Domestic Violence: Types, Factors, and Signs

Domestic Violence: Types, Factors, and Signs

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as an act of aggression, intimidation, emotional terror, or economic abuse between people in an intimate relationship. This behavior often simulates the use of physical force and causes fear between partners.

Who Does Domestic Violence Affect?

One in four women are victims of domestic violence. It is more common for a woman to experience violence from an intimate partner than from any other type of perpetrator. Domestic Violence can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexual preference, income level, or ethnic background. Anyone can be a perpetrator of Domestic Violence, but men are statistically the most likely offenders.

Types of Domestic Violence:

Emotional Abuse: is the most common form of domestic violence. Emotional abuse is constantly putting down your partner, constantly degrading them, or constantly telling them that no one else would want to be with them since they are so unappealing. An emotional abuser may also use threats and intimidation as a way to frighten their partner and gain control over them.

Economic Abuse: is when a domestic abuser sabotages their partner’s efforts to acquire or maintain employment, withholds money or resources, or directly controls the victim’s financial choices.

Physical Violence: is used as a form of control and includes violent acts such as pushing, shoving, slapping, choking, hitting or kicking.

Sexual Abuse: can range from forcing unwanted sexual activity with the victim to withholding sex as a method of manipulation.

Social Abuse: is when domestic abusers create rules and boundaries that limit the victim’s access to friends, family, and other social support networks.

Factors Contributing to Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence has been linked to a number of social and environmental factors. A survey conducted by Allstate Foundation found that three out of four Americans believe domestic abuse is a serious problem in our society, but many people do not understand what it really looks like. Understanding the risk factors for is vital to preventing domestic violence.

Poverty: domestic violence is more common amongst poor communities because of the higher unemployment rate, limited financial resources, and lower monthly income.

Exposure to domestic violence as a child: growing up in a home in which domestic violence is present increases a child’s chance of becoming a domestic abuser or victim in their own relationships.

Personal history of domestic violence: previous experience in abusive relationships may set the stage for domestic violence in future adult relationships.

Alcohol and drug abuse: abusers who are already addicted to drugs and alcohol are more likely to commit domestic violence compared to those who don’t use these substances.

Lack of social support networks: isolation from family, friends, and community support systems can create feelings of helplessness and dependency which domestic abusers often prey on.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence:

It’s not always easy to identify domestic violence, especially because abusers often keep their victims from family and friends or lead them to believe that other people are responsible for his or her injuries. It is important to understand what domestic violence looks like and not to blame the victim.

Emotional Abuse Signs:

  • Telling someone what they can and cannot wear
  • Constantly being possessive of a partner, seeking to control every aspect of the victim’s life
  • Not allowing a person to have any alone time or privacy
  • Making frequent accusations against a partner with no provocation
  • Belittling another person in front of other people
  • Telling a person how they can and cannot style their hair
  • Not allowing another person to speak their mind or air their grievances
  • Forcing a partner to go against their religious beliefs
  • Questioning a person constantly about where they have been and who they have been with
  • Telling a person whether they can or cannot wear make-up
  • Trying to keep a person from spending time with friends and family members
  • Knowing their whereabouts 24/7
  • Tracking them via a phone or GPS

Physical Abuse Signs:

  • Being fearful of one’s partner
  • Having visible signs of being injured
  • Having visible stress injuries, such as insomnia or weakened immune system
  • Finding it hard to explain frequent bruises, marks or scars on their body
  • Being reluctant about having sex with their partner
  • Having a sudden drop in grades or performance at work or school
  • Changes in mood that could indicate depression or anxiety, including difficulty concentrating

Economic Abuse Signs:

  • Having no say in how the domestic money is spent
  • Having to account for every penny spent
  • Not being able to pay bills on time, if at all Lacking basic necessities, including food or adequate clothing
  • Feeling that one has no control over their financial situation
  • Having limited access to money

Social Abuse Signs:

  • Not being able to go out or attend social events
  • Having less contact with family and friends than they used to
  • Understanding that their domestic abuser is the only person they can rely on for constant support
  • Not feeling free to express one’s self in domestic settings, such as not being able to speak one’s mind freely
  • Not being able to spend time with family or friends unless it is with the domestic abuser present
  • Having their access to technology restricted, including social media sites, cell phones, and internet usage

Sexual Abuse Signs :

  • Having no interest in sex
  • Changes in hygiene and appearance
  • Rapid weight loss and gain
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Contracting a sexually transmitted illness
  • Being afraid of domestic abuser and other domestic people, such as children or other family members.
  • Finding it hard to be comfortable with physical contact or intimacy since abuse has occurred. Any form of intimacy and physical contact may trigger memories of the abuse and bring up
  • Not being able to choose whether or not you want to use contraceptives

These are just some examples of domestic violence. There are many more signs that are incredibly unique to each individual situation and some of these may belong in more than one abuse category.

Ways to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

It is important to note that you should never put yourself in danger to help someone else. If you suspect domestic violence within a household, the most important thing to do is have it reported. You can call 911 or you can visit this website for more. When contacting police officers, ensure they are trustworthy and willing to handle these types of cases with discretion. Victims of domestic violence should be removed from the abusive household as soon as possible; there is no reason to wait when someone’s life may be at risk.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for more information and guidance or CLICK HERE.

In The End…

It is important that we as a society recognize the different types of violence and learn how to spot the signs. The more aware people are about these topics, the better equipped they will be able to protect themselves from being victims. If you feel like there’s something going on in your relationship or home life, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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