There are so many stories on domestic violence in marriage/relationships and it seems, it has taken 60% of the human race without proper solutions to it. This has been feared by so many people who tend to stick to it rather than leave or cut away from it. And this always comes from the countless threats from their partners or the perpetrators.
Intimate partner violence has been one of the challenges faced mostly by 80% of married women or men either done physically or verbally or by other forms of domestic violence.
NCADV study shows that 1-4 in women and 1-9 in men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact, sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Over ten-sixteen million people suffer from domestic violence in a year or once in their lifetime.
Additionally, some people may not realize that they are abusive till something triggers it. That’s why it is good to attend mental health therapy with your partner to know their mental state during courtship.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence also known as “Domestic Abuse” or “Intimate Partner Violence”, according to United Nations, can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
It shows the total control of the other person by the perpetrator. Medically, the rate at which it occurs in women and men tends to be 5 to 2 percent, which shows that, women are mostly victims at a higher rate than men.
Recent studies have shown that between 13 and 61% of women (15-49 years old) report having been physically abused at least once by an intimate partner. Domestic Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, religion, sex, etc.
In some marriages where domestic violence is being displayed, you will see it start from emotional abuse down to physical abuse from the partners. This causes the person to have total control of the other if the victim didn’t stop it at the initial stage.
Study shows that some who practice domestic abuse are suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder (a personality disorder characterized largely by an overinflated sense of self-importance typically caused by unbalanced parental valuation during childhood).
According to (Choosing therapy)– Narcissists have an arsenal of tactics to destroy their partner’s reality and confidence to gain or keep control over the relationship and partner. They will often develop a pattern of abuse to set you up to feel crazy, making it less likely that you will reach out to family and friends for help.
Research shows that “Domestic violence can occur in a person if the person’s family background is broken or when been exposed to it at an early stage or influenced by his/her environment or society at large. “This comes with different forms of abuse which are:
Forms of Abuse that Exist
This involves using physical strength/force/push against another person which might cause injury/pain or harm to the person. This often starts little by little and these are the warning signs that indicate you are facing this domestic abuse:
- Slapping/ Kicking /Strangling or choking
- Pushing/Biting or scratching/Using physical weapons which may result in broken bones or fractures, black eyes, sprained wrists, unexplained pains, etc.
- Reckless driving/threats that come with force/ restraining you
2.Emotional/ verbal abuse/Psychological Abuse:
This involves threatening, frightening, isolating, or controlling the person emotionally to influence their behaviors. It doesn’t involve physical force but comes with the person’s words, actions, and consistent threats toward the person. This always leaves the victim insecure, anxious, depressed, low-self esteem, and having a poor relationship with others.
Study shows that this kind of abuse might lead to suicide as an escape route if the victim is not strong enough to break out of it. This may affect the victim mentally, which left their believing they are crazy also known as gaslighting which may lead to mental disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. And these are the warning signs of Psychological abuse such as:
- Name-calling, yelling, screaming at you, making you feel small, hitting of fists on something to show you what they can do. Accusation and blame, emotional neglect.
- Public embarrassment, being dismissive-trying to shut down or act like they don’t care about your opinions, making jest of you, derogatory nicknames, making harsh comments, negative compliments, always trying to kill your interest or your accomplishments.
- Always reminding you of your mistakes or using them to blackmail you, especially when there is little misunderstanding or arguments.
This occurs when a person is being forced to have sex or perform any sexual activity without their consent. This can come in form of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment, refusing birth control, having sex without protection, etc.
This form of abuse shows total control over a partner’s finances or limits a partner’s financial freedom or activities. And these are the indicators of financial abuse such as
- Making a drastic decision over a partner’s work-life. Enforcing your own rules on how and when to spend his/her money.
- Withdrawing an unexplained amount of money from a partner’s account without their consent.
- Sudden transfer of assets or property using threats or blackmail.
- Forging a signature on cheques and documents.
- Depriving a partner of their finance or wealth and using their names as the legal ownership of their assets…
This happens when the abuser tries to control their victim’s cultural perspectives, beliefs, and spirituality to inflict suffering or pain. Examples of these are:
- Belittling your beliefs, practice, and tradition.
- Forcing you to practice their tradition which you don’t know
- Using their culture or tradition to justify their behaviors
- Reminding you of where and what to do as their tradition demands.
- Practicing bad medicine against you
- Accepting what you don’t believe because of their family tradition…
Intimate partner violence can be inflicted by society/ culture as well if they see it as something which is not wrong, not establishing the laws that can protect the victims, or decide not to interfere in family issues which supposed not to be. This can be reduced but we need to know what causes or factors influence it.
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CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MARRIAGE
1. Decision making: how does it influence domestic abuse?
This is one of the problems we faced in our relationship. The decisions we make at the early stage of our relationship determine how our marriage will be. Some relationships could not have happened or establish if some of us facing this abuse decided to call it off at the initial time. We tend to jump into the process of getting to know our partners better before tying the knot but due to how we want to stick together, we neglect the initial and most important stages and end up becoming what we are not.
For instance, they are people who know how their partner’s traits are but due to lack of improper courtship/ marriage orientation, they hope to see them change in the future or probably in their marriage. Peradventure, when what they expected didn’t happen, they tend to leave or adjust to it.
“Some people are not violent in nature but due to the environment they found themselves in, they tend to react or cope with it instead of breaking or cutting out from it” Olusegun Badmus
You can see a man or woman who doesn’t believe or does not try to change his/her nonchalant ways when they are still single and they believe in stopping when they get married which might or never would happen. We believe that whatever we do when we are single can be solved in our marriages. Nothing happens on the altar, likewise, in your marriage. And the mistake, we make is knowing full well what and how the persons we are going to spend the rest of our lives are and still expect changes in the future.
This decision has wrecked a lot of relationships and families which has affected a lot of partners turning them into what they didn’t believe they can ever be.
2. Personal traits/temperament.
Characters are one of the factors of domestic violence that are destroying homes. Someone with a bad character trying to justify his/her actions is worst than ever. Some partners hide their characters at the early stage of the relationship and immediately they settled down, they burst up, becoming what you don’t expect and when you try to talk to them, they end up hitting you or emotionally abusing you. Bad character kills home and it affects the children well.
In this situation, all you need to do is to know what kind of person they are and how you can manage them without being abusive. You can initiate a heart-to-heart talk with them and make them see what they are doing to you can destroy your home but in the case, they become worst than before like if they physically abuse you, it is better you move out or separate for a while and see if they can come to their senses.
3. Cultural factors
This happens when two different tribes come together intent of marriage. Some cultures are not favorable especially to women and few men. At first, it might seem not to be a problem due to some excitement that comes with it but with time, the cultural differences begin to set in. there are things you see as an abomination in your own culture that might end up becoming a normal thing in your partner’s culture. And when the two of you do not adopt or try to find ways to adjust, it would lead to domestic violence and hinder a lot of things in the family like how to raise the kids. What ritual is to be performed? Whose cultural ideology should be followed? And whose decision stands in the family?
I have seen where this has caused more harm in society, especially in the olden days when intra-marriages occur and their victims were subjected to a culture or laws which are not favorable leading them into suffering or enduring all because of marriage.
It is good to have your own family research/ Investigation on your partner before entering into what you don’t know. Every tribe has its way of life and you should ask questions and talk about them at the start of your relationship to avoid future predicaments don’t be afraid of breaking up the relationship if you couldn’t handle what is involved.
This has contributed a lot to an abusive relationships and it has wrecked some homes. Some partners are not bad but the advice they receive from some of their friends or see online has left them practicing or inflicting pain on their partners. We should be careful about what we hear and where we hear them from. Not every piece of advice should be accepted, filter it and stop imposing them on your partner.
5. Infidelity/ Cheating
When one is not faithful to their spouse or partner, this brings a lack of trust in the marriage especially when you are caught.
In our society today, they have made it open that when a man cheats, he has the right but when a woman does the same thing, it becomes an abomination. This has brought more harm than good and the worst is the generational curse attached to the women and not the men. And when your partner tries to confront you on that, it might end up bad or the other way around.
This has been a fight for ages and it seems like the winning side is stronger up to now. And when the victim of this act speaks up, it looks like there is no room for justice to be served and this can lead to domestic violence.
It would be better to talk to your partner when you caught them and have a heart-to-heart talk with them. Finding the cause of that and helping them to avoid it but in the case, where he/she tries to justify their actions, it would be better to talk to someone they listen to and avoid being battered by them.
6. Family background/influence-
Some abusers grew up witnessing how their parents abuse each other and they tend to adjust to it thinking it is normal in the family. When they married, they try to inflict pain on their partners or stick to abusive partners without breaking out of it.
On the other hand, some families love to make decisions or interfere in their children’s marriages. Some families want to control their sons/daughters-in-law, making them dance to their tunes.
Sometimes, it might come from a partner who always seeks advice outside his or her home and tend to do whatever the family says. This is one of the big signs that indicate a relationship could turn violent if the perpetrator doesn’t change.
It is advised to know the kind of family you are about to enter to avoid trouble in your marriage. The way they treat you matters a lot, especially the way the parents act towards each other.
7. Lack of understanding-
Understanding comes with tolerance and compromise and not everybody has it. A situation where two people don’t want to listen or calm down to decide on something won’t escape an abusive home. You have to know when to talk and when to listen. If you are not ready to tolerate or compromise, I don’t think you are building a peaceful home and it might end up bad. Understanding should be the key that unlocks every good thing in your family and not the other way around.
8. Financial instability/ excessive dependence on the abuser-
I have seen so many cases of this, where some partners abuse their partners because of their financial capacities and tend to subject them to what they want. Who provides, becomes the ultimate ruler and decision-maker. And this has subjected some partners to become abusive lovers, especially women. They see it as their strategies of getting all they want when their partners abuse them or inflict pain on them.
I have heard someone say, she loved it whenever they fight in her marriage because she would get all the necessary things she need. You can see in this situation that the person is not seeing it as domestic violence but as the opportunity to gain. Lack of finance in the family can also cause intimate partner violence. Where there is no money to solve a problem or provide the necessary amenities needed for the family. Poverty and unemployment can cause this too.
As a woman, it is good to have what you are doing before entering into marriage to avoid unnecessary problems in the future. This gives you room for financial security both for yourself and your family.
9. Lack of respect/ submissive-
In a relationship where the both don’t respect each other, it would be hard to see the woman submitting to the man and the man showing his respect and loving his woman. When the woman tries to overpower her husband and her husband not knowing how to handle the situation brings nothing but destruction in that family and this is why domestic abuse happens.
When a partner is being subject to the pressure of taking all the responsibility of the family without their partner helping out. It would utter their moods and lifestyle which may lead them to be violent or mentally disabled.
Family pressure can also cause this, when a partner always has to carry the burdens of all the family’s needs, he or she might tend to be violent as the only way of easing their pains/burdens.
11.No fear of God.
The Bible says, “the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom.” In a family or relationship when they don’t put God first or understand what the Bible says about the situation they are facing. They would tend to be inflicting pain on themselves without seeking the right counsel.
As the Bible made it, the man is the head and he represents the body of Christ and the woman is to submit to her head and build her home with love. When all these are lacking, it would be hard to control yourself when bad times come.
12. Improper orientation on domestic violence/lack of education
Domestic violence education is being ignored and shouldn’t go like that. Some partners don’t know what they are into because they don’t see it as such. This should be included in our education system, to show the young ones and adults that this violence can be avoided and reported if such occur.
Education opens a lot in the family. Knowing what should be done and when it should be avoided. Illiterates kill, and when one is subjected to not learning, he or she might suffer this abuse thinking it is normal in a relationship or one of the things that come with marriage.
Resources and support for domestic violence.
It is sometimes challenging to decide what to do if you are faced with this situation and whom to talk to. Marriage should not be a matter of life and death. It is not what we should enter to endure but enjoy but we should build it with love, trust, patience, and endurance toward what looks good.
On the contrary, when your life is being threatened or at stake, it would be best to seek help towards those that are mentally capable of doing so. I have made my research and found resources on where to get help in times of this.
You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for free, they are always available 24/7 to answer and help.
You can also call the National Resources center on domestic violence at 1-800-537-2238. You can also reach out to https://nomoredirectory.org/nigeria/ for more information on how to get help for those in Nigeria or loveisrespect.org at 866-331-9474 for support or chat them up online. And finally, you can reach us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org too. We are here for you and you don’t deserve to be beaten or treated bad and always apply wisdom in running your home.
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