“Home is where the heart is.”
If only. Home is where a person is supposed to be greeted with warmth, love, and happiness. It’s a place where the person feels safe, secure and calm. Home is the only place a person thinks of after a day of intense work. It’s where a person feels free and happy.
This description of a home works fine in an ideal world, and such places do exist here. However, there are some places which are supposed to be homes; but instead, those places are filled with a terrible abomination in the form of domestic violence.
What is domestic violence?
The definition of domestic violence differs in different geographical regions. But as a generalization, domestic violence can be construed as any behavior which is comparable to intimidation, threat, sexual assault, battery, isolation, humiliation, abusive behavior and refusing to cooperate in maintaining the reproductive health of an intimate partner by a person of the household.
This list is but a brief overview. But one can say that any behavior which makes a person consider the household as a violent place can be placed under domestic violence.
The word violence itself is a strong negative when it comes to preserving the sanctity of a home. Statistics in American married households are staggering enough, with about 1.3 million women and 835,000 men suffering from this horrible atrocity every year.
Notwithstanding the numbers, it is not the domestic violence that is the worst part. The psychological effects and emotional wounds after the violence has occurred is what breaks a human being. The physical wounds get healed quite quickly. But the psychological scars can last a lifetime if not treated properly.
Psychological effects of domestic violence
Domestic violence is one of those evils which can make a person just give up on life. The abuse at home is enough to send a person into a dark void. It has the potential to create a zombie out of a person, unable to function properly and devoid of any positive emotions.
Oh, but it does not stop there. The feeling of helplessness has the most debilitating effect, followed by fear, anger, shame, embarrassment, anxiety, stress and ultimately, hate. It is even worse for men because if word gets out, they have to deal with an added layer of humiliation from the society.
From there onwards, it transforms into post-traumatic distress. If this condition continues without adequate attention, treatment and support, the individual may turn to illegal drugs alcohol addiction. Some people even turn suicidal or retaliate with innate aggression and violence. The outcome obviously does not sound good.
And just think of the horror if this happens to a child or a minor!
Remedies on this situation
Ending the relationship would be the first thing to do when such behavior is encountered. However, there are many factors which influence this decision. Leaving an abusive partner is a tumultuous process.
If the abusive partner controls all the finances of the household, the process becomes extremely difficult. The partner suffering from abuse would almost certainly be looking at homelessness if any attempt at breaking the relationship is detected.
The social stigma associated with this process is also enough to make the victim apprehensive about leaving an abusive partner.
Having lots of supportive friends and family is very essential in these cases. This is because they can help mend the psychological wounds by letting the victims know that they are not alone. They can also help the victim relocate temporarily and prevent homelessness.
The other side of the equation
There are laws that prevent this kind of behavior and can get an abuser arrested. However, even these laws are subject to abuse. For example, a person can play the fake victim card and have the law unfairly punish an innocent partner. Or threaten the victim of similar consequences on non-compliance. This is much worse, because this, in itself, is kind of a domestic abuse.
Defending domestic violence charges alone is impossibly hard. Proving innocence is much harder than proving guilt, which is why approaching an attorney is highly recommended.