Domestic violence is actually a cycle which is in form of stages. The first stage is referred to as abuse which involves intimidating the victim by making him/her feel inferior. This may be physical, psychological or both. The second stage is known as guilt. This is the feeling that the abuser has after the abusive act to his victim. However his guilt is more because of fear of being caught but not so much the anguish he caused to his victim. Rationalization is the next stage in this cycle and it involves justification by the abuser of his actions.
Usually the abuser will blame the victim accusing him or her of provoking him into committing the abusive act. Normal behavior also known as honey moon phase is the next stage where the abuser makes all attempts to normalize life between him/her and the victim (Wilson, 2005). When the victim forgives the abuser and their life resumes back to normal the abuser will start looking for ‘mistakes’ that can warrant him to abuse the victim yet again. The last stage in the cycle of domestic violence is known as set up and involves the abuser looking for conducive circumstances to abuse the victim.
As already mentioned, domestic violence takes various forms. Although physical abuse is the most common there are other forms which include emotional, sexual and financial/economic abuse. Emotional abuse may be by use of words or non-verbal. Whichever form it takes its main aim is to lower a person’s self esteem so that one’s independence and self worth diminishes. It is believed that emotional abuse is far much worse than physical abuse since the scars for the former can last for a long time (Mc Cue, 2007). Physical abuse involves battering or assault which causes physical injury to the victim.
This is the most common among cases of domestic violence. Economic or financial abuse refers to controlling a person in terms of finances so that they suffer as a result of the control. From the above discussion it is clear that domestic violence is an acute social problem that must be combated by all means. Just what can be done to do away with this menace in the society? Researchers have tried to come up with various proposals to help end this menace but none of them has been fully successful. We seek to look at some of the steps that can be taken to reduce domestic violence.
Firstly people must be educated so that they are aware that domestic violence is not acceptable and is not a way of solving domestic problems. It is also important that victims of domestic violence are encouraged to speak out. Silence only makes the situation worse. It is thus important to let somebody else know what you are going through.
Jenkins P. (2001). Stopping Domestic Violence, London: Springer. Mc Cue M. L (2007). Domestic violence: New York: ABC-CLIO. Reiss A. J. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Violence, Washington: National Academies. Wilson, K. J (2005). When Violence Begins at Home. London: Hunter House.