"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear."
2 Timothy 4:17

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence. There is so much information regarding this topic that I don't even know where to begin.

Lets start with a definition -
Domestic Violence/ Domestic Abuse: characterized as a pattern of coercive behaviors that may include repeated battering and injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation, and intimidation. Someone who is or was involved in an intimate relationship with the victim perpetrates these behaviors.

There are three main types of abuse recognized in domestic violence

  1. Physical Abuse
    • Examples: Verbal abuse, Threat of violence, Throwing an object, Pushing, Shoving, Slapping, Kicking, Leaving her in a dangerous place, Refusing to help when she is sick or injured, threatening or using a weapon, etc.
  2. Sexual Abuse
    • Examples: Criticizing her and calling her sexually degrading names, trying to make her perform sexual acts against her will, hurting her physically during sex, etc.
  3. Psychological/ Emotional Abuse
    • Examples: Threats of harm, Physical and social isolation, Extreme jealousy or possessiveness, deprivation, Calling her names and constantly criticizing/ insulting/ belittling her, Ignoring/ dismissing/ or ridiculing her needs, etc.

Typical Violence Questions and Answers

Who is the typical victim of domestic violence?
Although domestic violence victims are from every walk of life, there are some high-risk groups. Young females who are not married, females who abuse alcohol or drugs, pregnant females, females who witnessed domestic abuse as a child or was a victim of child abuse, females who marry as teenagers, and females who are pregnant before marriage are at a higher risk for domestic violence.

Why would a woman stay with a man who abuses her?
The primary factor is fear for her own safety and that of her children. Economic dependence, responsibility for children, and threats of injury are major factors in the decision to stay. Low self esteem, social/ religious/ cultural expectations, and love are also factors that may hinder a women from leaving an abusive relationship.  

Who are the abusers?
Abusers, as well as those who are abused, come from all age groups, cultures, economic and educational levels and religions. Abusers and the abused tend to come from homes where domestic violence and/ or child abuse took place. Typically, abusers are inappropriately jealous, "loners," suffer from low self-esteem and insecurity, and view violence as an appropriate way to solve problems. Abusers tend to blame others (especially their partners) for their problems. Along with adhering to strict sex stereotypes, abusers may also use sex as an act of aggression to gain control. Adding to the complexity of domestic violence is the abuser alternating between periods of abuse and period of tenderness and affection. These period are often separated by a tension-building period. 

National Domestic Violence Facts
  • One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. (National Coalition on Domestic Violence)
  • Violence will occur at least once in 66% of all marriages. (National Coalition on Domestic Violence)
  • Every 15 seconds a woman is physically assaulted within her home. (National Clearinghouse for Defense of Battered Women)
  • Between 2,000 and 4,000 women are beat to death each year. (National Clearinghouse for Defense of Battered Women)
  • A former husband or boyfriend kills each year 1,500 women. (Bradely Berry)
  • Four to five women are killed each day by their male partner. (Bradely Berry)
  • Up to six million women are beaten in their homes each year. Four million incidents are reported. (Bradely Berry)
  • Family violence kills as many women every 5 years as the total number of Americans who dies in Vietnam (American Medical Association)
  • At least 1 in 5 women treated in emergency rooms are there due to injuries caused by current or former boyfriend or husband.
  • More than one-third of pregnant women are abused. 25% of all battered women are abused while pregnant.
  • The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that up to 90% of battered women never report the incident(s). (Bradely Berry)
***The above information was taken from DaySpring Villa Women and Children't Shelter Staff/Volunteer Orientation Manual (3/13/12)

     This is only a small portion of the information provided to us by DaySpring Villa and an even smaller portion of the information available worldwide. The only way to stop domestic violence is Jesus. I know it sounds like a Sunday School answer, but until Jesus is in the heart of the abuser they will not be convicted of their actions and they won't have the Holy Spirit to guide them. I am so thankful for DaySpring, though. They are taking in these women in the name of our powerful Jesus Christ. I pray that God creates more of these shelters throughout Oklahoma and this country.

"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as a weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." 
1 Peter 3:7

"Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them"
Colossians 3:19

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