Domestic Violence – Introduction
Humanity Against Local Terrorism [H.A.L.T.] is committed to providing individuals, families and communities information and solutions to help put an end to domestic abuse and violence; in addition, we are devoted to bringing awareness to this local terrorist act, which is called domestic abuse and violence, as well as working within our community to end the cycle of violence that so often damages and destroys individuals, families and communities. Domestic violence has often gone unnoticed, stays hidden and has failed to receive the immediate level of understanding it is needed in order to stop this terrorism in light of the devastating effects it can have on children and families. As well as being part of the framework of so many communities and cultures throughout history that it has become an accepted ‘not talked about’ norm, even though most people are totally against this terrorist act of abuse and violence, throughout the world. This violence cuts across every line of geography, culture and income; while adversely affecting all aspects of our society. This ongoing abuse is found in every community in our country as well as throughout the world’s many communities where millions upon millions of incidents of domestic violence occur every year in which most of these incidents go unreported.
Domestic violence is a very complex problem at the individual, relationship and societal level with many different contributing factors. Domestic violence could possibly be linked to inequalities among people in our society and to power imbalances in relationships. A person’s vulnerability to abuse may be increased by factors such as dislocation, colonization, racism, homophobia, disability, poverty and isolation. Lack of access to community services and supports, and to the criminal justice system, may further increase a person’s vulnerability to being abused – or compound the effects of the abuse.
Domestic violence is seen through physical, sexual, psychological and/or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. Domestic violence often includes a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are, in themselves, inherently violent. Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person or persons. It can occur during a relationship or after a relationship has ended but where ever or whenever it happens, domestic violence destroys the individual, the family member and the home.
“Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women…”
The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, General Assembly Resolution, December 1993.
Many of the households where domestic violence occurs also have a child present – which means there is usually more than one victim. Women and children are often in the greatest of danger in the place where they should be the safest – within their families. For many the home is where they face the ongoing crime of abuse, terror, violence and sometimes death (physically, mentally, spiritually or psychologically) at the hands of somebody close to them – the person they should be able to trust.
The tactics of an abuser in seen through intimidation and humiliating the other person, or their victim, to physical injury and often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and may even end up in murder. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them. Women who are abused physically are often isolated.
No one deserves to be abused. The abuser is always responsible for the violence and should be held accountable. There is no excuse for domestic violence and the victim is never responsible for the abuser’s behaviour. Again, the responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim’s fault! If the abusers are not held accountable for their actions they will continue to commit acts of violence and intimidation.
Violence against women continues to be a global epidemic that kills, tortures, and maims through different types of abuse such as physically, psychologically, sexually and economically. It is one of the most pervasive of human rights violations, denying women equality, security, dignity, self-worth, and their right to enjoy fundamental freedoms.“Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls, United Nations Children’s Fund, No.6, June 2000”
All in all, violence against women is a violation of the ‘rights’ of every woman and must be stopped.