A woman wakes up in the middle of the kitchen floor, and as she opens the one eye that isn’t swollen shut, she frantically searches for her minor child with no avail. She calls the police who take her report and then question her about her bruises and black eye. She tells them what happened; they take her report and begin the search for her daughter. When they find her daughter and husband they return them both home because the daughter is “safe” in their eyes and she has fearfully corroborated her father’s alibi that they haven’t been home all day. The officers leave, satisfied that they have done their jobs, only to discover the next day that the man they returned home safe has now beaten his wife and child unconscious. This situation may not be how every domestic violence situation plays out but it is all too often the case. Domestic violence is a serious problem in America that affects the victims and children involved, but does not seem to have consistent enough consequences for the offender, or strong enough protection for the victims. The Effects on the Victims
The number of domestic violence incidents is at a staggering amount. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center (2010), one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. That is one quarter of the female population. This means that the majority of us probably know someone who has been a victim, whether they have admitted it or not. This could be your mother, sister, aunt or daughter. Whether you can see the physical effects there are other signs that may suggest they are in a violent or abusive situation. Victims involved in this kind of abuse typically withdraw themselves from their friends and family. They don’t participate in activities that they once loved. They may also change the way they groom themselves on a daily basis. For example someone who would typically take pride in her appearance may now dress very casually, wearing “sloppy clothing” and wearing hats and sun glasses to “hide” their face.
Domestic violence victims suffer many immediate physical symptoms such as bruising and broken or fractured bones, and though most may think that is the extent of the physical problems, it is not. The BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) is an annual, state-based, random-digit, dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized , US civilian population greater than 18 years of age. In a study conducted by BRFSS the findings in their report linked IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) with poor general health, chronic disease, disability, somatic syndromes, injury, chronic pain, STD, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and changes in endocrine and immune functions (Shannon, 2009). Symptoms like these can cause problems with the victims for many years to come, and in some cases, the victim’s entire life. Some of the physical effects are irreversible.
Women are abused every day, and the below picture is an example of only a portion of the pain caused to the victim. This abuse affects many aspects of their lives other than aesthetics. [pic]
In addition to the horrifying physical effects of domestic violence, the victims are subject to many psychological effects as well. Some of the abusers involved don’t start out hitting their partner. The abuse begins sometimes, long before the hitting. Sometimes it could start off with something as seemingly insignificant as the abuser saying “I don’t think you need that much make-up”. This may be an innocent enough comment in the right moment that the woman believes her partner is giving her a compliment and so she complies. The problem is now, her partner has realized how to approach her in a deceiving way to slowly gain control of her. After that control has been established, those once “flattering suggestions” have now become expected demands to the victim. In most cases by the time the victim...