Prevention of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence may occur in the form of emotional, economic, physical, and sexual abuse of a family member or any relative. Preventing it is a major concern for the US government and other civilized societies all over the world. The statistics show that domestic violence affects each community across the globe (Wilson, 2009). For instance, the study on the social economic cost of this issue has indicated that it affects growth and stability significantly. Some of its retrogressive effects include the decline in the productivity of the economy, uncalled-for health care expenditures, and legal fees. However, the prevention of domestic violence is associated with economic benefits (Patel & Taylor, 2012). Therefore, the best preventive methods must be applied to curb this matter. The critical review of the causes, dynamics, and problems associated with domestic violence shows that the primary and secondary prevention are the better approaches to curbing the issue. It is better rather than the tertiary method addressing the consequences.
Proactive and preventive ways should be used in curbing domestic violence due to its complex dynamics. Among the three methods recommended for tackling the issue, i.e. primary, secondary, and tertiary ones, one should say the following fact. The first way which entails the prevention of domestic violence before it happens, is the most effective. The studies have shown that several factors contribute to violence within a household. Some examples include alcohol and drug abuse, mental health disorders, the family history, where an abused child is more likely to become aggressive in adulthood, and ignorance or the lack of awareness. Smith and Segal (2014) assert that if the measures are put in place to tackle these predisposing attributes, this matter can be prevented. It is the role of the government to enhance the health and well-being of any society. Organizations and governmental departments set up to address domestic violence cannot lay down the strategies that seem to emphasize only on providing cure for the victims and a punishment for perpetrators. They should design the best ways that create awareness, educate on consequences, and prosecute facilitators of drugs and substance abuse. Additionally, self-empowerment programs that raise self-esteem on married couples and community activism should also be put in place to address the problem. Such approaches would cost the government much less than what it is now to restore broken families, counsel, and treat the victims.
The studies indicate that although some attributes are to blame for contributing to violence, the actual cause could be more complex. Therefore, it is difficult to eliminate domestic violence through the control of risk factors. Violent intimate partners become cruel and abuse their partners or family members physically and even sexually when they reach their homes. Similarly, such people exhibit normal behavior before they consume drugs or alcohol. Therefore, domestic violence among drug and alcohol abusers seems to be premeditated even before the consumption of some intoxicating substances. It is apparent that the children of drunkards have to face chaos and embarrassing events because the behavior of their parents is often unpredictable (Harrington-Lowe, 2016). The various tactics that aggressors use include intimidation, dominance, humiliation, threats, denial, isolation, and blame. It makes it difficult to find those individuals who are already suffering from this problem (Smith & Jeanne, 2014). Separately, mental health disorders have been regarded as the causes of domestic violence. However, it has been noted that these states are sometimes caused by home cruelty, rather than the other way round. Some people come from abusive families but are not violent as adults. Therefore, child abuse may not be a principal cause of domestic violence among kids in their later lives. Similarly, some men and women are brought up in the backgrounds with no history of abuse. However, they end up being violent towards their families and partners. However, alcohol and drug abuse as well as child abuse should be prevented as early as possible because they contribute to domestic violence. Family members with mental disorders should be treated or taken for their rehabilitation. Consequently, their chances of causing chaos and physical injuries will be reduced. Therefore, further interventions are necessary, given the above-mentioned phenomena. However, the primary prevention is still the best method of curbing home cruelty (Howard & Agnew-Davies, 2013). It is imperative that predisposing factors are addressed appropriately rather than reacting to the consequences of domestic violence. The reason for it is that its prevention is cheaper than the mitigation of its negative consequences.
In addition to primary prevention, secondary one can help in addressing domestic violence more than mitigating the after-event effects. Most consequences of home cruelty are irrevocable, especially after they reach advanced levels. Repeated cases of child abuse that go undetected may start as mild and turn into grievous cases such as sexual harassment and child rape. The violent behaviors towards intimate partners may start as minor mistreatments that can be easily ignored. However, if proper interventions are not instituted, such partners may become extremely aggressive, causing permanent physical injuries or disabilities to their spouses or victims. Interventions like home visitation for families that are at a high risk of domestic violence can address the problem effectively. Additionally, family members with a high probability of becoming the victims such as people living with disabilities and those that are likely to perpetuate violence, i.e. drug and alcohol abusers, should be provided with specialized care.
The government is capable of facilitating secondary preventive methods effectively through its public health and nursing sectors. Such interventions can save people from the negative effects of domestic violence. For instance, children and infants can be saved from potentially abusive parents or caretakers. Such strategies can be developed by defining the principles of healthy childrearing. Therefore, if children are brought up by supportive and nurturing environment, they are most likely to exhibit positive trends in socialization. On the other hand, those from domestic violence homes may have short-term or long-term psychological problems (CDV, 2014). Preventive interventions can be made before a child is exposed to violence by the use of such guidelines. It is apparent that this kind of intervention would reduce cases of domestic violence, particularly towards children.
Statistics on domestic violence rely on reported cases to authorities. For instance, it is indicated that 5 million children are witnesses of domestic violence every year in the United States while more than 40 million adults grew in families where domestic violence was rampant (CDV, 2014). It is believed that there are many cases of child abuse, intimate partners’ violence and other forms of domestic violence that go unreported. Thus, such cases are unaccounted for in the provided statistics, and that makes the figures an underestimate of the actual cases. Stigmatization of victims makes them not report domestic violence cases. Some victims are reluctant to report cases like rape because they fear how the community will perceive them or strangely redirect the blame to them. For instance, in some intimate partners’ violent cases, the man may fear to report when the aggressor is a woman for the fear that he would be regarded as a failure, rather than a victim. Therefore, prevention of domestic violence would address the problem better as it does not rely on reported incidences.
The most commonly used method for preventing domestic violence is the tertiary approach. However, it has been found to be the most expensive and the most ineffective way of preventing domestic violence. It emphasizes on finding, punishment, and the treatment of perpetrators and victims. Time and resources are wasted in attempts to rehabilitate and change behaviors of the perpetrators. Damage has already been done to the victims, and sometimes only little can be done to ease the pain. In some cases, the situation may even be beyond control.
The collaboration of various agencies would be necessary for tertiary prevention method to address chronic domestic violence, and this can be expensive. The reason for this is that there is a possibility of family break-ups and in the case of child abuse, the perpetrator, most probably a parent, may face a jail sentence. Consequently, it would require alternative special care programs to feed, educate, and provide shelter for children left under no parental care after their parents have been convicted. Medical care and re-integration back to the society for the victims after post-trauma counseling sessions will also come with a burdening financial and social cost. There are other drawbacks associated with this approach. For instance, some perpetrators may have subdued their victims through threats and other psychological trauma such that the victim may never report violence incidences. Some family members may even attempt to hide or protect the perpetrator in fear of dire consequences associated if they report them to authorities. There, is no reason to wait until violence occurs and then seek to apply mitigation and rehabilitative measures when primary and secondary preventive methods would have helped before situations got worse.
Proponents of tertiary prevention of domestic violence may assert that primary and secondary approaches do not often prevent cases of violence. Therefore, they may not be effective, especially the secondary approach that is usually employed when violence is already taking place. It might be seen that there is no point of claiming to prevent violence when it has already been orchestrated. However, it is apparent that primary and secondary approaches have reduced incidences of domestic violence significantly. For example, cases of domestic violence reduced by more than 70 percent, after the enactment of laws which enforced the identification of abuse, helping of victims, and the prosecution of offenders (Cohn, 2014). Therefore, primary and secondary approaches to the prevention of domestic violence are better.
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In conclusion, it has been established that emphases emphasis and focus should be shifted from the tertiary approach to addressing domestic violence to the primary and secondary prevention methods if a significant impact is to be achieved in the fight against the problem. Primary and secondary prevention approaches have many benefits when the right strategies are implemented. They even provide a better platform for controlling and preventing other vices in the society that form a vicious cycle, which leads to domestic violence. For example, early pregnancies, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and low self-esteem, if addressed, controlled, and prevented appropriately, domestic violence can be prevented. It is apparent that the issue requires more attention because governments and other agencies have not done enough to curb domestic violence. Therefore, instituting of prevention strategies before domestic violence occurs are the best approaches to achieve its successful prevention. There is also a need for accurate data to provide statistics that portray the actual magnitude of the vice. Consequently, this would draw attention of relevant authorities and agencies to increase their effort in eliminating domestic violence in the society. Current data do not represent the facts about domestic violence on the ground. Therefore, primary and secondary preventive measures are the best methods of preventing domestic violence.
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