It's everyone's concern
What is family violence? - It's the mistreatment of one family member by another.
Family violence includes:
- Physical abuse - slapping, hitting, burning etc.
- Sexual abuse - rape, incest.
- Emotional abuse - threats, insults, harassment.
- Neglect - poor physical or emotional care.
Why should I learn about family violence? - Because by learning about it, you can help solve the problem.
Family violence often goes unreported because victims often feel ashamed about what's happened or hopeless about improving their situation. Witnesses may also fail to report family violence, thinking it's "none of their business." In the meantime, family members suffer. Family violence often results in: physical injuries, emotional pain, and economic loss.
Raising awareness of family violence can help stop the suffering.
Every family member suffers from family violence.
Victims may suffer:
Abusers may experience:
- Serious physical injury, even death.
- Emotional harm, such as depression, loss of self-esteem, anxiety, feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.
- Work problems, loss of job and income.
Society also suffers:
- Loss of self-esteem, leading to continued violence.
- Legal problems, fines, jail.
- Work problems, loss of job and income.
- Possible violent revenge by victims.
- Continued violence in their relationships, unless they seek help.
What are the common traits of violent family members?
- The legal and economic burden of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of abusers (and added danger to law enforcement personnel).
- The social costs of crime.
People who are violent often:
Family violence can happen to families of any economic or social class.
- Witnessed or suffered abuse as children: Violence is a learned behavior, many abusers witnessed or suffered abuse earlier in life.
- Crave power: Some people see violence as a way to gain control over family members.
- Have low self-esteem: People with poor self-image may use violence to feel important.
- Abuse alcohol or other drugs: This is a common factor in violent households.
- Have mental or emotional problems: People who are violent may have untreated mental or emotional problems.
Child Abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of a child, usually by an adult, they often:
Child abuse is especially tragic because children trust adults to keep them safe.
- Lack maturity: - Some parents are easily frustrated and overwhelmed by everyday problems.
- Have unreasonable expectations: - If a parent doesn't understand what a child can and cannot do, the parent may think the child is misbehaving.
- Lack of parenting skills: - Adults who don't understand how to meet a child's needs may feel guilty. They may take these feelings out on the child.
- Face money problems: - Some family members may blame children for money problems or take their frustrations out on children.
Partner abuse is the mistreatment of one partner by another.
People who abuse their partners tend to make excuses. Often, the abuser blames an attack on some other person or situation - the partner, troubles at work, jealousy, etc. Or the abuser may say that he or she "didn't really mean it." However, there is no excuse for abuse.
Repeat the abuse. Partner abuse often happens over and over again - even though the abuser promises to stop. In many cases, the abuse gets worse.
Women are abused more often than men are.
Elder abuse is the mistreatment of a parent or older family member by a younger one.
Elder abuse includes:
People who abuse elders often have histories that include:
- Verbal abuse.
- Misuse of the older person's money.
Elderly people may not report abuse because they are:
- Abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
- Being abused themselves.
- Untreated mental or emotional problems.
- Dependent on the abuser.
- Ashamed of having raised abusive children.
- Afraid they will be put in an institution.
Why does family violence continue?
Both victims and abusers often feel powerless to change the situation. They often feel trapped by:
There are many sources of help for troubled families.
- A lack of alternatives. - A spouse or child may be dependent on an abuser. Elderly people and children may feel powerless to escape.
- Fear and shame. - Victims may feel helpless, guilty or worthless. They may feel ashamed of their troubled relationships and may not trust those who could help.
- Abusers may be afraid of being punished or losing their families if they seek help.
- Isolation. - Victims often believe they have nowhere to turn, so the abuse remains hidden. Language or cultural barriers may isolate victims from those who could help.
- Lack of protection. - In the past, police and the courts have often been unable to give much protection. Today the situation is changing.
- Lack of knowledge. - Family members may not know that help is available from local human service agencies, shelters and the police.
- Abusers may not realize that they can learn to express their feelings in positive ways.
- Hopes and wishes. - Many people in violent homes love each other and enjoy some good times together. Victims may feel that it is better to suffer than to be separated. But, without help, violence often gets worse.
Call our 24-hour hotline for information and referral.
|| Anger Management | Family Violence | Sexual Abuse | Dating Violence | Shaken Baby Syndrome | Children & Guns | Battering | Emotional Battering | Elder Abuse | Offsite Resources | Home ||