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The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence

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‘What is domestic violence?’ As I crisscross my mind, I happen sometimes to think broadly about what it means by the term ‘domestic violence’. It looks rather confusing and conflicting when we come to its definition because it varies depending on the society one is. Many people have tried to define and explain what it means by domestic violence but mostly they have contradicted one definition or explanation of domestic violence over another. It is just because we live in different societies with the ever changing world. In the present globalized world, domestic violence has been defined differently from the past. It is a behavioral pattern that greatly involves violence or any other form of abuse by a person against another in a family context like in cohabitation or even in marriage. Domestic violence aims at gaining control and or domination of one person over another in the context of an intimate relationship or marriage. Domestic violence might happen to either a man to the wife or the wife to the man. But in the real sense, this does not cover and explain in a broader way about domestic violence. Domestic violence does not need to involve physical violence, it is a rather broad subject, and it also includes mental torture.

Many people may interpret and think that domestic violence is all about beating your spouse. Beating might range from punishing or correcting your partner to beating her to show off one’s authority and domination over the other in a marriage. Some people may disagree that this is domestic violence with including the ones being beaten while others may agree. We come from different societies, have different behaviors and attitude which means that some societies advocate domination of one marital partner over the other and those being dominated view this as right and do not complain. It’s not because they fear those dominating them, but it is just because they have grown and accepted this culture, and also it’s right for that to happen to them. Therefore, marital violence might be a learned idea or a society coming together to try to change what has been happening for centuries. It continues gradually they rise to the top of the world to try to convince people about what they think, and while people are trying to exercise their traditions, they are confronted by change. Domestic violence has its root causes. One cannot emerge from anywhere with the intention of harming of physically or mentally. Some people have come with different causes of domestic violence. They assert that the one who is mistreating the other is the one who is bad. Others think that the one who is being mistreated has caused it all to himself or herself. But in the real sense this is not the fact because the causes range from dissatisfaction from one of the partners. Also, failure to achieve one’s dream in the marriage, social stress, and an intergenerational cycle of violence and brainwash from the society. Unfaithfulness also champions it on one of the partners. Though not all can accept that the above causes are the root causes, but some people stay ignorant of them and they at long last find themselves at this state and it is when they wake up. Intergenerational violence is not easy to avoid no matter how prepared one is to counter it. It requires a professional psychiatrist to help that individual from this problem.

Furthermore, the effects of domestic violence are mostly inarguable. Everyone can see the negative effects of domestic violence. People accept that the most and greatest effect of domestic violence is divorce. They do not think of the well-being of those who has been left and also who has left the other partner and even the children they had raised together up to where they are now. If there were children during the break up, they would be the ones to pay the price of that divorce. They will be left stranded not sure on who to follow, and they may also be left to live on their own. Hence, this will mean that they will lack a parental figure in their lives, or one of the parents will not be part of their lives, they will be psychologically tortured and affected. If they lack the father-figure, the boys will not be able to understand their duties as a man and may grow with feminism in one way or another.

In addition, domestic violence is thought by many as only between husband and wife. It can also be between children to their parents or even parents to their children. Children though being raised by their parents, they may turn against them and mistreat them. It can be in the form of, disrespecting them, not helping them at their old age and even mental torture whereby they live in fear of their children that they may one day disown them. Also, the children might be disobedient to them. Hence, inflicting mental torture and may even lead to the death of a parent due stress, ulcers and even high blood pressure which are all as a result of too much stress.The society believes that women are the most vulnerable to domestic violence. It is just because they seem as being weak compared to the men. But when one comes out and tries to expose the plights of men, the society lends deaf ears ton that person. Most of the men are vocal while outside their homes but lower and stay silent in the presence of their wives. Most of the women have subjected their men to assaults. A man cannot complain, talk and or even express himself without being shouted back by his wife and showing of disrespect towards him. It makes that man frustrated, and he lives in a state of confusion for he even wonders where his authority as a man has gone and also he is prepared to live fully with his family. Therefore, a man can just stay in the house a can just stay in a house that he is not allowed to enjoy his rights as a man. It is because, men find it hard to speak out to the society about what they are feeling and going through because the society views them as being superior to women and also they fear exposing their weaknesses.

Domestic violence sometimes is viewed as being non-religious or in some way caused by the liberals in the society. Religion sets boundaries concerning roles of men and women as well as of the children. Boundaries reduce the risk of domestic violence for no one will act in an area that he or she is not supposed to act on it. Also, each partner has a concrete reason for what he or she had done following their religion. On the other hand, people who are liberal minded and have allowed themselves not to follow a religion are prone to domestic violence. They have accepted themselves as being equal to the other sex. They do not know what to do and what not to do in a marriage as each partner has the right to do or not do what he wants. It is because the broader liberal people around the world have not well understood what their culture is and have turned to copying other cultures that are new to them. Therefore, they have not reached a point where they can be able to set boundaries and limitations between husband and wife as well as children. Therefore, a man and woman keeps on debating on who to do this and who not to do that. Some may even end up neglecting their duties because they do not know why they are doing them. Neglect might result to violence and mistreatments of one over the other.

Some people believe that a divorce is the last solution to domestic violence. Many divorcees complain that before they left their marriage partner, they had been subjected to violence before they could hardly find and lasting solution that forced them to leave. Others believe that whatever chaos happens in a marriage has a lasting solution rather than divorce. In my opinion, all marriage problems can be solved. Before people think of marrying, they have already explored all the possibilities of living together and found them right. Therefore, people who leave their partners just because they could not sit and discuss their problems is not that justifying. Marriage is a stage in life same as birth, and it requires all the respects it deserves. Once a problem occurs, problem-solving is the best way for one to express himself or herself in marriage. But other people argue that running away from the problem will solve it. While others, on the other hand, prefer looking for another partner for marriage as an excuse of wanting to run away. Little do they know that divorce and marrying again may completely destroy a person in terms of the desire to live and increase in personal problems in their lives? Divorce is a problem by itself. It causes stress for one wonders why he or she left their partner. Marrying a second or even a third time has its negative side. One might face the same problems he or she faced in the first marriage, and because they are used to running away, one might lack no choice but to stay or decide living a single life. After losing hope, that person might be faced by a series of stress problems. Therefore, looking for a solution to a problem rather than running away or even losing hope. Couples can attend a psychiatrist so that they can be helped to solve their differences and problems. It can greatly reduce domestic violence.

People believe that economic stability in marriage is crucial for marriage to prosper. They believe that once money is there, a big problem becomes a solution. They also believe that some people marry a person just because he or she has money. But in the real sense of the word, how many marriages involving wealthy individuals have broken? How many marriages involving less fortunate people with little cash have prospered and small numbers of reported violence? It is just but a mere belief that domestic violence cannot occur among the rich. But so many incidences of mistreatment and violence are less reported about them. They look well respected by the society around them but while together they fight against each other. Everyone brags with the pride of having money or sometimes one who owns a lot than the other tries to dominate the marriage so that he or she can become the center of the union. Domestic violence can be eliminated by change of attitude to a positive view of things. Many folks living in the suburbs and villages live happily with the little they earn, and they enjoy life together with their neighbors. In our current societies, many people who were living in traditional cultural beliefs have had access to western education. People in these places claim that the western education derail their culture for it comes strings attached with western culture. Therefore, this destroys and also and corrupts their culture hence making those who have undergone the education process making them confused on what to follow leading to many family breakups and domestic violence. At a greater point, I can support them because, once cultures collide, people become confused and do not know which way to go and what to do. Domestic violence occurs when one of the couples follows one culture while the other one follows the other culture. Therefore, they cannot come to a converging point for the two cultures are divergent. Therefore, the two do not know what way to go and what to do in that marriage. One tries to make his or her culture dominant over the other making conflict and quarrels are inevitable. Therefore, western education has contributed to such violence but it’s not its fault because that is what happens when cultures collide.

Domestic violence devastating effects are such as mental illness or psychological disorder and also post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people believe that domestic violence cannot lead to mental problems. They believe it is only a matter of getting stressed for a period and then you find a way to get out of it. Domestic violence leads to marks that are not erasable. Some forms of domestic violence lead to physical injuries and which can lead to early death later in life. Extreme violence to victims leaves them with fear and always live in a traumatized nature for they think the person who was mistreating them will appear in the next minute. Trauma is very dangerous for people for it makes them live in fear and distress for the rest of their lives if proper measures are not taken to help them to get out of that problem. They can be taken to psychiatrists for counseling. If the victim left without help, accumulation of stress in his or her mind can lead to mental problems leading to mental illness.

Many people have also viewed modernism as one of the great contributors of domestic violence. They argue that that modernism has come up with new ways of life that are most of them against the traditional societal values. The society finds it hard to include those ideas in their current societies. Hence, those who are more inclined to them are viewed as outcasts. But I do not think that modernism has led to increased reports of domestic violence. Society does not stay at one place. It keeps on changing gradually and also it and beliefs also change. The change, when it starts in a society, cannot be stopped for it goes all the way, and everyone begins to accept it. Once everyone is at a position of accepting modernism, no problem will occur and people will be able to understand what they are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to. Therefore, what is happening right now in our current societies is just like a passing cloud, and it will soon end and the number of domestic violence will go down. Domestic violence also has been there since human existence on earth and therefore it will also continue to be there while being caused by other factor and people will also come out to condemn them. Domestic violence is one among the many different challenges human beings come across them in their lives on this world.

Statistics shows that domestic violence varies very much depending on the environment, and geographical are where people live. Although no conclusive reports have been written down, domestic violence depends on the surrounding factors that cause it to happen. They include hardship and stressful environment. For example in the case of many cities in sub-Saharan Africa, there is rampant domestic violence in these towns. It is because the cities have a lot of noises, traffic jams and low paying jobs and unhealthy working environment. Therefore, once couples go to work early in the morning, they only come back at night weary of the toil of the whole day. They cannot share enough time together because they are very tired and even do not even have time for their children. Therefore, they do not what one is feeling or has been going through. As it continues, the gap between them widens and once a quarrel occurs may even result to fight.

In conclusion, domestic violence is very broad depending on its definition by the people for it depends mostly on the area, and background one is brought up. It has its causes and effects to those involved and those close to them. Some of the causes are ignorance from the society, and some of the effects are mental torture and even illness and divorce. It can once the society one lives lays down the duties of husband, wife and children, and everyone accepts the terms and respects them wholeheartedly. Domestic violence and its causes are understood and explained differently by people. Some of the cases where people differ are causes like modernism, western education, divorce versus problem-solving, mental illness, psychological problems and geographical surrounding of people


Bonfleur, Bette, Marjorie B. Thomas, Cindy Andrews, and Robin Chapman. Domestic Violence: Behind Closed Doors. Princeton N.p., n.d. Print.

Forsythe, David P. Human Rights in International Relations. Cambridge [England: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print.

Humbert, Fabrice. The Origin of Violence. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2011. Print.

Dutton, Donald G. Rethinking Domestic Violence. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006. Print. Weiss, Elaine. Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free. Volcano: Volcano Press, 2004. Print.

Cook, Philip W. Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence. Westport: Praeger, 2009. Print.

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