2011), physical abuse occurs when a person uses his/her “size, strength or presence to hurt or control someone else” (p. 2). Emotional abuse is harder to prove, but it is not less serious and threatening. It includes insulting one’s nearest and dearest, isolating, intimidations, criticizing etc. Any sexual actions determined to control a person are considered to be sexual abuse. It includes touching, rape or minimizing feelings.
No one is protected from becoming a victim of domestic violence. It is even thought that “this is not random violence; the risk factor is being female” (Finley, 2013, p. 20). 20 per cent of women who experienced violence suffered from domestic abuse. 85 per cent of its victims are females, which is an extremely high number that shows the size of the problem and provokes its investigation.
A lot of factors can influence people’s lives and increase the possibility of violence in a family. For example, a parent may feel guilty for the child’s behaviour and redirect it on the spouse. Or one may feel neglected because all attention is paid to a child and show dissatisfaction through abuse.
If some members of a family have mental or physical problems they might become victims (having no strength to retaliate) or abusers (trying to show their power). Financial problems and problems at work cause stress and make one nervous, which can also lead to domestic violence. If violent actions were a normal thing for several generations, it is difficult for the descendants to omit the repetition of the story.
Some women are taught that all men behave in a certain way and are rude. People who spent a lot of time isolated from others may feel insecure and yield to circumstances. Alcohol and drug abuse scramble brains and make a person unstable. This can also happen because of the society’s influence. As people are made to think that one-parent households are abnormal and should not exist.
It forces them to do everything to keep the family together. Women believe that they are abused because of not achieving household tasks, being unfaithful and refusing to have sex. People do not always report about the domestic violence. Many feel scared, ashamed and guilty, so they try to hide everything not only from strangers, but even from their friends and other members of the family.
Some blame themselves being sure that such things happen only to people like them. Or if victims totally depend on the abuser, they may think that they will not survive without him/her. It is very hard to prove that one suffers from abuse, if the partners do not want to admit and report the situation. However, there are some warning signs that might help to define a person who needs help. These are:
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- “Frequent bruises and injuries that are explained by being clumsy or some other story;
- Absences from work or school due to bruises or injury;
- Low self-esteem, feeling that you cannot make it alone;
- Personality changes – an outgoing person becomes quiet and shy around the partner;
- Fear of conflict – as a result of being battered some victims may generalize the experience of powerlessness;
- Self-blame – taking all the blame for thing that go wrong;
- Stress related problems – poor sleep, non-specific aches or pains, stomach problems, chronic headaches (Lynetta, 2011, p.10).
To leave the abuser is a step to improve one’s life. But, unfortunately, it is not enough. Very often abusers try to stop or even kill the victim as they got to know that the escape is planning or has already taken place. That is why it is important to report about domestic violence to the police and support groups in order to be safe and start a new life.
Teen Dating Violence
It is normal for teenagers to have dates and spend time with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Unfortunately, having not enough own experience and looking at parents who are abused by their spouses, teens are likely to suffer from teen dating violence. It has lots in common with domestic violence, as one partner abuses other one in order to gain control over him/her.
According to the research “1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner” (Kenney, 2011, p. 53). Wanting to save independence and being ashamed, they usually keep silent and let nobody know about the abuse. Teenagers dating violence includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, just like domestic one.
What is more, stalking is also typical for teens. This refers to “a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics that are unwanted and cause fear in the victim” (Understanding teen dating violence, 2014, p. 1). Due to the good knowledge and common use of technologies, teenagers tend to abuse their partners electronically. They send messages constantly or even post sexual photos of the partner.
Teens are apt to believe that such things like name calling are normal and acceptable in relationships. These actions may be considered to be a joke at first, but soon they might turn into abusive behaviour. According to the research 22 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men suffer from dating violence between 11 and 17 years, and 9 percent of high school student claim that they were hurt by their partners on purpose.
As in the case with domestic violence, females are the primary victims. The study shows that “90 per cent of abused boys reported feeling minimal pain or no pain at all during the worst abusive episode, while only 8.7 per cent of the abused girls reported minimal suffering or no suffering at all. A total of 47.8 per cent of abused girls indicated severe pain and bodily injuries as a result of the worst abusive episode” (Finley, 2013, p. 492).
Also more than a half of the girls who were questioned claimed that their partners initiated the violence, as a counter to a quarter of boys. The motivation to conduct violence differs depending on the gender. Females claim to use force to defend themselves while males want to control the relationships. When girls try to use violence their partners usually laugh at them. When boys do it, girls tend to be in depression, commit suicide or take drugs.
Thus, it can be seen that a number of adults and teenagers suffer from abusive actions conducted by their partners. There are no particular abusers or victims, but females are more likely to be the ones who suffer. The situations between adults and adolescents are similar, but not identical.
Teenage girls do not depend on their partners as much as adults. They do not live together, nor have children, so get more opportunities to leave. Teens are more influenced by their peers. They want to act like others and keep up with them. As adolescents have less experience, it is harder for them to cope with such situations, and they are likely to treat them as normal ones.
Having problems at home, adolescents may prefer to stay with their partner paying no regard to the violence. There are a lot of programs made to protect people from abuse; however, the majority of them are focused on adults, not teenagers.
Finley, L. (2013). Encyclopedia of domestic violence and abuse. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Kenney, K. (2011). Domestic violence. North Mankato, MN: ABDO.
Lynetta. (2011). Domestic violence: You are not alone. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Understanding teen dating violence. (2014). Web.