Domestic violence: Growing health concern

By: Jessica Turgeon

rihanna-batteredSoon after their no-show at the Grammy Awards, tabloids heard of Chris Brown’s violent attack on his now ex-girlfriend Rihanna. The couple is said to have gotten in an argument in the car, where Brown allegedly hit Rihanna multiple times in the head. With bruises all over her face and a split lip, Rihanna became a victim of domestic violence.

Domestic violence refers to a family member, intimate partner or ex-partner being physically or psychologically dominated or violated by another. It can occur between spouses or cohabitants. Anyone can be affected by domestic violence, both men and women, and people of any culture. Clearly celebrities are no exception.

There are many forms of domestic violence, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual or emotional abuse, intimidation, stalking, economic deprivation, and threats. According to the Centers for Disease Control, domestic violence has affected more than 32 million Americans, which is over 10% of the US population. This is a growing health concern.

Though it can affect both men and women, the emphasis of victimization has been focused on women in the past. Of course it is a stereotype that men would be the abusers, but the statistics show that the majority of cases have female victims. This is not always the case, though.

Domestic violence more often than not happens in couples, married or not. The Bureau of Justices Statistics states that in the United States, women are about six times as likely as men to experience intimate partner violence.

It is not uncommon that women in lesbian relationships experience domestic violence as well. _domestic_violence

What happened to the stereotypical fairy-tale world that our parents told us about when we were young? All little girls would grow up to marry a wonderful man who would sweep her off her feet and make her very happy forever and ever.

Unfortunately, not everybody experiences that happiness. One day everything is okay and the relationship is going fine, and the next an argument breaks out. Before you know it, there is a fight going on and punches start flying.

What causes someone to be so violent towards someone they love? It has to be more than just sudden anger. Some theories hold that there are underlying psychological causes of domestic violence such as childhood abuse, personality disorders, low self-esteem or even stress.

Instituting violence over another person, especially when it is someone you are in a relationship with, is about taking control and having power over that person. Clearly people feel the need to take control of others when they don’t have control over themselves. If not physical violence, the attacker will use emotional violence such as humiliation, intimidation, threats, isolation and neglect; anything to make the victim feel ashamed and worthless.

In reality, who is worthless is any man, or woman for that matter, who could harm anyone that they claim to love.

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