Domestic violence is a very touchy issue. Victims of it usually do not want to admit to being abused or do not even realize the seriousness of the situation they are in. What falls under the category of domestic violence?
First of all, if one person has control over the other. It can concern husband-wife or parent-child relations and also siblings. Violence appears when somebody demonstrates their power over other household member(s). It may manifest itself in many different ways, i.e.
- hitting with objects
- pulling clothes or hair
- continuous criticizing
- constant blaming
- controlling and checking
- destroying other person‘s property
- prohibiting from getting additional income
- controlling expenses
- taking away money
- forbidding to buy certain products
- not paying bills, alimonies etc.
Above from the examples listed above, this type of abuse may have many different forms. Basically each person that feels in any way dominated by someone is a victim of domestic violence. What measures can be taken to deal with it?
It may be cumbersome to help afflicted persons as many of them do not see the problem or think they are to be blame for this situation. If you are a witness of domestic violence remember to show empathy and understanding.
The most important thing is to break off the violence and inform institutions specializing in this matter like social welfare, district authorities or the police. The victims may of course turn for help and they should obtain as much evidence as possible to have proofs of abuse that can be presented in a court, if it comes to that. It is hard to prove violence, especially the psychological one. The best way is to record abusive behaviour using a camera. It can be done by using micro cams hidden in everyday objects that do not arise any suspicions. The basic advice is to have your mobile phone with you so that you can call the police or your family. A good idea is to prepare a safe house where the victim can escape to when they need to leave their house immediately. It is also worth to notify nearby neighbours as they are always close and can help in case of emergency. Also their vigilant presence may hinder unpunished abuse of one person on the other.
You should always react to domestic violence. Statistics show that this problem is grave.
Domestic abuse statistics:
- Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
- Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
- Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
- Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
- Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002)
- In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible Forced Marriages.
In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide