Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to the intentional use of emotional, physical, psychological, or sexual force by a family member, including the intimate partner, in an attempt to control the other. Domestic violence has become one of the most concerning public health problems and violations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that nearly 1 in 3 (35 percent) women across the world are a victim of physical and/or sexual violence from intimate partner or sexual violence from non-partner in their lifetime.

Impact of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a debilitating experience for the victim as it may lead to serious mental health problems, including:

  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicide ideation or thoughts
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse

Treating Perpetrators and Victims of Domestic Violence

Not only does domestic violence have physical implications, it also has social, emotional and psychological impact on the victim and the abuser as well. Therefore, when addressing domestic violence, both the perpetrators and the victims need to be targeted.

When we talk about treating domestic violence, it means addressing the mental health problems and addiction issues raised because of domestic violence. And in the process of overcoming these conditions, the issue of domestic violence is approached gently and dealt with accordingly. The direction of the treatment is dictated by the patient (depending on whether the patient is a victim or a perpetrator).

At Athena rehabilitation center, we offer individual-centric treatment for domestic violence for both victims and perpetrators. Aggression, depression, anger issues or a traumatic past may contribute to violent behavior. This can be corrected by targeted treatment comprising of counselling, therapy and medication management.

Determinants of Domestic Abuse

According to experts, the primary determinants of domestic abuse include what we, as a society, have normalized. This includes normalization of controlling behavior and excessive use of the internet, which increases certain risk factors for domestic violence. Other markers that determine domestic violence include:

  • Unemployment
  • Adverse childhood events (ACE)
  • Pregnancy
  • Chemical dependency
  • Mental health disorders
  • Greater access to victims

Domestic Abuse and Addiction Correlation

Researchers have cited frequent and high occurrence of alcohol and other drug use among perpetrators of domestic abuse. Surprisingly, it was not just the perpetrators who were found under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but the victims of domestic violence are also found to be turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with the abuse. In addition, people addicted to drugs are reported to be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by others. Without a proper alcohol detox and treatment, this behavior may get worse.

The vulnerability of children turning to substance abuse and other risky behaviors increases if they have witnessed substance abuse, domestic violence, and/or mental illness while growing up. It does not matter if they were the direct victims of the abuser. They are likely to develop substance abuse, mental health problems and other risky behaviors later in their lives, even if they were just the witnesses of such troubling behavior. These children are also more likely to indulge in domestic violence.

How to identify if You Are Being Abused

Most partners, stuck in an abusive relationship, feel that they do not have a choice and that relationships are supposed to be like this. This is not the case. You always have a choice. You are in an abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Bullies, controls, or threatens you
  • Finds excuses to criticize you
  • Dictates terms on what to wear and how you should look
  • Yells at you and makes you feel small
  • Threatens to kill you or someone close to you
  • Attacks you with weapons or things found in the home that can be used as weapons
  • Throws things or punches walls when angry
  • Doesn’t let you work
  • Doesn’t let you connect to your family and friends
  • Embarrasses you in front of others
  • Locks you in or out of your house
  • Pushes, punches, bites, kicks or pulls your hair
  • Forces you to have sex against your will
  • Makes you feel like you owe them sex

Signs If Someone You Know Is Being Abused

Apart from looking out for yourself, you need to look out for your loved ones also. Reach out for help if you find your loved ones display any of the following behavior:

  • Making excuses for injuries
  • Personality changes like low self-esteem
  • Getting overly worried about pleasing their partner
  • Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, for example, wearing long sleeves in summer to cover bruises
  • Skipping work, or social outings for no clear reasons

If you or a loved one is experiencing violence, immediately reach out for help. We can help you identify if you are a perpetrator or a victim and offer personalized treatment programs to help you overcome the situation. Our comfortable residential locations and experienced staff offer compassionate care that would help address the root cause of the problem and plan effective treatment programs.