#Article (Archive)

COMMITMENT LAW - Domestic Violence

Dec 3, 2010, 1:59 PM

My favourite shows on day time TV include Criminal Minds (a show where crime analyst try to figure out the mental status of a suspected or potential criminal and in doing so pre-empt his next move and catch him before he commits another crime, probably more gruesome the previous one) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (a show where special forces detectives work tirelessly to catch and prosecute hardened criminals especially paedophiles and sex offenders and spousal abuse cases which result mostly in demise or excruciating physical, emotional and psychological injuries).

Now why would a young lady such as myself be hooked on such shows which can’t exactly be describes as cable candy and certainly not what my colleagues and close friends tune in to. I have always felt that criminals have to be understood to be pre-empted and stopped. It is often said that once a convict, always a convict because there is that stigma. So what exactly possesses an individual to cause bodily harm to another human being or maim, and destroy an object. Understanding the minds of offenders is very difficult but thanks to research, I have a few pointers, focusing in this article on a crime that is perpetrated every singly day all over the world, with women mostly being the victims, domestic violence.

We all in one respect or another have felt the brunt of abuse or known someone who has been abused, and it is even worse when the person who does the abusing is supposed to be the one who loves, protects and cherishes the victim, and not harm them in any way possible. Domestic Violence, also known as spousal abuse, intimate partner violence can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviour by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or co-habitation. It can happen in many forms with the most used and documented being kicking, biting, shoving, slapping, restraining, the throwing of objects and verbal tirades involving abusive words and gestures, sexual abuse, emotional abuse intimidation, stalking, passive aggression and economic deprivation.

It has been researched and proven that abuse is a vicious cycle, that those who abuse have themselves at some point in time in their lives been abused themselves and this has left an un-changeable impression in them. For some people, it is a way of expressing themselves when their social skills escape them, especially sane and harmless talking.  For others, the victim syndrome makes them feel like they have the right to dish out what had been dished to them. It is ironic that they would believe this because I felt it would be the opposite actually. They having gone through that trauma should know better than inflict that kind of pain on another, physically, emotionally or in many cases sexually. But the human mind is one complex enigma and no single one is the same as the next.

Another aspect of domestic violence that has intrigued me is what I like to call the "victim" syndrome. It is quite alarming the number of people who have been documented, saying that they know their abuser 'loves' them and that it would get better. A lot have even gone on to say that he/she beating on them shows that he/she cares. A bit of tough love, I think. So that bodes the question. Is such a person a victim or a perpetration in a crime against themselves and all the innocents’ who are being abused and can’t do anything to stop it.

Nothing is simple when it comes to relationships and matters of the heart and home and especially the mind. No one can truly tell what a mind is plotting, but once a partner put his hand on you in a degrading or painful manner or tries to destroy you and your self esteem verbally, then it is time to step back and re-evaluate. The victim mentality is not going to get anyone anywhere. Domestic abuse is unacceptable and unlawful all over the world and no one has the right to take it upon themselves to 'discipline' their partner. That is why it is called a relationship.

Even cable shows no matter how good, cannot portray to the perfect extent the magnitude of the effect that abuse has on an individual. It is quite devastating with cases resulting in death, injuries, damage of property and scaring of minors psychologically if present.

Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of crime globally. It is said that most of the victims in such cases are women but there are cases inn which men are the victims. It is traumatic and debilitating but very real and very sad. I know somebody who has been abused inn this manner and I am betting that so does everyone reading this right now. So let us ask that all important question, is this person me? Am I a victim or a perpetrator and what do I need to stop or make it stop. And if you are neither a victim or a perpetration, what can you do to help a victim to stop a perpetrator. Start today.