Domestic Violence is defined as violence towards or physical abuse of one's spouse or domestic partner. (dictionary) Domestic Violence happens to both men and women of any age, race or religion. Abuse can be female on female, female on male or male on male, most cases happens when a male abuses his female partner. Domestic violence can range from physical abuse, beating, or slapping, mental abuse, like intimidation, or sexual abuse. No two domestic violence cases are exactly the same, but all have one similar quality, the abuser’s aim is to have power and control over his partner. Victims of domestic violence can experience a variety of side effects from it. Many of the women are too afraid of their abuser to speak out. Many victims feel that it is their fault, because of the guilt the victim feels, instead of getting help, they may start abusing alcohol, having panic or anxiety attacks, they may begin inflicting pain upon themselves or develop a eating disorder. In serve cases the victim may feel the best way out of a abusive relationship is suicide. Suicide is never the answer, neither is alcohol or eating disorders. Experts don’t recommend counseling to any victim and their abuser. The abuser may see this as a way that their victim is turning them in and the abuse may get worse. Many victims feel has if there is no way out, and that they deserve the abuse that they are receiving, some even believe that they are the only ones that are being abused. None of this is true, there is always a healthy way out of an abusive relationship and you never deserve any abuse, physical, mental or emotional. There are many ways to help yourself, the easiest is to tell someone outside of your relationship, about the abuse, for example, a friend or family member. Calling 911 is the best way to insure action is taking towards your abuser. There is a hotline in almost ever major city inside the United States, there is also a national hotline for domestic violence victims. Going to a hospital’s emergency room is another place in which you can seek help. Many cities have local women’s shelters, which often provide twenty four hour shelter for a victim and her children, they may also provide legal services and safety if you abuser should try and follow you. In Charlotte there are two battered women’s shelters both run by The United Way. One of society's chief weapons in the battle to halt domestic violence has become a weapon of a different sort in the hands of people A restraining order is a paper which is signed by a judge and tells your abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both female and male victims. Restraining orders are issued by Civil or Superior Court. A restraining order generally lasts up to six months, but can be extended. (women’s law). Leave and never return to the abuser the next time you see them should be on the other side of the court room in front of a judge for a divorce hearing. Many experts believe, if you are still feeling guilt or anxiety from the abuse, it is best to work those feelings out with a Psychologist in a individual or group setting. A lot of towns have support groups you can attend that are private and set up much like an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, were no name is given and the location of the meeting is kept secret, so that your abuser can not find you. It is suggested that the victim gets a sponsor, someone who may have been abused in the past and has successfully overcome that abuse, they can provide as a roll model and for emotional, mental and physical support. In many cases after you have left your abuser, may call you and assure you that they have changed, they may constantly apologize for their abuse and ask you repeatedly to come back home. Don’t Go!, your abuser has not changed, they may feel sorry for what they did, but it is a cycle that unless they receive professional help they can not shake. Change your phone number or move, it is best the abuser has no way of finding their victim. There is not only support groups for the victim but also for abuser. There are organizations all over the country that help the abuser realize, what he is doing is harming his partner and provides them with the support to stop this violence. One group that does this is The Men’s Non-Violence Project, it is a group of men and women who got together and decided they needed to put an end to the abuse they were causing. To sum up domestic violence, Get Help! You do not have to go through it alone. There are many places that a victim can receive help, support groups and counseling services, friends, family, hospitals and police are all there to help a victim out of the abusive relationship.. Seek them out for your own safety so that you do not end up as a statistic. The victim is not to blame if someone is abusing them. If the abuse is allowed to continue it will only escalate.
Domestic Violence. Webster’s Online Dictionary . 2004.
Women’s Shelter Online