Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse, battering, or family violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse
It can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.
It may be termed intimate partner violence when committed by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence may also involve violence against children or the elderly.
One of the biggest concerns with domestic violence victims is that they do not leave their abusers.
Each individual has their own set of reasoning but research has found some general underlying reasons of an intimate partner violence victim choosing to not leave their abuser.
Here are a few reasons or answers to the most pertinent questions that we always ask the victims
Why do you stay?
How can anyone ever stay with someone who beats them?
They believe that the person they married is a life partner and can be forgiven for their behavior
The idea of marriage is held so sacred that you imagine when you marry someone, they are going to be your life partner. The idea of a life partner eliminates or pushes away all the worth considering worse scenarios.
The love of your life.
The love of your life cannot be the abuser, can he?
You believe that that’s your family and families stick with each other despite everything
Family is held ideal, and ideals do not include abuser. Even if it does, it becomes a part of the family. You have no idea of what constitutes domestic violence. You know little or nothing about domestic abuse because you never think that it is ever going to happen in your “home”.
Initially the partner gives the perception that they admire everything about you,
They encourage you to be independent and decisive, and appreciate your “intellect”. And that you are the dominant one in the relationship. “You take charge, you know what to do.”
They want to know everything about you, your family, your friends, your goals, and your general outlook towards life. They create an environment of trust around you. The idea is to present it as a healthy relationship, hence the trust.
Here are some of the other things that an abuser does to build trust with their victim
- Seduce and charm the victim
- Isolate the victim
- Introduce the victim to the threat of violence and see how they react
If you recognize a pattern like this, it is not just in your head, it may actually be real. Seek help.
Cover image via: domesticshelters.org