Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors by one person against another. Domestic violence comes in many forms and it could involve people in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation. Nobody should have to be affected by family or domestic violence, but can it be prevented? Can people who have been affected by it get help and make changes in their lives? There are many methods in which people can be retreated and helped from domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse between people of an intimate or family relationship. Emotional abuse, also referred to as mental or psychological abuse, is a form of abuse enacted by a person exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. People in an emotionally abusive relationship may continuously criticize, name call, or shout at the other person. They may insult, drive the victim away from family and friends, humiliate them in public, manipulate them with lies and contradictions, keep them from working, control their money, and even make all their decisions. Physical abuse is an act of abuse by another person to cause feelings of physical pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm. Physical abuse includes pushing, shoving, biting, hitting, pulling, drowning, punching, throwing objects, locking one out of the house, abandonment, and refusal to help in physical need (Newton). Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. Unwanted physical sexual behavior could include rape, sexual assault, touching, kissing, and fondling either of a child or an adult. When someone suggests sexual statements, applies verbal sexual demands, or criticizes you sexually, it is also considered to be sexual abuse. Spousal sexual abuse, also known as marital or spousal rape, is forced sex in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse. In the US spousal rape is illegal in all 50 states (Bergen). Marital rape may occur as part of an abusive relationship. It is rarely a one-time event, but rather a repeated, if not frequent occurrence. Trauma from rape has serious long term consequences for victims regardless of whether the assault is prosecuted or not. Domestic violence is linked with child abuse in that it results in serious consequences for the safety of children. Domestic violence can put direct or indirect harm on children physically and psychologically. Parents could intentionally physically, emotionally, or sexually injure their children in an effort to intimidate and control their partner. During an attack on the mother an object could be thrown accidently hitting her child. The child could also be hurt if the mother is holding it. Injuries to older children often occur when they attempt to interfere or come between the batterers during violent episodes. Parents may try to hide domestic violence from their children, but majority of them living in these environments are aware of it. If they don’t see the beatings, they hear the screams, and see the broken bones, bruises, and other injuries on their parents. Children of all ages are psychologically affected by domestic violence. Infants exposed to violence may not develop the attachments to their caretakers which are critical to their development. In extreme cases they may suffer from “failure to thrive” (FTT). (FTT is referred to people, typically children, who cover poor physical growth of any type, but it does not imply abnormal intellectual, social, or emotional development.) Toddlers living in violent homes may regress developmentally and suffer sleep disturbances such as nightmares. School-age children who witness violence demonstrate a range of behavior problems including depression, anxiety, and violence towards their peers. Adolescents who have grown up in violent...
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