Effects of Domestic Violence

Short and long term effects of domestic violence is expected for victims depending on the length of time that they were abused. Long term effect on women includes anxiety, chronic depression, death, drug and alcohol dependence, eating disorders, malnutrition, panic attacks, self neglect, sleeping disorders and suicide attempts. Anyone has a chance of being victimized by domestic violence. This is really visible to almost all countries and culture in the world. It can affect any person in society regardless of his or her economic standing.

Effects of Domestic Violence on Women and their Children According to Ellsberg and Gottemoeler (1999), “around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. ” The abuser is oftentimes a member of the victim’s own family” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). Newton (2001) added that “battered women take necessary actions to protect their children, even if they do not leave their batterer” (Newton, 2001) Mothers who were once abused suffer from depression and are preoccupied by the violent experience.

This makes them emotionally withdrawn or numb and causes them to develop irritability and hopelessness. As a result, she may neglect to fulfill her duties as a mother. Newton further stated that “battered women may use more punitive child-rearing strategies or exhibit aggression toward their children” (Newton, 2001). Children who lack the necessary care and attention from their parents have delayed growth. “Their emotional and physical development can be seriously delayed or can be permanently distorted” (Newton, 2001).

“Parents who have been traumatized by violence must cope with their own trauma before they are able to help their children” (Newton, 2001). Once domestic violence is experienced over time, the effect of it to the victim becomes more severe. Victims may also suffer from emotional and psychological long term effects. These include anxiety, insecurity, self neglect, chronic depression, and state of dissociation (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). The victims may also develop substance (drug and alcohol) dependence which can help them sleep and forget their misfortune (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999).

They may also develop “eating disorders, emotional overreaction to stimuli, general emotional numbing, panic attacks, and poor adherence to medical recommendations” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). It may also result in “poverty, repeated self-injury, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, strained family relationships, suicidal attempts, and sudden death [of the victim]” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). According to Ellsberg and Gottemoeler (1999), “the children of abused women [are] more likely to be malnourished.

” In addition, they are “more likely to have had a recent untreated case of diarrhea and less likely to have been immunized against childhood diseases” (Ellsberg, Gottemoeler, 1999). The case of domestic violence which involves children carries the trauma upon their adulthood. Even though an end has been put into the abuse made to younger children, the nightmare will haunt them and the effect may manifest in their abusive behavior as they become the perpetrator in the future.

Some children might think that domestic violence is a form of disciplinary measure made by their parents, which may cause them to apply the idea of domestic violence to their own children. During the growing up stage, children also show misbehavior towards their peers because of domestic violence. They end up having argument with them and demonstrate behaviors that are not fit for their age. Effects of Domestic Violence on Men Male domestic violence is also visible in every society.

Tjaden and Thoennes (2000) conducted a research about male domestic violence and discovered that “men who are involved in intimate same sex relationship are more likely to experience violence than men who have women intimate partners”. Their study also shows that [a]pproximately 23 percent of the men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7. 4 percent of the men who had married or lived with a woman as a couple reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Physical Effects of Domestic Violence

According to Meyer (2008), “at least 42% of women and 20% of men sustain minor injuries such as scratches, bruises and swelling” (Meyer, 2008). Injuries worsen as the abuse becomes harsher and recurrent (Meyer, 2008). Meyer’s (2008) study enumerates the common injuries caused by domestic violence: “bruises, lesions and cuts, pelvic pain, headaches, back pain, broken bones, gynecological injuries, pregnancy complications where even the fetus is affected and may result in miscarriage, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and heart or circulatory conditions.

” Psychological Effects of Domestic Violence Another traumatizing effect is the psychological impact of domestic violence for both men and women. “The emotional abuse causes severe psychological harm for the victim” (Meyer, 2008). “Depression and loss of hope in the future is one” (Meyer, 2008). Victims may also nurture the desire to end their lives as they feel unloved and unworthy. The occurrence of nightmare and sleep disturbances is also experienced by victims. They may also recall against their will the times when they were being abused through sudden flashbacks.

This may cause their personality to deteriorate (Meyer, 2008). Social Effects of Domestic Violence “Domestic violence may also affect the social life of the victims as they develop feelings of isolation from family, friends and other supportive individuals” (Meyer, 2008). They may also refuse to interact with other people. This might be due to their fear that they would become the talk of the town and the center of attention. Trusting people is never easy for the victims.

Because it is hard for them to trust, they may avoid having an intimate relationship as they fear that they will be abused again (Fee, Brown, Lazarus, & Theerman, 2002). III. Intervention strategies of the Police, Social Service Agencies and the Courts in Recovering from the Effects of Domestic Violence It may take time for the victims of domestic abuse to heal their emotional and psychological wounds. After being abused, recovery might be too far from the victim’s sight. For them to recuperate from the devastating effects of domestic violence, they would need a lot of care, love, and attention.

Thus, constant communication with loved ones may help them recover from their traumatic experiences of being abused (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). Another way to ease the recovery of domestic abuse victims is to encourage them to undergo psychological therapy. Sessions with a psychologists or counselors would surely aid them in letting go of their emotional pains, in accepting and loving themselves, and in moving on with their lives (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). During instances of domestic violence, there are always means and ways of getting help to put an end to it.

The victims can reach out for other family member’s help during abusive situations by establishing codes and signals. At the same time, victims should also try to separate themselves from the abusers until the rescuers come and the situation has been diffused. There are 24-hour hotlines accessible for anyone being abused. In the said hotlines, the reports are received by people who can prevent the abusers from doing their misdeeds. They will also call the police to get the perpetrators imprisoned.