Domestic violence is a special form of violence that violates the right to life, freedom, physical, psychological and sexual integrity, security and human dignity of a family member. It can happen to everyone, regardless of education, age, gender, or any other characteristic. Family violence takes place through various forms of psychological, physical, sexual and material-economic abuse. Although precise data on the extent of domestic violence are missing, since most of the violent acts occur within the four walls and most often remains silent (due to shame, fear, feelings of guilt or lack of information on adequate help services), numerous studies show that domestic violence is very widespread, has serious consequences, and that his victims are far more frequent women and children than adult men.
According to the Victimology Society of Serbia collected in 2001, every other woman in Serbia suffered some kind of psychological, and every third physical violence. Among the forms of physical abuse are the most common slapping and punching, and almost 30 percent of women reporting violence say they live under the threat of inflicting bodily harm, killing children or all family members. The latest data on the prevalence and characteristics of domestic violence in the Victimology Society of Serbia, conducted in 2009 in the territory of Vojvodina, show that 56% of the respondents survived some form of domestic violence after the age of majority. Every other woman (49%) was exposed to psychological violence, 34% women were exposed to physical violence, 27% were threats of physical violence, 19% were persecuted (most often by current or former spouse or partner), while 9% said they had experienced sexual violence
Domestic violence has three basic phases: raising tension, acutely abusing and re-establishing a relationship. During the “first phase” the abuser accumulates anger that can be caused by a feeling of dissatisfaction with his view of the situation in the house, unemployment, alcohol consumption and other similar circumstances. At the stage of acute abuse, the anger of the abuser culminates in open harassment, physical assaults, beating, destruction of things around the house, and the like. At the last stage of the cycle, during the re-establishment of the relationship the perpetrator at all costs tries to gain the victim through emotional manipulation, often convinced that she is to a large extent guilty of the violence that happened.
Violators can be all. Usually they are described as brutal people, deprived of emotions. The situation is quite different in most cases. Violators often do not look either disturbed or violent. These are the people who usually choose only less than themselves for their victims, where the victim usually has no resistance. The abuser is often a “cute” person, very accepted in society, witty and happy. In a certain way, these people live a double life. They show one person within their family and other friends and acquaintances.
The abuser usually performs violence deliberately (when there is no one at home or when a child is in his room, he wrongs his hair, strikes his stomach, ends his arm …) and manipulatively (brings flowers, speaks to his relatives that he is a great housewife, takes her to dinner , begging for forgiveness, showing herself as a good …).
Unfortunately, victims often suffer for years, before they dare to acknowledge their problems to someone, if they do. The reason is that society most often immediately condemns them that they are “guilty themselves” what happened to them or what has happened so long. Also, many women decide to stay with the abuser because they do not have the support of the primary family (they do not receive them back, their mothers tell them “I’ve suffered and you can do it” and the like).
Domestic violence leaves many consequences, both to those who are directly exposed to them and to those who are observers, to psychic and physical health. We are mostly aware of physical injuries of both easily recoverable and those that may have long-term consequences. However, psychological consequences can be more severe and longer lasting than physical injuries. The most common psychological consequences in the victim are: tension, restlessness, feeling of fear (for themselves, your life, the life of dear ones), feeling of shame, feeling guilty, loss of self-confidence, lack of tolerance and patience, problem with concentration, depression, suicidal thoughts, It is important to emphasize that there is no right or wrong way of responding to violence. Every person responds to violence in his characteristic way and as she feels, she has the right to do it, that’s right for her.
Domestic violence, like any other form of violence, is a serious problem in a society that none of us should close our eyes. Everyone has the right to grow up in a family where there are no threats, physical, psychological or sexual abuse!
Author: Zoran Jovanovic