Recognizing domestic violence

Raising awareness in today's teens

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Recognizing domestic violence

Mahader Asfaw, Staff Writer

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Domestic violence is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner physically, sexually, psychologically and/or economically. Its definition and effects are almost always the same in every household. It has been a topic of discussion since humans started building love and marital relationships.

It has also been a source for some avoidable issues we have today.

Some of the major causes of domestic violence are jealousy, low self-esteem, lack of self and anger control, bad examples growing up, cultural influences and psychological disorders. The first signs of domestic abuse might be so subtle that they are disguised as “conflicts,”and “disagreements” or “regular arguments.” This prevents victims from realizing their situations until it’s too late. Most of the time it starts out as verbal abuse. Calling names, insulting, putting down and breaking down a person’s confidence is the first step into an abusive relationship.

After verbal abuse, a person is usually emotionally fragile; therefore, this gives more power to their abuser who in return further exerts their power with physical and emotional abuse. According to the World Health Organization, strangulation is one of the main forms of physical abuse and also the deadliest because it doesn’t form any external injuries. An acid attack is also an act carried out by turned-down love interests or former partners; it causes permanent scarring and blindness.

Women are at a very high risk for abuse during pregnancy, and they are at greatest risk immediately after childbirth. Abuse during pregnancy causes negative health effects on the fetus and mother. It’s estimated that 50% and higher of female homicides are committed by current or former intimate partner.

The effects of domestic violence are permanent and deeply rooted into the life of person who faces it; therefore even after counseling, therapy sessions or support from friends and family, most victims agonize in depression. As high as 23% of domestic violence victims are reported to having tried to commit suicide–an alarming rate compared to the general population who are at 3% with no background history of violence.

Many turn to substance abuse in order to deal with their feelings. PTSD is extremely likely to develop and hinders them from forming future relationships because of lack of trust. In extreme cases when domestic violence ends with the death of the victim, the effects are always unrepairable.

When children are involved the death of a parent and incarceration of another, this leaves children in a situation where they can’t take care of themselves, and in third world countries where the government can’t support such children, they are left to care for themselves. This builds the bridge to generational poverty. It also imprints children with PTSD therefore possibly starting the cycle over again or prevents them from
forming their own relationships.

The prevention of domestic violence is crucial to the well being of a person.

Ms. Hasson, a health education teacher at Renton High School, advises students to talk to a trusted friend or an adult, create a safety plan, consider getting a restraining order and avoiding making excuses for an abusive partner. She strongly suggests to not avoid small red flags that always show up with an abusive partner.