Children and Domestic Violence
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), increased stress in a household is a significant risk factor for the neglect and physical abuse of children. When parents feel overwhelmed, they may react abusively towards their children. Meanwhile,
Women and Domestic Violence
Domestic violence between those in a romantic or physical relationship is called intimate partner violence (IPV). According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced some type of violence by an intimate partner. And in cases of natural disasters, violence against women and girls tends to rise.
Social isolation during a
The Cycle of Violence
Victims of abuse may be caught in a “cycle of violence” consisting of three phases:
1. Tension Building Phase
The abuser causes tension in a relationship. In this phase, the victim feels that they must be vigilant and careful around the abuser, and are afraid to make them angry.
2. Violent Episode Phase
The abuser lashes out at the victim, becoming violent. The abuser might physically, sexually or mentally abuse the victim.
3. Remorseful/Honeymoon Phase
The abuser attempts to apologize and groom the victim back into a relationship. The abuser may say they will never hurt the victim again, or they may minimize the event.
Unfortunately, the abuser does not change — even if the victim remains hopeful that they will. Children, especially, want to believe the best in their parents and are very vulnerable to the cycle of abuse.
What We Can Do to Help
As a society, we can collectively take steps to keep vulnerable populations safe from domestic violence. We could keep in touch with each other and make ourselves available to friends and family who may be at risk. When possible, schools could encourage telephone check-in and teletherapy counseling.
Workers at pharmacies and grocery stores could look out for signals that an abuse victim might be seeking help. Law enforcement could ease stay-at-home orders for individuals who may be experiencing domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence often suffer in silence, afraid to speak up. It is our responsibility, as a society, to make support available and easily accessible for their safety.
Where to Get Help
If you are a victim of domestic violence, or know someone who is, help is available at:
Workers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All calls are confidential and anonymous.
Interpreter services are available in 170 languages.