The way that domestic abuse has been perceived by society has evolved through the years. Years ago, it was treated as a private problem between the people experiencing it and something that needed to remain private and within the confines of the home where the victim lived. It was understood as a family problem in which nobody wanted to be involved. Things have changed, and the amount of research we know about domestic abuse today would have been inconceivable only two decades ago. Whether you are the victim of abuse by your partner or you have unjustly been accused of perpetrating domestic violence against your partner, you have the right to talk to a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer and get help dealing with this situation.
Read on for five things you need to know about domestic abuse.
1. Domestic abuse is a frequent crime
As is the case with most crimes, it is impossible to know the exact number of incidents of domestic abuse. Research indicates that as many as 25% to 50% of all marriages have experienced an assault at the criminal level, many of which go unreported.
Also, this crime seems to permeate all areas of society, making no distinction when it comes to the geographical location where it happens, the education level of the perpetrator or the victim, their socioeconomic status, or their race. It has also been estimated that at some point, as much as 40% of men may become violent with their intimate partners.
2. It is a crime mostly against women
Although a small percentage of males may report that they have been victims of domestic abuse, the reality is that this is generally a crime against women. It is believed that as many as 95% of domestic violence incidents are carried out by males against female victims.
Women may misbehave, become aggressive, and lose their tempers, yet they are much more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of violence. Regarding gay and lesbian relationships, it is believed that while domestic abuse may also exist, incidents may not be reported accurately in numbers.
Read about one woman’s story in this guest post on signs of gaslighting in relationships.
3. Domestic abuse is about power and control
There is a constant when it comes to analyzing the reasons why domestic violence occurs; the main trigger seems to be power and control. Some male partners want to control women through the use of violence.
This seems to be a micro-reflection of a theme that is all too common in modern society of male control over women. Some people believe that change needs to come from law enforcement, prosecution, public leaders, and others to change public attitudes about gender violence and oppression.
4. Domestic abuse also impacts children
Some perpetrators of domestic abuse also abuse children. Even if children are not the direct victims of abuse, living in a situation where they witness constant abuse also affects them.
Children are not only immediately impacted by what they have witnessed, but their normal developmental processes may also be affected. These kids may grow up with fear for their mothers and their own lives.
They are children who live with great amounts of stress while having violent males as their role models later in life. They may experience mental problems, be unable to maintain steady and long-term relationships, tend towards generalized criminal activity including violence, and abuse alcohol and drugs. When they grow up, they may repeat the behavioral patterns they grew up with, abusing their partners and their children.
5. Not all battered women are weak or helpless
Despite the fact that society has developed and maintained stereotypes that portray victims of domestic abuse as pathetic, hysterical, crazy, or weak, this could not be further from the truth. Battered and non-battered women are essentially alike.
What’s more, therapists who have worked with victims of domestic abuse have described them as resourceful and strong. They are survivors.
The time has come for society to stop believing that domestic abuse victims deserve their fate because they are not obedient wives. Children may also feel anger against their mothers because they do not seem to know how to defend themselves, and this perception also needs to change.