What is Domestic Abuse?

July 17, 2009

Domestic violence is a growing problem, not only in America but in many other countries, as well. Traditionally, when we speak of domestic violence, we think of men abusing their wives. However, domestic violence also includes wives abusing husbands, parents abusing children, and even children abusing the elderly. Domestic abuse can also take many forms other than physical attacks—it can be economic blackmail, psychological abuse, imprisonment in the home, or social isolation.

Above is an Australian public service announcement. After you have watched it, respond to one of the topics below:

1. Do you think forms of domestic abuse other than psychical violence are as serious? Why or why not?

2. What level of involvement do you think should be required of the public in reporting or preventing domestic abuse?

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  1. 2) What level of involvement do you think should be required of the public in reporting or preventing domestic abuse?

    In my opinion, I believe that if we witness forms of domestic abuse, we should find a way to report it. But what is considered domestic abuse may vary from person to person and some people may believe they should just mind their own business and let whoever is involved deal with it themselves. Sadly, from my experience, it seems that most people wouldn’t get involved in other people’s problems usually claiming they have enough to deal with themselves. If I were in this situation, hearing my neighbors argue every night, I probably wouldn’t say anything unless it gets to the point its interrupting my time. Sadly to say, when I do get involved it could turn out to be too late. If I knew my neighbors or the people that were involved in domestic abuse, I would step in sooner.
    All that being said, I do think everyone should take a more active role in reporting domestic abuse before the situation becomes too violent. If we feel uneasy about actually stepping into the situation ourselves, we shouldn’t be afraid to call the police and report the disturbances. Even if unsure of the level of abuse that is going on, just reporting it could save someone’s life.

  2. I believe verbal abuse has longer lasting effects on a victim then physical abuse. The mind has ways of believing the abuser, who usually is already someone the victim trusts (parents, spouse, child). What I am not sure about is if verbal abuse is more damaging then sexual abuse. I would think it would not be, but maybe it depends on where the abuse has the greater harm in different aspects of the victim life. Getting hit is physical, but getting hit on a genital or breast seams like it would have a deeper harm then the bruise.

  3. I am a male victim and survivior of Domestic Abuse from the hands of my wife. I live in NSW Australia. You can read a poem that I wrote about my experience and my story on my blog here http://mencanbeabusedtoo.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/words-that-cut-deep/

    There is no help for men currently in NSW. I rang the abuse hotline that was provided by the Governments Department of Community Services and was told by a lady on the phone that she didn’t believe me because it is only women who are abused by their husbands and not the other way around.

    I was bitten, spat on, hit, threatened to be stabbed, verbally abused..and finally forced to live in my car for nearly 6 weeks because I had no where to go. When DOc’s were involved because my children were reacting about this at school..the only help they offered me when I told them my story was they wanted me to do a Anger Management Course…..

  4. Although the impact of the physical violence is terrible, I must say from experience that the emotional and psychological abuse that led up to and continued happening during the physical violence has taken a far worse toll on me, as a Survivor, than the actual physical part of it. I think it comes back to the saying, “The cuts and bruises heal, the words are always there.”

    In my case (I live in the US, by the way) my neighbors were well aware of the abuse going on but no one ever called the Police. Three times I called 911, once when he threatened to kill me in front of my son, and the Police did nothing. I gave up after that. I didn’t call them anymore.

    Had even one of my neighbors or one of his co-workers stepped up to the plate as a witness to his violent rages or his verbal abuse, I may have had the opportunity to get him out of my life much sooner.

    I believe that society, as a whole, has a greater responsibility in situations of abuse….be it domestic violence, child abuse, etc. I have never understood the mentality that, “It’s not my problem” or “It’s their kid, they will deal with it as they please.” That, again, just makes theat human being being abused an object.

  5. This topic is very under talked about and I believe it is becoming more widely recognized for sure. My personal opinion is that ALL forms of abuse can be just as debilitating as the other because we all react and internalize things differently. Most people say psychological abuse is the worse and emotional abuse. While I would normally tend to agree, I think, “wait a minute… some people may be able to move through this easier than perhaps a person who had their face smashed off a a brick wall.” My point is, abuse should not be judged on a scale. Abuse is abuse. I have JUST started a blog page and I hope to help raise awareness on this as well as mental health. There is definitely power in numbers. If we all helped just one person in our lifetime, that would be awesome. We are much more capable of helping many more than one person, so that’s an endless goal of mine 🙂 Inviting you all to help !! 🙂 Cheers and best wishes.

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