Domestic violence is everywhere these days. From horrific news articles and television stories to celebrities you follow, all carry instances of domestic violence. On a societal level, there seems to be no escaping it.
So, how do you, as an active member living in a society marred with such a social evil, begin to ensure that such incidents could be discouraged, or even eliminated?
Living in an information age where information is readily available, we can learn about how we can play our part in preventing such occurrences from happening.
Types of abuse:
Domestic violence isn’t limited only to physical abuse—it can also include emotional, sexual, or even economic abuse. The following are some examples of abuse that can occur in an unhealthy relationship:
Physical abuse: Hitting, kicking, slapping, punching, pulling hair, pushing, or restraining.
Sexual abuse: Coercing a partner into performing sexual acts; not respecting your partner’s boundaries and making a partner feel guilty about not doing everything you ask them to do.
Emotional abuse: Calling names, making threats, intimidating, and isolating the victim from friends and family.
Economic abuse: Controlling through finances, prohibiting access to money, and forbidding work.
Stalking: Following or spying on your partner; showing up unannounced at home, work or school; calling repeatedly; sending unwanted gifts and messages.
However, there are many different actions you could take to try and prevent domestic violence from happening. To end any type of abuse in your life, abusive relationships need to be dealt with immediately and there are many things you can do that will help.
You may not have a lifetime of experience a domestic violence social worker has when it comes to dealing with cases of domestic violence, but you could arm yourself with the right knowledge to help you successfully defuse a potentially charged domestic situation.
We will now discuss some suggestions that would help you end and prevent abuse in the future.
Emotional abuse is as terrible as physical abuse
Every day, thousands of women and men suffer the physical, mental, and emotional consequences of abuse they endure at the hands of their spouses or partners. Sometimes, people involved in abusive relationships can feel intimidated by the violence and they end up staying longer in the abusive relationship than they should.
Unfortunately, they end up justifying their loved one’s behavior by claiming that it is not violent or that it is only their way of showing love.
However, domestic violence does not just include physical abuse. In truth, any kind of abuse can be harmful to a person’s physical and mental well-being.
The following are some ways you can start preventing domestic violence:
Recognize the problem
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence or affect another person. This includes any behaviors that seeks to intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten or injure someone.
Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It occurs irrespective of age, ethnic background, or religious affiliations.
Talk about it
Domestic violence can be reduced by talking to people about healthy relationships and dating abuse.We can also educate people about the risk factors, red flags, and warning signs of domestic violence. Talk to the loved one who is going through such an unhealthy relationship, and also teach the young children about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Becoming an advocate for domestic violence survivors can help raise awareness about the issue, educate communities about healthy relationships, provide support to those who have experienced abuse, and much more.
Seek help early
Getting help early is key when it comes to preventing domestic violence. If you think someone you know may be faced with abuse, don’t wait to act, call for help. Domestic abuse hotline services provide you with confidential support and will connect you with local resources, including emergency shelters, counseling services, and legal aid.
Observe the law
Make efforts to understand what the law dictates in cases of domestic violence. Knowing the law about domestic violence will help you know your rights and responsibilities, so that you do not become a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence in the future.
Domestic Violence laws are an important part of legislation that defines and prohibits domestic violence, provides protection to victims and offers advice on how to prevent it.
It defines domestic violence as any act, omission, or behavior committed against a domestic partner, whether it’s physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or psychological abuse. It also includes stalking, financial control, and damage to property.
Teach and show respect for others
Violence and abuse begin as a lack of respect for others. Teach your children and teens that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, especially when it comes to dating and relationships.
One way to about this is to tell them stories of domestic violence, and then draw out lessons from those stories. You can also talk about what healthy relationships look like, so they’ll have a good example when they start dating.
Be vigilant about what your child watches on the TV
Set limits on violent video games, movies, and TV shows that portray violence, even if these programs are rated as acceptable for your child’s age group. Talk to your child about how what they see on TV is not a reflection of reality, and something that shouldn’t be embodied.
Domestic Violence Prevention Begins with Education
Domestic violence prevention starts with education. You can change a violent culture by empowering people with the right knowledge, skills, and understanding for creating a nonviolent society. You can teach your kids conflict resolution techniques.
It is important to teach youth seek out words to express their anger or assertiveness, rather than their fists or weapons. Teach them the value of restraint, self-control, and respecting others.
Beware of a controlling partner
If you’re worried about your partner’s anger or controlling behavior, consider these tips:
Tell family and friends about the abuse, and ask them for help in leaving the relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, call a domestic violence hotline or find an advocate or counselor who can help you develop a safety plan.
Domestic violence is, unfortunately, rampant. It is a serious offense that should be taken more seriously than it is now. Between 2006 and 2010, nearly half of all women murdered in the U.S. were killed by their own partners. These cases often occur inside the homes, with the children present, which can leave them traumatized for life.The above-mentioned steps need to be taken to prevent cases of domestic violence from happening in front or anywhere near you.