Top 10 Ways to Fight Domestic Violence
A happy home and a supportive family are the basic needs for a happy life. But what will you do if someone from your own family is the reason for your deteriorating mental and physical health? Where will you go if your own house becomes unsafe? This is exactly what victims of domestic violence have to go through. Believe it or not, domestic violence is much more common than you think it is. One out of every four women is likely to go through domestic violence atleast once in her life. This problem is not limited to any particular culture or country. In exists in many countries and cultures across the world. Domestic violence means much more than battering. It includes threatening, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, economic abuse, controlling and more. Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse. However, it is more common in case of women.
So why do people resort to physical violence, emotional abuse, verbal abuse or other forms of domestic violence? The causes of such behavior are many, ranging from mental illness to excessive alcohol consumption. Whatever the reason is, domestic violence is socially, morally and legally unacceptable. The fight against domestic violence is a tough one! Here are a few tips which will help you combat domestic violence.
10. Don’t wait for the ‘right time’
A number of people experiencing domestic violence waste a lot of time in waiting for the ‘right time’ to take some action against it. Wasting time will only make matters worse. It is important to take immediate action if you or anyone you know is facing domestic violence.
9. Safety Plan
If you or your colleague, friend or relative is experiencing domestic violence, it is important that you work out a safety plan well in advance. If possible, keep some spare money, important documents and other necessary things with someone you trust so that you can leave your home as quickly as possible when being attacked by the abuser. Keep the contact information of a few crisis hotline numbers and support groups handy so that you can easily contact them when needed. Pre-decide a safe place (maybe your parent’s house or your friend’s house ) where you can go once you get out of your home.
8. Never ignore the idle threats
If your partner threatens to physically harm you (‘kill you’, ‘slap you’, break your teeth’ etc) do not take it lightly. If he says it, there are chances he will probably do it! Talk to your partner and ask him to seek professional help if he is finding it difficult to control his anger. In case you feel your partner is capable of emotional or physical abuse, urge him to go for counseling or consult any organization working for the prevention of domestic violence in your community.
7. Stand as one
Whether you have had a firsthand experience of domestic violence or not, fighting against this social evil is everybody’s duty. Find out the various organizations and help lines working towards this cause. Volunteer for the various support groups operating in your community. If you know someone experiencing battering and violence in their home, help the victims to get in touch with such organizations and groups. Any kind of help be it financial help, help as a volunteer or being a part of an awareness campaign; will be a great contribution in the fight against domestic violence.
6. Catch them young
Right values, which include respecting others and refraining from violent behavior, should be instilled in a child at home and in school. Children who witness domestic violence in their own homes during their growing years are more likely to indulge in such behavior later in life. If a boy grows up believing that women are inferior and he as a man has certain privileges, chances are he may show lack of respect towards women. If a child is made to believe aggressive behavior is not only acceptable, but appreciable in a man, he will see nothing wrong in verbally abusing or hitting his partner in future. It is important that a child is taught better ways of controlling his angering in his initial years. Make your home a ‘no-violence zone’ where problems are solved by talking it out with each other.
5. Ask for help
If you are a victim of domestic violence one thing which you have to keep in mind all the time is that you are not alone. Help is just round the corner, all you have to do is ask for it! Help may come from friends, families or support groups working for the victims of domestic violence. Even the law is on your side. Find out about the legal rights you have and exercise these rights for a better and safer life.
In a lot of cases, people who are experiencing domestic violence are hesitant to take any action against because they have no idea what steps need to be taken in such a situation. The helpers who are willing to help the victims are often unable to do so as they are not aware what needs to do be done in order to help the victim. The victims may not be aware of their legal right or may have little or no knowledge of the ways in which they can exercise these rights. Awareness drives and campaigns can help the victims as well as their helpers in fighting domestic violence by equipping them with appropriate knowledge.
3. Know where to draw the line
Giving the abuser a second chance (especially if he has a history of hollow apologies) is not a very good idea. You must know where to draw the line. Moving away from a partner, even abusive one, is a big step. This is the time to muster up courage and remember that you are going away for good. If you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, encourage them to report the matter to legal authorities and help them move away from the abuser.
2. Break the silence
Domestic violence is not a personal matter which has to be solved within your home. It is ‘illegal’. Being the ‘silent sufferer’ is bad for your physical as well as mental health. Confide in someone you trust, a good friend or someone from your family. Not only sharing your feelings will help you feel lighter and better, there are chances that the person you are sharing your problems with will help you deal with the situation.
1. Know the warning signs!
Certain actions can be taken as warning signals even before the actual attack. If the person you are with often indulges in actions such as kicking or breaking things, punching the walls, or slamming the doors chances are that the next thing he lays his hands on is you. Over possessiveness, jealousy and selfishness are few qualities which can be associated with a potential abuser. In case your partner is trying to control your life completely or isolate you from your loved ones, accept the fact that your relationship is not as smooth as you thought it was and take action immediately. Ignoring these signs may make your problems even bigger!