Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors aimed at manipulating and controlling the victim. These behaviors may include physical and sexual assaults but also verbal or emotional abuse. The victim may feel frightened, that she has no control over her life, and blame herself for the abuse.
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- Studies suggest that 3.3 to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year.
- Women between the ages of 20 to 24 experience the greatest risk of intimate partner violence.
- Half of the men who assault their wives also abuse their children.
What causes domestic violence?
Abuse is caused by the abusers need for power and control. Many abusive partners do not accept responsibility for their abusive behaviors. Often, they make excuses for their actions by blaming stress, abuse of alcohol, loss of control, or the behavior of the victim.
- Domestic violence often begins with threats, name-calling and breaking objects, building up to slapping, pushing and other violent activities.
- The abuser controls, isolates and makes all the decisions, often resorting to intimidation and humiliation with put-downs.
- Some will threaten suicide or even threaten to harm personal property and children.
Why do Victims stay?
Victims of domestic violence stay everyday in abusive relationships because of love, fear for their lives, fear of deportation, worry about their children, worry about their pets, lack of financial stability, lack of support, among many other reasons.
- Children who experience domestic violence are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors and suffer from anxiety, fear ad post traumatic stress disorders.
- Battered women lose their jobs due to absenteeism, which threatens a woman’s livelihood.
- Physical injuries sustained by women can lead to chronic medical problems as they age.
Types of Violence
- Physical: hitting, choking, punching, rape and/or murder.
- Emotional: verbal or non-verbal, name-calling, making all of the decisions.
- Financial: control of finances, forcing financial dependence.
- Sexual: forcing unwanted sexual acts.
- Spiritual: the forced abandonment of personal moral beliefs and things of importance.
- A previous experience with domestic abuse in the home is the strongest predictor of domestic violence in adulthood.
- Anger is one of the leading causes of domestic violence in the United States.
- Stress, depression, desperation, jealousy, and economic hardship may also set off bouts of abuse.
- Domestic abuse victims almost always show symptoms of depression.
- Depression interferes with a person’s ability to think, work, eat, sleep or socialize with others.
- Adult women who have been abused in a relationship during the past five years show rates of depression 2 1/2 times greater than women who have not been abused.
Abusers may use the following tactics to control their victims:
- Isolation – Controlling who the victim goes out with, where, when and why. Not allowing them to get a job or drive. Not allowing them to contact their family and limiting contact with the outside world.
- Emotional abuse -Making the victim feel bad about their body, intelligence, or the way they look. Making the victim believe that they are not worth anything and that the abuse is because of the victim’s behavior.
- Threats -Threatening to call the police or immigration if the victim doesn’t do what the abuser wants. Threatening to take the children away or threatening to harm family or pets. Threatening to turn into the police.
- Acting like a tyrant (ruler) -Treating the victim like a servant; making all the important decisions, making the victim do things they do not want to do.
- Economic abuse -Not letting the victim work; making the victim work unlawfully; giving the victim allowance only to buy food, but not allowing access to more money or bank accounts. Taking the victims paycheck and not giving them any money or just limited money from it.
- Using the children -Making the victim feel guilty and responsible for everything that happens to the children. Insulting the victim and humiliating the victim in front of the children is a form of abuse. Taking the authority away from the victim as a parent and pitting the children against them.
If you believe you are a victim of domestic violence in any way, please call us at 941-627-6000. An advocate is available to speak to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please, also click safety planning for a customized plan for safety.
C.A.R.E. Inc. is pleased to provide or facilitate accommodations, including American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening devices, and alternative formats of printed materials, upon request from persons who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or are living with disabilities. Please request appropriate assistance from any of our staff.