There is talk of domestic violence when the abuse occurs in the family environment between the members of the couple, since when the attacks are towards minor children it is called child abuse.
The majority of cases of domestic violence, as revealed by the data, is caused by the man to his partner. This is due to the vulnerable situation of women who still do not have economic independence or social support. In addition, physically they have less strength, so that, even if they decided to face the aggressions of men, they would still bear the worst of it. On the other hand, this situation shows the existence of gender stereotypes that relate violence to men as a characteristic associated with their masculinity.
The high personal and emotional involvement experienced at home facilitates disinhibition in both positive and negative behaviors. Many things that we would not do with our friends or co-workers (say bad words, give many kisses or say compliments), can be part of our intra-family behavior repertoire.
These behaviors are carried out, in part, because we feel protected in the privacy of the context. This intimacy, so necessary for the human being, becomes an obstacle to detect serious problems, such as domestic violence, by people outside that environment. Furthermore, in this context, the frequency and duration of personal relationships are usually higher than in other media.
These characteristics make the family environment the optimal place to develop the most important emotional ties, when conditions are favorable. But it is also the place where conflict situations appear and where accumulated stress and tension can be released without any social limitation. In these cases the victims are usually the weakest (women, children, the elderly …).
Definition and types of domestic violence
Domestic violence is understood to be any aggression exerted by a person from the family environment towards another from the same context. In general, it is usually men (husbands, partners, children, parents, brothers …) who attack women. When violence is exercised against minor children, it is specifically called child abuse.
Aggressions tend to be, in the case of mistreatment of women, of three types: physical, psychological and sexual.
Physical abuse is any behavior that can cause bodily harm to a woman and that does not occur accidentally. The most common are: hits, shoves, kicks, beatings … and the results: wounds, bruises, fractures, burns …
Psychological abuse includes threats, insults, forms of intimidation, humiliation, devaluation of the person, obligation of obedience, behaviors that blame, isolate, control (exits, money, calls …), ridicule …
Sexual violence involves forcing a woman to have some kind of sexual contact against her will. This type of aggression reaches its maximum intensity with rape, considered this way even though the intercourse occurs within the marriage bond.
Generally, these three types of offenses are combined in cases of domestic abuse, being difficult to isolate one of them, when violence is exercised in the couple.
Consequences of domestic violence
Physical abuse produces immediate consequences and more visible results, although the psychological and sexual consequences are probably those that leave the most consequences.
In the medium and long term, the consequences are low self-esteem , insecurity, social and family isolation, in some cases leading to deep depression and, in the most serious, suffering from somatic diseases.
Recent studies seem to show that women who suffer psychological abuse are twice as likely to suffer from chronic pain, migraines, ulcers, gastritis … However, the consequences of abuse, in the family environment, are not limited exclusively to the damage produced in the woman.
it deteriorates, in addition to the couple relationship, all family interaction, since the quantity and quality of positive relationships decreases and the situation of mistreatment to those who live under the same roof becomes general (horizontal projection).
Furthermore, due to the specific characteristics of the family context, abuse tends to recur chronically and worsen.
Why is it produced?
Many people think that when women endure abuse from their partners it is because they “must like it” or “they are doing well.” This way of thinking, in addition to meaning that they have no idea of the ordeal that women go through, is a great obstacle to the prevention and reporting of domestic violence.
Probably if the first day they meet her, their partner beat them up, the women would neither continue the relationship nor take any more blows. However, they come to resist years and years of abuse.
In many cases, violence does not take long to appear, although psychological abuse has already occurred.
At first the woman thinks that she will be able to control the situation and change her partner. Learn, then, to adapt to the demands of the aggressor to avoid inciting him and thus not be attacked.
This is a pathological process called “learned helplessness.” It is characterized because the woman is not able to initiate any action that allows her to get out of the situation of abuse in which she finds herself. In many cases, it is even possible to identify with the aggressor, feeling worthy of the punishments he receives.
The process and its different phases
Before physical abuse, there have already been verbal abuses such as insults and humiliations. Each pair has its own periodicity.
However, it is homogeneous to all relationships in which violence is exercised, the cyclical process and the increase in the severity of the aggressions, the stages being shorter and shorter and therefore shorter the period without suffering attacks.
At the same time, threats also increase in frequency, in severity (from hitting her to killing her) and in victims (not only directed at the woman but also at the children or other members of her family).
Let’s look at the different stages of domestic violence:
In this first phase, the man is angry and irritated.
When the woman tries to ask and try to analyze what is happening, she finds answers such as “nothing is wrong”, “they are your imaginations”, “you are too sensitive” …
The woman does not understand what is happening, she feels perplexed and doubts, more and more, if everything is really happening or is she the one who is making it up or misinterpreting it.
The confusion is heightened because, in public, the man is wonderful to everyone except her. And he behaves much worse in private. When she highlights these differences, he tells her again that “for you everything is a problem”, “you don’t know what you’re saying” …
His tension increases as she learns to “walk on tiptoe” so as not to make him more angry, as she feels responsible and guilty for her partner’s reactions. The increase in tension is associated with two types of mistreatment; there are insults, breakage of objects, he withdraws the word from her for a certain time, embarrasses her in public, threatens her …
During this first phase, he shows himself more and more cold and she, before the sensation of losing him, gives more and more of herself, conforming to his demands and excusing all his behaviors.
After accumulating so much tension, the man ends up exploding and physically attacks the woman, beginning the second phase, the violent explosion.
After accumulating so much tension, the man ends up exploding and physically attacks the woman, beginning the second phase, the violent explosion. By then her relationship of dependence on him is so great that she becomes paralyzed, she does not act.
He is living in learned helplessness. After the attack, a new phase called the “honeymoon” begins.
In this phase, the tension produced by waiting for a new beating will occur or not is so high that, in some cases, the woman provokes the aggressor, in order to reduce the state of nerves to which she is subjected.
Many times it is promoted at times when the children are not at home, thus preventing the explosion of anger (which the woman knows will occur sooner or later) from splashing the little ones as well.
With this suffering she punishes herself for being responsible for the choice of her partner.
After the attack, a new phase called the “honeymoon” begins. It is called that because it is when the man displays all the charm of which he is capable, promising that it will not happen again, showing all his repentance (he even cries) and his good intentions of amendment.
It makes people believe that now the power is in the woman and that she is safe from attacks. But it is the period where she is most likely to be raped for the sake of a reconciliation that the husband or partner imposes.
During this phase the man makes her feel loved and lets her guard down. He even convinces her to have a child (if it is not generated as a result of rape) and the woman accepts because she thinks that with the child, the situation will change. But the only thing he manages is to anchor himself to the situation, making it even more difficult to get out of the cycle.
Over time the irritability of the partner begins again, ending the previous stage.
When the woman begins to make effective the concessions that he has previously conferred (return to managing some money, visits to the family …), he feels that he is losing control (anything, a gesture, word …, can be interpreted by the aggressor as an attempt to undermine his authority); then it tries to re-impose the state of obedience of the first phase, starting the cycle again.
For the victim
For the victim it is the way to bear not only physical pain but also the feeling of not knowing that they are loved or respected, helping them to face their emotional dependence. To do this, she convinces herself that she is responsible and guilty of everything that happens. This allows you to think that you can do something to avoid the assaults.
It is the excuse that attenuates the feeling of uncertainty, of waiting for how and when the next violent episode will occur.
In some cases the level of uncertainty is so damaging that the woman provokes the aggression.
For the aggressor
For the aggressor, denial is the mechanism through which he can endure living with himself knowing that he inflicts so much pain on a person. For this, it uses three annexed and complementary devices: justify, minimize and rationalize.
He justifies the blows by saying that “it is for the good of the woman”, “deep down I love her but if I slap her it is to make things better”, “you already know that whoever loves you well will make you cry” …
After the physical attacks, the aggressor minimizes the damage caused by stating that “it was not so bad”, “just a push but he caught him with his changed foot and that is why he fell” … When the consequences are undeniably serious, he explains that “I didn’t want to hit him so hard »,« I just wanted to grab her but it got out of hand »…
If this procedure works so adequately with physical aggressions, what wonderful result will minimization not operate in psychological abuse whose effects are not so obvious? His way of convincing himself can be through: “you are very susceptible”, “you misunderstand everything”, “I did not say that”, “it was not my intention … you are very sensitive”, “who is eating your head against me? »…
Ultimately, the aggressor tries to make the inhuman reasonable by repeating that “deep down she is happy”, “she accepts me as I am because there are also many good times, most of which make up for these others”, “I am an errand who does what that she orders »,« I work so that she lives like a queen at home and does not have to go out to work »…
Some of them are: the characteristics of those who make up the family, the type of relationship established between those who make it up, the existing relationship with other contexts or the values that are defended in the social sphere in which the family is found.
Characteristics of the man who mistreats are: inadequate or non-existent procedures to control his anger, low level of resistance to frustration, pathological jealousy, low self-esteem. He also defends sexist stereotypes such as that “women should be at his service.” He justifies violence as an effective discipline method and also associates it with his masculinity or gender identity.
When the man adopts an attitude of superiority over the woman, the relationship will hardly settle on a level of equality, which can lead to some type of abuse. At the same time, if, in the couple, the woman assumes a dependency relationship, she is helping to maintain the abuse and to make it increasingly stable and lasting.
After the assault, the woman must go to her health center or hospital emergency room to be cured and request a duplicate of the medical report or part of care where it can be verified not only the damage suffered, but also that it has been caused by physical aggression.
In order to heal the physical and psychological wounds of domestic violence, it is essential to separate the victim from the aggressor. The first thing a woman must do is convince herself that at no time will she be able to change her partner by herself and that, after the first beating, more and worse will come.
Afterwards, you must go to the Police, to the Investigating Court on duty and file the corresponding complaint. Due to the privacy of the context where the attacks take place, no one can make them public, as accurately, as the victim. The publicity comes through the complaint.
In the story it is necessary that all possible data be given without omitting details and adding if there have been other previous situations of a similar nature. Before signing, you must read the complaint and make the pertinent clarifications if there is something that is not clear or that needs to be added.
It is very important to file the complaint (and not remove it), since it will be the evidence that will determine, later, if the attacks are going to be legally classified as a crime or as a misdemeanor. This will affect the sentence.
You should always ask for a copy of the complaint or receipt.
It must be remembered that women have the free right to a lawyer for their defense. For this, you can obtain information at the headquarters of the bar association in your province. When the woman decides to leave home, she must seek protection. You have 30 days, once you have left the home, to request provisional measures or a request for separation so that your departure is not considered as abandonment of the marital home. This determination should not be communicated to anyone. Your attorney should be the one to introduce you to your partner.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.