Domestic Violence: An Introduction
Marriage, romanticism aside, is a legal contract entered by two individuals whom have decided to share their lives together. Two adults, who both rely on the same human rights code and legal system, should have an equal say with regard to their family life. The vows exchanged by the couple are bound to be tested. “To love and to hold, for better or for worse.” What is the worst thing that can happen? What if he shames you in public? What if he threatens to beat you up and does it eventually? The worst thing that can happen in a marriage or any relationship for that matter is self-degradation. One losing sight of who she is, of her worth, due to the abuse inflicted by a spouse or partner.
Marriage is by no means, a way to control or manipulate the other person’s choices and finances. It is not an entitlement to the male, to put his self above her physically or mentally. It is not your duty as a wife to be submissive to every sexual whim, nor to be a punching bag after a drunken night.
Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. The violence inflicted verbally can do the same damage as a slap in the face. Though physical abuse holds more weight in terms of proving domestic violence, the emotional state incurred from such abuse demands more consideration. No one should live in fear of her own life, or her children’s lives. Domestic violence does not only occur in the realms of marriage. It can also happen to those who have committed themselves in sharing the same roof.
Domestic violence will always be frowned upon, though sometimes you think you or somebody else deserves it. Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Not to you, to your sister, to your best friend, or even to your male colleague. It does not matter how often it occurs or how grave the violent act is. Domestic violence should never be tolerated. Ever.
But happen it does. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It surpasses social classes and culture. It even happens to intelligent individuals. The good news to this tragic human violation of rights is that there is help. There is a viable solution to save yourself or someone you know. Maybe you have lived with abuse for a number of years. Maybe it happens sporadically. Maybe it just happened when your husband was laid off work. Maybe your co-worker is being abused by her life partner. Maybe your neighbor is being abused right now. Whoever you are, be the victim of abuse or a witness to domestic violence, there’s a way to cope up and how to get to the proper channels for help and recovery from abuse.
In 1994, 1995, and again in 2000, Michigan changed the laws that deal with domestic violence to make it easier for the victims of abuse to get protection through the legal system. Many organizations have the information to help you get support, not only in the physical aspect of domestic violence but in your mental and emotional state as well. Your safety is their first concern. They do have an effective plan to safely remove one person from domestic abuse.
Those organizations promote awareness regarding domestic violence and the constructive steps to free oneself from the said abuse. You just need to remember two things: first, abuse is never acceptable; second, you are not alone. Help is yours for the asking.