Domestic Violence = is abuse one person uses to maintain power and control over another
in a relationship. Abuse can include physical harm, sexual demands, insults, threats, isolation, emotional control and financial
Violence against women in the family occurs in developed and developing countries alike. It has
long been considered a private matter by bystanders -- including neighbours, the community and government. But such private
matters have a tendency to become public tragedies. In the United States, a woman is beaten every 18 minutes. Indeed,
domestic violence is the leading cause of injury among women of reproductive age in the United States. Between 22 and 35 per
cent of women who visit emergency rooms are there for that reason.
The highly publicized trial of O. J. Simpson,
the retired United States football player acquitted of the murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown, and a male friend
of hers, helped focus international media attention on the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse.
DO YOU KNOW IF HE/SHE IS AN ABUSER?
Are you discouraged from talking with friends/family? Does he/she always insist on going
everywhere with you? Do you have to discuss activity plans, people you will be with, and why you are going to do something
with him/her before you can do them? Does he/she have problems with your success? Does he/she react negatively
to people in positions of authority? Does he/she believe that the man is the head of the house? Does he/she belittle
you? Does he/she blame you if things happen? Does he/she negate your opinion? Does he/she make you feel
guilty? Does he/she call you names? Does he/she lose his/her temper and throw things or hit objects? Have
you ever seen this person become violent or verbally aggressive with others? Does he/she get violent when he drinks?
Is your partner jealous of your time, your career, and other people in your life? Does he/she play mind games
with you? Does he/she believe the myths about domestic violence? Believe that sex is his/her right, whether or
not you agree to it? Does he/she come from an abusive home? Does he/she come from a dysfunctional home? Now look
at your own actions and reactions. Answer these questions about yourself: Do you have low self-esteem? Do you
believe in traditional, stereotypical, man-as-the-head-of-the-house roles? Do you accept responsibility for arguments?
Do you believe the myths about domestic violence? Do you feel guilty if he/she becomes enraged or jealous, or
that you may have caused his actions? Do you allow yourself to be controlled because you believe the person would not
do it if they didn't love you? Do you believe jealousy is proof of love?
Answer these questions than
ask your self again, will this man I love ever hurt me or emotionally batter me? Without personally excepting
ones own behaviors and seeking help, they will.