Psychology of Women in the Aspect of Domestic Violence

This is summary of the article entitled Domestic Violence: an Overview written by C.J. Newton, MA, a Learning Specialist.  The article discussed domestic violence and its effect to women, as well as to children and teenager.The author introduced the article by discussing the definition of domestic violence.  Domestic violence was defined as “emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse between people who have at some time had an intimate or family relationship” by Newton (2001).  Newton (2001) also discussed each meaning of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse to women.  According to Newton (2001), emotional abuse is when one experiences from an intimate partner a continuous criticizing, calling names or shouting, insulting, public humiliating, regular threatening to leave, and others.On the other hand, physical abuse happens when an intimate partner pushed or shoved his/her partner, slapped or bitten the partner, kicked or chocked the partner, hit or punched the partner, threaten the partner with a weapon, and other.  And then, sexual abuse occurs when an intimate partner does the following to his partner: minimized the importance of her feelings about sex, criticized her sexually, raped her, and others (Newton, 2001).Newton (2001) presented some statistics on domestic violence.  Heise and Gottemoeller (1999) said in the article that one out of three women around the world “has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.” According to Rodriguez, McLoughlin, and Grumbach (1999) “[p]hysical violence is estimated to occur in 4 to 6 million intimate relationships each year in the United States.” And “[i]t is estimated that 2 million to 4 million US women are assaulted by a domestic partner every year… Up to 35% of women…presenting to the emergency department has experienced domestic violence,” said Massey (1999) (cited in Newton, 2001).It is also discussed in the article why it is hard to stop the domestic violence.  One reason presented is that it is hard to report.  Women fear retaliation, they have low self-esteem and think they are not worthy to ask help from others or they themselves caused the abuse (Newton, 2001).Women who were victims of domestic violence may experience the following: anxiety, chronic depression, chronic pain, death, dehydration, drug and alcohol dependence, eating disorders, health problems such as malnutrition, panic attacks, self neglect, sleep disorders, suicide attempts, and others (Newton, 2001).  Domestically abused women also have “higher risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths…” according to Johns Hopkins (1999) study (cited in Newton, 2001).Children and teenagers who witnessed violence at home may also be affected by domestic violence.  Some of them are forced to grow up faster than others at their age because they take responsibilities of their parents such as doing house chores and caring for younger siblings.  Some children may feel isolated when they do not have friends whom they can invite them over their house because of the chaotic situation.  They may also be emotionally affected which may make them feel angry, miserable, afraid of dying and of losing of a parent. They may also feel rage and quilt. Same thing goes with the teenagers who are exposed to domestic violence.  In addition, they try to live like normal when with their peers and keep their life at home a secret (Newton, 2001).Newton (2001) listed some organizations that are available to help individuals in the abusive situation as follows:  American Red Cross-Greater Chicago, Chicago Abused Women’s Coalition, Constance Morris House, Family Rescue, Inc., Life Span, South Suburban Family Shelter, Inc., and others.  These organizations provide living programs for women and their children as well as counseling and assistance. There are also support groups and mental health services (Newton, 2001).“The effects of domestic violence on our society are obviously enormous, but are impossible to measure… A person’s spirit is priceless, and a broken spirit costs more than can be measured in dollars,” Newton (2001) concluded. But then the consequences of domestic violence can still be viewed in terms of the cost, Newton (2001) further explained that:… There is enormous cost to the state in the form of time spent by law enforcement officers, courts, lawyers, public health workers… cost to social welfare organizations in the form of money and donated time to staff and run shelters, counseling services, hotlines…  cost to the productivity of our workhouse in the form of absenteeism, worker re-training (when a victim is killed), and decreased productivity.  The educational system is required to provide specialized services to children suffering from attentional and behavioral problems resulting from domestic violence.