Most often, under the term domestic violence, people denote physical or sexual coercion; though this is a reasonable definition, domestic violence is a significantly wider term that requires clarification. Domestic violence is a narrower term for domestic abuse – a behavior pattern which implies controlling or dominating one person who is an intimate relationship, whether it be a partner, children, or relatives (Helpguide). It may have physical, emotional, sexual, and economic aspects, sometimes combining several of them simultaneously. The main purpose of such control is to completely suppress the partner’s will, and manipulate them. This is achieved by behavior that can be classified as frightening, intimidating, terrorizing, hurtful, humiliating, blaming, injuring, wounding, and so on (The Hotline).
There are several criteria for sexually or physically abusive behavior. Though it may seem that victims of domestic violence should be able to distinguish it, in reality many victims tend to perceive violent behavior as normal. Most of all, it refers to emotional and economic domestic violence, because they are more difficult to determine than physical or sexual abuse. For example, the signs of emotional abuse are: calling names, acting jealous and/or possessive, punishing by withholding affectation, threatening and humiliating (The Hotline). Financial abuse has the following signs: rigid control over a partner’s finances, withholding money and/or basic necessities (such as food, clothes, medications, or shelter), stealing, preventing a partner from working, and many other indicators (Helpguide).
Domestic violence refers not only to women or children. Men suffer from it as well: mostly emotionally, though cases of physical violence are not rare as well. The main fact to comprehend about an abusive relationship is that the partner who acts as an aggressor will not change, and will not stop their insulting behavior. The best option for people who suffer from any kind of domestic violence is to break the relationship. It is useless to expect a certain behavior or opposition will calm the violent partner down.
Domestic violence remains a significant social problem in many countries all over the world. Some of its forms are obvious (such as sexual or physical violence), while other are not so easy to distinguish. Such forms are emotional and financial abuse. Emotional abuse involves humiliating, threatening, and manipulating, while financial violence can express itself in a partner limiting the economic freedoms of their counterparts. The victims of domestic abuse should not expect improvements: the best option for them is to break away from their abusive relationship.
Smith, Melinda, and Jeanne Segal. “Domestic Violence and Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships.” Helpguide. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2013. <http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm>.
“What Is Domestic Violence?” The Hotline. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2013. <http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/what-is-domestic-violence/>.
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Writing a Definition Essay
Domestic Violence: A Burden to Women
Domestic violence has always been a burden to women, not because they are considered by society as meek, weak, and dependent on men, but because their rights are trampled upon. It includes not only physical assault, but also intimidation, battery, sexual abuse, and other abusive behavior towards women. This should not mean, however, that domestic violence is limited to women; even men could be victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is considered an epidemic; it is present in almost every community. While it is more common in women, it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, status, gender, nationality, race, or religion. It can happen to the poor and rich alike. The fact that it has been existing for hundreds of years, even more, is a serious matter: No one has been paying attention to domestic violence. No one has been making steps to eradicate it from the system.
Can domestic violence be determined from the onset of a relationship? Some relationships are indicative of domestic violence. Couples don’t have to be married for people to see a party being at the receiving end of the abuse. Even girlfriends and boyfriends could get abused. Some of the indications that you are abused are the following: telling your partner that she is worthless or that she cannot do anything right; dictating how your spouse should dress, behave, or conduct herself in public; forcing the victim to have sex when she does not want to; forbidding your partner to decide for herself; humiliating her in front of her family and friends; preventing your partner from doing the things that she loves; and refusing to use birth control.
Countless times, we have seen news pertaining to suicide attempts, escape, and protests. Throughout time, women have tried fighting for their rights and making sure other women would not end up as victims of domestic violence. In Michigan, there are non-profit organizations named Common Ground and Haven, which assist women who may have been experiencing domestic abuse. Both organizations find abuse attorneys for the victims. Aside from legal assistance, they also provide helpful information on domestic violence and updates on laws, if there are any.
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One in four women becomes a victim of domestic violence. In the United States, on the other hand, about 3 million men are victims of physical assault or battery by their wives. There will always be an addition to the statistics, and one cannot predict when the government could finally put an end to domestic violence. Sometimes we do not have to wait for the President or the Chief Executive to make a move, or to pass a law. Most of the time, the change starts in ourselves.
It is high time that women should step up and assert their rights. They need to arm themselves not with weapons, but with the knowledge that would make them stronger and wiser. They must rise against violence by making the right decisions and being firm with them. They must stop rationalizing and telling themselves that the abuse is caused by love. Women must learn the difference between love and selfishness, real concern and abuse. Time has come for women to group together and create an awareness against domestic violence. Fliers could be distributed. Television shows and documentaries on abuse could be filmed. More programs and projects should be proposed to support women and fight for their rights. The Senate could think of laws for the benefit of women and all the victims of domestic violence.
There is an end to everything, even to this burden. In the end, the world shall be filled with hope, and with women who have decided to emancipate themselves.