Why Do People Commit Abusive Acts Towards Their Partners?
What drives someone to commit an act of violence or abuse against their significant other or loved one?
The domestic violence hotline website says that, on average, about 24 people per minute are victims of abuse, physical violence, and rape from their own partner, which stretches into over 12 million people in a year. Huffpost also states that about 38,000,000 women have experienced at least one act of violence or abuse from their partner.
The question is, what causes one person to do such a heinous thing to someone that is so close to them or even dear to them? What is the psychology behind it? Can it relate to their own past, which might have involved them experiencing violent behavior from a parent, guardian, family member, or friend? Can it relate to Realtime hardships involving money, stress, or significant life changes?
Witnessing Domestic Abuse at a Young Age
At a young age, seeing your parents argue, get mad, or shout can make you feel scared or worried, even if it is not directed to you. A situation involving a physical act of violence or harsh verbal abuse could be traumatizing, and could lead to mental development issues for very young children. When it comes to the long-term effects of experiencing domestic abuse, or family abuse, could these past experiences influence violent behavior in the future? Experts say that children who experience domestic violence as a child can develop many different long-term and short-term consequences including, anxiety, depression, physical illnesses, and behavioral problems.
These behavior problems relate to what they see their parents committing, so there are some cases where a child will think that violent behavior is okay. Teens who have experienced domestic violence, or have been the direct victim of it, have a chance of it becoming a behavior in their relationship.
Is Drugs/Alcohol the Reason for Domestic Violence?
It is a big misconception for drugs and alcohol to be the factor of abuse in a relationship. According to a domestic violence shelter’s website, abusers can blame the violent acts on their addictions, but if these addictions are stopped, the abusive behaviors will continue. Drugs and alcohol can make abusive actions worse, but the blame should not be put on the substance itself.
Just like stress, financial burdens, and life changes, these are all only excuses that abusers use to explain their aggressive and controlling behaviors. Actually, domestic violence victims are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol, as a way to cope with being trapped with an abuser.
Abusers with Mental Illnesses
When understanding domestic violence and the abuser, there are sadly some cases where the abuser is suffering from a mental sickness that relates to violent behaviors and aggression. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia can cause unpredictable acts of violence or impulsive behaviors. These mental illnesses could connect with an abuser’s childhood experience with domestic violence, which introduces developmental issues.
About one in four women, and one to seven men will directly experience an act of domestic violence or abuse in their life. For those who are victims, the best thing to do is to seek help immediately, and separate from your abusive partner. A Phoenix domestic violence lawyer says that the best form of action is to call the police when a victim is seriously injured from a violent act from their partner, threats physical harm, or continuously goes through emotional and physical abuse. Unfortunately, not all acts can be reported by the police, and some relationships are too complex to just simply walk away from. That’s why there are many domestic violence victim associations and domestic violence help lines for victims to get the proper help they need to escape abuse safely without risking their abuser coming back.