Domestic violence and its far-reaching impact and influence
Whether talked about or not, domestic violence is prevalent in a lot of households. In some households, it may manifest in a subtle way whereas in a few it might take more radical forms. Whether it takes place in a subtle or explicit way, the impact is in-depth. It is extremely crucial for one to realize that the harm induced through the experience of abuse doesn’t only leave physical scars but even emotional and mental scars. Physical scars can still be gone after a few days but the mental scars remain and serve as constant reminders thereafter. Therefore, it becomes very important for people especially parents to openly talk and discuss these issues with their children. It is also important to keep in mind that “Even they’re affected” despite them not displaying their feelings openly in-front of their parents due to a number of reasons. It is also important for a parent to tailor their own way of talking according to the child they’re interacting with because each child might have experienced domestic violence in a very different way. For instance, if the victim is a mother of daughters, she is seen as a role model and the children may actually try picking up certain qualities and traits. Hence, supervision is very necessary. If the mother isn’t actually doing anything about the violence particularly the child might ask “Why is she still staying in this relationship?” A lot of women reinforce this behavior by continuing to stay in it and these ideas are then passed on to further generations and the cycle continues. Women continue to think and act in ways that protect themselves from the so-called “shame and humiliation” the society inflicts upon them. There is social pressure inflicted upon women in order to hide the abuse and stay shut.
For some women, so-called “love” only exists in the form of violence seen right from their childhood and continues even after marriage. Therefore, it becomes very significant to explore the type of attachments individuals have had and what allows them to continue in these toxic relationships. The ‘Self’ therefore should take the pedestal from where one should explore all the emotions that underlie the violence. Here, power relations and intersectionality also plays a role that should be seen as infused with this issue and not separated. For example: How an educated high socio-economic urban class women experience the violence will be very different from how low socio-economic rural class women will experience the same violence. It can be seen from Maslow’s Need hierarchy theory that safety needs are very important and when violence takes place, a lot of complicated emotions, feelings, cognition, etc. along with the basic need for safety and security comes into question. These might arise additional problematic behaviors in children like aggression which may be further emulated through parental use of verbal abuse. Hence, there are a lot of behaviors that children pick up from their parent’s and they should be made aware and sensitive about that. There might be a lot of repressed emotions and anger that might be hidden in a child’s psyche which might manifest in an adult’s relationship later on in life and a lot of issues may stem from it. But, being aware of these issues are important in order to work on it. These issues may also hamper a child’s academic, social, and personal life in a very detrimental way. Parents should constantly supervise if any of these areas are being affected but it’s even the child’s duty to discuss what is troubling them. But, for these to take place space for honest and open conversation needs to be built. Some children also resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge eating, drinking, smoking, etc.
Their unhealthy coping mechanism should be substituted with healthy coping mechanisms by bringing these issues into their conscious awareness. The whole idea of “Self” is questioned. Both parents and children should explore their feelings in this regard and one activity that might actually help them ease out their emotions in a creative way might be writing letters. For example: Writing a letter to your dad/mother granting them forgiveness or a letter simply expressing how you feel, or maintain a gratitude journal that will help you focus on the positive things and experiences in your life, etc.
One might also try communicating these concerns with their parents and try working on a One may try many creative and innovative ways tailored towards their own personal needs that might help one let out their emotions and channelize them in a productive way. Since children may be exposed to it on a regular basis, one needs to be aware that there is a long term effect on the child mentally and physically. The way a personality is being shaped gets affected and there are age-wise changes. A lot of studies have supplemented this point that children who are exposed to domestic violence might be at greater risk when it comes to health issues. This is very necessary as our “self” i.e. esteem, confidence, worth, etc. gets crumpled. And if feelings get very unsettling, one should try taking a professional help or get connected with the right person.
One should get out of the toxic environment and to deal with the pain one should additionally consult a counselor. Since it is a major life change and it will impact all spheres of one’s life, one should be open to receiving help from professionals and work on then developing lifestyles that are very effective and adaptive. One should even take their children for help even if they might seem as doing pretty good in their lives because the way everyone deals with stressors is very different. Some may show their internal battles and some might not. Some may be aware of their own feelings, emotions, and behaviors whereas some may not have insight because the original problem is covered with lots of packaging and transformed into new problems. Reaching out is additionally important because sometimes we are able to remove ourselves from the toxic person but not the toxicity. Seeking help is a taboo even today in many societies but one shouldn’t feel ashamed when it comes to seeking help rather is a bold decision that one should be appreciated for.