Most people know someone who has been or is currently involved in an abusive relationship.
Domestic Violence has been defined as acts of aggression against a family member or individual cohabitating that results in physical and or emotional harm. There are subgroups within domestic violence that consist of childhood physical or sexual abuse, spousal abuse, and elderly abuse.
Child abuse may consist of intentional injuries that are a direct result of an act of violence by a parent or caretaker. The injuries may be bruises, welts, burns, fractures, etc. Oftentimes, these injuries are unexplained or unbelievable. Child abuse may also be sexual. Sexual acts towards children may be committed by parents, siblings, other family members, baby-sitters, or strangers. The effects of child abuse last long beyond childhood. This may consist of depression, eating disorders, suicidal behaviors, difficulty trusting others, acts of violence/abuse against others, low self-esteem/self-worth, and physical consequences such as developmental delays due to head injuries or reproductive/fertility issues.
Spousal abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, or economical. Reports have shown that 1 in 3 women have been physically or sexually abused by a partner or spouse. Although men have been victims as well, they are less likely to report it or seek help due to shame. Some examples of spousal abuse are hitting, shoving, name calling, making threats, hurting children or pets as retaliation, intimidation, withholding money, taking car keys, forced sexual acts, humiliation, property destruction, and isolation from family and friends. Often, the victim may feel responsible or that she caused the abuse. As a result, the victim may attempt to nurture the abuser or attempt to keep him calm during the Tension Building and Abuse phase. The victim may also feel obligated to return or take the abuser back during the Honeymoon phase. Psychological responses a victim of abuse may exhibit may include feeling extremely fearful or "on edge", hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, thoughts or feeling she deserved the abuse, and feelings of rage.
Elder abuse is defined as physical, psychological, sexual, material abuse and neglect against the elderly. Elder abuse may take place in the home or in an institution. When elder abuse takes place in the home or by someone who the elderly individual cohabitates with, it becomes a subgroup of domestic violence. Elderly victims of abuse may exhibit anxiousness around younger individuals, feelings of depression, may appear malnourished, report lost jewelry and other personal items. If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic violence/abuse, please call 1-(800)-33-HAVEN(42836) for Georgia residents. If you reside outside of Georgia, you may call1-(800)-621-HOPE (4673).
*Info in this blog is strictly my personal/professional opinion. Posts and comments are not intended to treat, diagnose, or replace any medical advice you may have received. Please contact your doctor or therapist if you feel you need help, and in any case of emergency, dial 911.