Changing how the public views domestic violence
One in four women experiences severe physical violence by an intimate partner (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), and according to a 2018 public opinion survey from The Allstate Foundation, most Americans (62 percent) rank domestic violence as an extremely serious issue, but one-third think discussing it is taboo—a 10 percent increase since the 2014 survey (34 percent vs. 24 percent) - (Purple Purse)
There are many moral debates about the negotiation of meanings around women who stay in abusive relationships. Women, especially those in the public eye, are in a lose-lose situation. If they stay, they are considered weak, but if they leave, critics accuse them of not valuing the family unit. We see these judgments passed and persist on social platforms and in the media. By studying data on how the public reacts to stories of domestic violence, we can better educate the public about the actual complicated matter of choosing to stay or leave, and change the focus onto the perpetrators committing these heinous crimes instead.
The Persons Involved (GHWS)
Domestic violence is a choice and it is a learned behavior. For these reasons, it is difficult to say that domestic violence is caused by any one single factor. However, the following beliefs and attitudes are common for abusers:
Sense of entitlement
A belief they should have power and control over their partner
Belief that they can get away with it
Learned experience that being abusive gets them what they want
Belief that their lives should take priority
The Social Forces Involved (GHWS)
Social forces also play a pivotal role in shaping an abuser’s values and attitudes, as well as creating an environment where abusive behavior is rewarded and unpunished. The following social forces may contribute to perpetrators’ decision to abuse:
Gender-role identity – Limited definitions of “appropriate masculine behavior” that glorify aggression, violence, and dominance.
Family – Messages that men should have the power and make decisions in a household and/or intimate relationship (e.g. “a man’s home is his castle”)
Media – Portrayals of women as objects; glorification of violence and violent, coerced, and non-consensual sex; limited male and female roles.
Peer group – Social pressure to conform to a limited definition of masculinity, which centers on devaluing women.
Sports – Competition, aggression, and dominance are praised. Teammates that demonstrate sexist and/or abusive behavior are not held accountable.
Impunity – Many perpetrators do not face any negative repercussions for their sexist attitudes and abusive behaviors. If they are challenged, their excuses are accepted (e.g. blaming the behavior on alcohol use, stress, or being provoked by the victim)
Domestic and family violence tears lives apart. I in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence, or both, caused by someone known to them. It affects women, children, the family and the community. And it has big personal, social and economic effects (NSW).
Effects on the victim
Death, illness, injury and disability — domestic and family violence is the leading cause of death, illness and disability for women aged under 45
Emotional and psychological trauma — the devastating impact on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health including depression, shame, anger and suicide
Homelessness — nearly one-third of people in NSW seeking help from homelessness services say domestic and family violence is an issue
Use of alcohol and other drugs to deal with the pain
Physical health injuries and problems, which may not get medically treated
Effects on the family
Violence and the threat of violence at home creates fear and can destroy family environments and lead to the break-up of families
Frequent moving to avoid the abuser
Regular household conflict
Child protection or police involvement
Effects on the community
Children growing up without learning about positive and respectful relationships
Abusers going to prison
Higher rates of alcohol and other drug use, and mental health problems
Domestic and family violence is estimated to cost the NSW economy more than $4.5 billion each year
Effects on children
Of those women who experience violence, more than 50% have children in their care. Children and young people don't have to see the violence to be affected by it. Studies show that living with domestic violence can cause physical and emotional harm to children and young people in the following ways:
ongoing anxiety and depression
eating and sleeping disturbances
physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach aches
be aggressive towards friends and school mates, using bullying behavior or become a target of bullying feel guilt or blame themselves for the violence
have trouble forming positive relationships
struggle with going to school and doing school work
Impacts the victims short term and long term emotionally, physically and in the end financially
Domestic violence obviously affects victims in many damaging ways; physically, emotionally, and beyond. A 2018 survey by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) revealed just how deeply domestic violence can affect survivors' education, career, and economic stability over the course of their lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the financial impact of domestic violence ranges from individual to societal. In fact, they say the lifetime economic cost associated with medical services, lost productivity from paid work, criminal justice, and other costs, was $3.6 trillion. The cost of domestic violence over a victim’s lifetime was $103,767 for women and $23,414 for men (Forbes). This total comes from:
Disrupted Ability to Work
Workplace Sexual Harassment on Top of Partner Abuse
Financial Abuse and Damage to Credit
Promote October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Financially support organizations that shelter women and children survivors of abuse like the Brenda Strattford Centre in Calgary, AB Canada by purchasing Good that Gives shirts to raise awareness and funding for their center.
Educate the general public about how leaving is the most dangerous time/decision for a domestic violence victim
Normalize the topic of domestic violence so people feel comfortable talking about it
Ensure victims have access to resources at more places than the doctors' office
Public Health Departments
Police Departments Nationwide
The American Justice System
Men, women and children
Public health officials
The YWCA reaches 2.3 million women, girls and their families through more than 200 local associations in 45 states and the District of Columbia. We provide critical programs, including domestic and sexual violence services, through 12,500 staff members and 52,000 volunteers.
The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence in 2003, our organization helps a myriad of professionals who work with victims and perpetrators; law enforcement; criminal justice professionals such as prosecutors, judges and probation officers; health care professionals including emergency response teams, nurses and doctors; domestic violence and sexual assault advocates and service providers; and counselors and social workers.
Avon Foundation for Women – the Foundation is committed to helping educate and empower women and bringing an end to domestic violence. As a significant leader in women's empowerment and health, we are proud to expand our support for the domestic violence cause with the new program Speak Out Against Domestic Violence, New York, NY.
Make apps and services readily available and discreet so people can reach out for help even in tense situations:
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via a medium people already use and trust: text. Anyone can connect with a Crisis Counselor instantly. School systems, companies, governments, nonprofits, and other organizations partner with us to make sure their employees, grantees, constituents and students have the support they need.
Callisto's vision is a world where sexual assault is rare and survivors are supported. Our mission is to create technology that combats sexual assault, supports survivors, and advances justice. Callisto Campus is designed to detect repeat perpetrators and empower victims to make the reporting decision that feels right for them. Callisto is a nonprofit that gives survivors a new way to take action.
We Said Enough app creates a community of survivors, volunteers, and activists who can provide immediate social support to victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and bullying. The app provides needed restorative resources to begin the healing process.
Brenda Strafford Centre serves people at risk of family violence by providing a safe housing environment and comprehensive support services for its residents so that they can live safely in the community upon their departure from the Centre. Purchase Good that Gives shirts to raise awareness and funding for their center.
THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/stories/domestic-violence
Domestic Violence Has A Financial Impact Too- https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiegermano/2019/10/17/domestic-violence-has-a-financial-impact-too/#1f88e99b9d04
The effects of domestic and family violence- https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/domestic-violence/about/effects-of-dv
Green Hills Women Shelter- http://greenhillswomensshelter.net/blog/domestic-violence-2/what-causes-domestic-violence/
Emily Nelson - https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-nelson-bbaba7183/
X4Impact Team - x4i.org
Brenda Strafford Centre - https://brendastraffordsociety.com/