Posts Tagged ‘domestic abuse’

A profile of the victims of domestic abuse

A profile of victims of domestic violence

It may be argued that victims of domestic abuse have certain characteristics that are primarily psychological and social in nature that may impinge on their ability to leave many abusive situations on their own, and to experience an effective intervention. Such a profile portrays victims as individuals who are financially and emotionally dependent on their aggressors.

Psychological and social profile of the abuse victim (James, 2008):

In order to have effective intervention, not only abuse victims, but members of the neighbourhoods, communities and organization must be sensitive to the type of issues that need to be resolved. Not resolving them can increase the chance that the abused will stay in a dangerous environment.

1. victims may demonstrate a lack of self esteem: the lack of self worth is an understandable result of emotional and physical abuse where they are constantly made to feel weak and devalued. Feeling this way only benefits the aggressor, as it makes it easier to exert control and to inflict pain that feels justifiable.

2. A history of abuse: women (or men) may have spent most of their lives as victims in a string of relationships, or grown up in a environment where primary socialization included seeing their own mothers being controlled and abused. Such experience allows then to accept their role, and may even rationalize that it is their ‘fate’ or that it can’t get better than this.

3. Lack of resources: the lack of economic resources is a major social factor that leaves victims dependent on their abuser. Money earned may controlled by the abuser; victims may not even have a job due to the wishes of their partner, or limited education that narrows the chances of finding work.

4. Are extremely dependent: Emotional and Financial dependency (discussed earlier). Such dependency makes them willing to endure being abused, just so that needs may be met.

5. Victims may also have an idealized view of the relationship. Ideals held strongly may include that they can ‘fix’ or ‘change’ their partner, or that their children (if any), still need the support of their father (or mother). Such ideals contribute to prolonging their stay in a abusive environment.

6. in the case of abused women, being socialized to accept certain stereotypical roles may even rationalize the degree of control their partner has. They may experience guilt for ‘disobedience’, or think that abuse is part of the ‘iron clad rules’ of a patriarchal system.

7. be unable to differentiate between sex and love and there is the belief that love is manifested through intense sexual relationships.

8. Isolation: ashamed of being victimized, victims choose to isolate themselves socially and may numb themselves emotionally towards others. These are some of the attempts to hide their problems from others.

9. Asserting the victim’s rights and feelings are hard for victims to do.

Do you agree with this profile of domestic violence victims? Are victims always dependent women who have limited finances and education? Have they always been socialized to be submissive counter parts? Or can they be the more apparently influential, socially outgoing and independent women; who hide their reality not behind a veil of tameness and isolation, but behind ‘the healthy and empowered front?’
Share your views. We all owe it to ourselves to speak out against this universal social problem.

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