Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation, Persons of any class, culture, religion, marital status, age, and sex can be victims for domestic violence.
Although the term “domestic violence” may describe various violent relationships, such as child abuse, elder abuse, it is most commonly applied to an intimate relationship between two adults in which one partner uses a pattern of assault and intimidating acts to assert power and control over the other partner.
Among the persons killed by an intimate partner, about three quarters are female, and about a quarter are male so many authors see that domestic violence is the same as violence against women.
Cycle of violence:-
Most of the domestic violence cases fit this cycle which contains four stages; the cycle can be repeated hundred of times in the same day, month, year or more.
(Figure “1” The cycle of violence”
The most common cause of domestic violence is the imbalance of power and control in addition to many risk factors as:
3- Physical or mental disability
4- Previous abusive relationship
5- Abused as child
6- Unplanned pregnancy
7- Alcohol or drug abuse
·Physical abuse involving contact causing pain or injury.
·Sexual abuse as forced sex or rape.
·Emotional abuse causing isolation and depression for the victim.
·Verbal abuse involving the use of language and abusive words.
·Economic abuse through controlling the victim’s money.
Signs and symptoms:-
Domestic violence may lead to both physical and psychological signs and symptoms in the victim.
Victims may have obvious physical signs of traumatic injury, but they may also complain of noninjury signs and symptoms as:
·Tympanic membrane rupture
·Rectal or genital injury
·Scrapes, bruises and fractures
·Defensive posture injuries
·Painful sexual intercourse
·Neck and chest pain
Medical professionals are in position to empower people, give advice and refer them to appropriate services. The health care professional hasn’t always met this role and in some cases misunderstanding about domestic violence.
They think it is their private lives and they prefer not to be involved in people‘s private lives but it is big mistake because the weak victims need this interference to live healthy.
Effective solutions for the domestic violence are preventing the risk factors through providing economic opportunity, organized community programs and non abused school environment.
Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project became the first multi-disciplinary program designed to address the issue of domestic violence and it is very effective project to prevent domestic violence.
Law enforcement and police should provide the victims with the safety and give them their rights as humans.
Personalized safety plans and safety in workplaces are very important for abuse victims and they should assess their safety through it to protect themselves and their children.
1-Shipway, Lynn (2004). Domestic violence: a handbook for health professionals. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415282208.
2-Burnett LB, Adler J. Domestic Violence. eMedicine Journal [serial online]. 2001. Domestic Violence. eMedicine Journal [serial online]. 2001.
3-Dutton, Donald G. and Susan Golant. 1997. The Batterer: A Psychological Profile. 0465033881.
4-Robertson, Kirsten. Murachver, Tamar.”Attitudes and Attributions Associated With Female and Male Partner Violence.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology v. 39 no.7 (July 2009) p. 481-512.
5-Seltzer, Judith A., Debra Kalmuss (December 1988). “Socialization and Stress Explanations for Spouse Abuse”. Social Forces 67(2): 473–91. doi:10.2307/2579191.
6-Muelleman RL, Lenaghan PA, Pakieser RA. Nonbattering presentations to the ED of women in physically abusive relationships. Am J Emerg Med. Mar 1998;16(2):128-31.
7-Jacobson, N. and J. Gottman (1998). When Men Batter Women: New Insights into Ending Abusive Relationships. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0684814471. OCLC 37748396.