There are many myths about the problem of domestic (family) violence in society. The stereotypes regarding this problem begin with ideas of social status of women and children who are exposed to violence. The violence exists in all social groups, irrespective of the level of the income, education, and place in the society.
The typical model of family cruelty represents the use of force by the strongest in relation to the weaker. Force can be physical or psychological. Both types of superiority take place when family violence is applied to women and children, as these categories of people become victims most often. Neither women, nor children possess force, which is sufficient to start a fight or resist the tyrants.
Types of Domestic Violence
One of the most widespread types is physical violence. Some of the consequences of physical abuse include not only physical traumas, constant headaches, and sleeplessness, but also a so-called "syndrome of the beaten woman." In this case, a woman feels weak, helpless, controllable, and incapable to bear the responsibility for the life. Quite often, the victim feels her own fault for the violence, trying to make over it or simply denies the fact of it, convincing herself and others that it happens in the majority of families.
Domestic violence involves the change of personal sphere in female victims, such as:
- Isolation – a condition of isolation, unwillingness to contact with people, communication avoidance;
- High level of uneasiness, vague concern, nightmares.
In the emotional sphere it is:
- Depression – the mood, which is characterized by intensive feeling of despair, decreasing of the activity, pessimism, grief;
- Anticipation of dangerous objects (partner, darkness, men, non-standard situations, etc.).
Many people know that physiological violence against women is not only related to the physical injuries and traumas. This type of domestic violence is also related to sexual violence. Many women are trying to avoid this, but it does not always work. They are wondering why their husbands have turned into domestic tyrants.
There are many reasons, but the major are alcohol and drugs abuse. Sometimes, before marriage women are so much in love with their partners that they really do not see their vivid disadvantages, and only after marriage and after children are born, everything is seen very clearly.
Physical consequences of sex violence are:
- Chronic pains in pelvic area without obvious symptoms of a disease;
- Gynecologic deseases, frequent infections of genitourinary system;
- Sleep and appetite disorders, physical overwork, inability to cope even with minor stresses.
The psychological consequences of this type of violence are:
- Mental overwork;
- Long emotional pressure;
- Misuse of alcohol;
- Instability of mood with flashes of the spiteful and sad conditions;
- Loss in interest to life;
- Restriction and formalization in communication with people, feeling of disgust to herself.
Another dangerous and widespread type of domestic violence over women is the psychological violence. This type of violence is expressed in neglecting woman’s demands, the lack of warm and attentive attitude towards her, cynical remarks, letting her being a witnesses of physical and/or emotional violence over her children.
The psychological violence can be expressed in:
- Ignoring the psychological needs of the woman, such as needs for safety, acceptance, self-development and self-realization;
- Isolation – the establishment of the rigid control over the communication sphere of women, a ban on communication with friends, colleagues, relatives, and in some cases even the ban on communication with children;
- In some cases, the continuous threats and humiliation: destruction of personal space of the woman, her things; representation to children and other people, irony, sarcasm in her address; desire to put the partner in the awkward situation and show her disadvantages to the other people;
- Rejection of the woman, creation of a family coalition against her: unwillingness of the husband to show an attentive, caring attitude to her. The personality of the woman is intentionally depreciated, and she becomes an outsider in a family;
- Compulsion of the woman to witness the violence over her children. In this case, a woman is not only compelled to observe the fact of violence, but has no right and real opportunity to protect her children.
Domestic Violence. Statistical Data
The results of the recent global studies of prevalence of violence over women showed that 3 of 10 women worldwide for at least one time suffered from beating, threats and violence by the former or present partners. Moreover, every third death of a woman in the world occurred because of her spouse, the partner or the roommate. The results of these researches and the report of the World Health Organization on sex violence over women are published in The Lancet and Science magazines.
According to WHO report, 42 percent of the women who ever have experienced the violence, became victims of aggression of the beloved ones. Violence on behalf of the spouse or the partner is dangerous not only because of traumas. A man can forbid a woman to ask for a medical care, to accept medicinal preparations or contraceptives. Victims of domestic violence are more often than other women infected with HIV and other diseases, which are sexually transmitted. They more often do abortions or even make attempts to end lives in suicide. Such women also have an alcohol addiction twice more often and suffer from depression. It also leads to more serious psychological and physiological diseases.
The coordinator of WHO on a problem of violence over women Klaudia Garcia-Moreno (Claudia Garcia-Moreno) is convinced that these data have to become a warning for institutions of health care and the authorities of all countries. The results of researches showed that the problem of female violence is of great actuality for the countries with any standards of living. Most often, the inhabitants of Africa (54–78 percent of female population) appear as victims, however, the problem is widespread both in Asia, North America and Western Europe — in these regions more than 15 percent of women are exposed to domestic violence.
15-20 years ago, domestic violence was considered as a private matter of each family, the fact, which the government could not affect in any way. Nowadays the situation has changed. Garcia-Moreno points out that the violence over women has made the same impact on health of population as smoking and alcoholism. And it is necessary to fight against it by means of the same active measures.
The scales of domestic violence in Great Britain become more and more menacing. According to the recent statistical data published, two million inhabitants of England and Wales became victims of domestic violence in 2012. In the group of the greatest risk, there are women aged from 16 to 19 and from 20 to 24 years. According to OHS, 1,2 million women became the victims of violence. Thus, the crimes are often committed for no reason at all. In such a way, only one of twelve English women, who have experienced rape, pointed out that they were drunk or flirted with the tyrant. The fact that every third crime, according to the police data, was made repeatedly is also indicative. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Great Britain Yvette Cooper pointed out: "the scales of sex and domestic violence are disturbingly high and the urgent preventive measures are required."
As the press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Great Britain emphasized: "the violence concerning women and girls is a disgusting crime and the government has to be through with him. We provided allocation till 2015 of nearly 40 million pounds for financing of support services of local and national telephone lines of the help to violence victims."
Conclusion. How to Solve the Problem?
Many contemporary researchers are focused on the problem of prevention the issues of domestic violence against women. Some of them suggest the idea of creating more shelters for abused women and their children (Chanely 2001), hot lines with a number of experienced psychologists, who are always ready to help and solve the problems of these women. Other authors analyze the issues of economic costs related to these issues, as some financial expenses should be paid from local budgets (Corso 2009, Godenzi, 2000). In my opinion, the most effective contribution to the solution of this problem belongs to the researchers, whose works are focused on the consequences of domestic violence against women, as economic costs for the government can never be compared with the loss of physiological or psychological health (Walby 2009).
The problem of domestic violence is really of great actuality nowadays, for many countries worldwide, especially Africa, Europe and USA. In such a way, the governments of these countries should develop strategies to prevent various types of violence, especially towards women and children, who are the most unprotected in the society.
When comparing the situation in different countries, it should be pointed out that many women do not want family tyrants to be arrested and punished. There is also the type of the so called economic violence, when husbands earn money for the whole family, and wives, even when suffering from violent behavior, do not want to lose the chance for good financial condition for them and their children.