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Focus on Domestic Violence

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 19, 2018

Introduction

Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, although it doesn’t take a break during other months. Are you concerned about domestic violence? Probably, you should be. You are not alone. Domestic violence (DV) occurs in every culture and society. Also, it occurs in all age groups and in men and women. DV occurs in all races, income levels and religions. Likewise, it occurs in heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Furthermore, it is estimated that one in four women and one in nine men will be victims of DV at some point in their lives. That’s right. As a result, many (if not most) emergency rooms now screen every single woman for domestic violence. Therefore, you need to know the signs of danger and what you can do to get help.

This is the first in a three-part series on domestic violence. This post will focus on the scope of DV. Another post will focus on identifying risk factors. Finally, the third will focus on actions to take if you find yourself in a relationship in which it occurs.

A simple definition of domestic violence

Domestic violence is the abuse that one person with control in a household inflicts on another. Perpetrators can include parents or other caregivers, siblings, spouses or intimate partners. DV reveals itself in several forms, including sexual (e.g., rape), physical (e.g., biting, hitting, kicking) and mental abuse (e.g., constant criticisms or threats, limiting ability to lead otherwise normal lives). These forms tend to center around abnormal control of an aspect of another’s life. Even more, the level of mental control is such that victims of DV often internalize the activity as normal. They also assign fault to themselves and/or accept responsibility for the abuse.

Domestic violence is a crime in all 50 states of the U.S.

First of all, it is a crime.

Above all, victims do not cause abuse and are not responsible for it.

national domestic violence hotline

Domestic violence and mental health

Domestic violence has consistent adverse effects on mental health.

  • Children suffering from domestic violence often display developmental delays and aggressive behavior. Also, they have difficulty performing in school and tend to have low self-esteem. Furthermore, they are at greater risk for being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
  • Domestic violence increases the diagnoses of anxiety disorder, depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also associated with an increase in substance abuse.
  • DV increases the incidence of psychotic episodes, suicide attempts and homelessness. It’s presence also slows recovery from those suffering from other mental illness.
  • DV increases the risk of retaliatory violence against the perpetrators.

Please … contact us if you’re in need of support. Our expert crisis counselors are here for you, 24/7. 1-844-SMA-TALK or www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com. You don’t have to “endure with dignity.”

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Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

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