Shannon Crockett 1

Topics: Domestic violence, Abuse, Child abuse Pages: 13 (3013 words) Published: July 26, 2011

|[Researchers have found that some people are more likely to become the victims of domestic violence. When counseling be aware of likely | |victims complicated dynamics.] |

“According to the latest 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey [NCVS], during the period from 1993 to 2005, the average annual domestic violence rate per 1,000 persons (age 12 or older) for intimate partners and/or relatives was 5.9 for females and 2.1 for males. About one-third of the victims reported they were physically attacked; two-thirds were threatened with attack or death. A little more than half of the female victims suffered an injury, 4.5 percent were seriously injured and 3 percent of those women were sexually assaulted. Fewer male victims — 41.5 percent — reported injuries, of which less than 5 percent were serious injuries. Those males or females who were separated (or divorced) experienced more nonfatal domestic violence than those who were together.” (Catalano)The 2007 Alcohol and Drug Abuse commission stated that one in four persons over the age of 12 are or would be an addict or an alcoholic in need of treatment by their 30th birthday. These combined statistics have counselors that are dealing with the domestic violence survivors and offenders coping with a set of complex issues; one in eight victims of domestic violence have a substance abuse issue, one in four offenders have substance abuse issues which means that almost half have a household with a drug or alcohol problem. There are children living in over sixty percent of homes where an arrest has been made for Domestic Violence [DV] meaning that a staggering proportion of DV homes are perpetuating a cycle of not only abuse but chemical dependency. Counselors need to understand that abusive relationships have a powerful psychological impact on the victims and that counseling this population can have an emotional impact on the counselor themselves. Experiencing transference or counter transference may be a normal experience and it is important to be aware of the possibility. It is rare that anyone can go through life without being exposed to or knowing someone who is a victim of violence. Victims of an abusive relationship may experience some of the following emotions and behaviors:

• Agitation, anxiety and chronic apprehension

• Constant state of alertness that makes it difficult for them to relax or sleep

• A sense of hopelessness, helplessness or despair because the victim believes they will never escape the control of their abuser

• Fear that one cannot protect oneself or one’s children. This person will turn down the assistance offered by relatives, friends or professionals.

• Feeling paralyzed by fear to make decisions or protect oneself

• A belief that one deserves the abuse

• A belief that one is responsible for the abuse

• Flashbacks, recurrent thoughts and memories of the violence and nightmares of the violence

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