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Tackling Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has been on the rise despite various efforts to tackle it. There are no ready-made answers or solutions to this problem that can be aggravated by economic or social circumstances. Although poverty seems to amplify family problems, affluent people are not at all impervious to this affliction.

The damaging nature of domestic violence is that it spreads within the family. If children witness it they may become abusive in the future. Their lives may be changed for ever. They may exhibit sudden changes in their behaviours. They may also start having psychological and health problems. We find that parents who carry out violent acts experienced trauma and attachment issues in their childhood.

In later life domestic violence unveils itself again through insecure relationships, mental health problems or difficulties in finding employment.

Both batterers and victims show certain characteristics, yet it is still difficult to effectively stop them from engaging in damaging interactions. Psychology attempts to shed light on how to deal with this problem through examining behavioural triggers. Being impulsive or aggressive can lead to more violence unless we are able to control it.

Social consequences of domestic violence and abuse include other social problems that lead to drug addiction, homelessness, and prostitution. Society becomes more violent with side effects taking various forms of abuse. There are higher numbers of children being trafficked. We witness violence that reaches wider sections of society. There are more offenders that are younger due to the inability to trace the source or the development of abuse. Young people can be more prone to uncontrolled outbursts. They also more readily accept intolerable situations. Violence equally affects women. Victimisation in younger age continues later increasing incidents of abuse. Other consequences are apparent through various health problems. It is also frequently noted that victims experience accidents. They find themselves entangled in crises or situations that seem to be unresolvable. Suicidal tendencies follow.

We are able to recognise the symptoms, but it is still not enough to eradicate domestic violence. There is no effective way of dealing with any form of abuse, while 50 per cent of killed women commit their spouses.

Social workers and various healthcare professionals have guidelines to tackle this issue. There are more professionals who are more familiar with the destructive nature of abuse. Yet so far, only community can provide support along with appropriate solutions that may interrupt and prevent violent conflicts.

By Barbara A Kubica

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