One of the most significant health and social problems affecting every society in the world today, irrespective of age, race, ethnic, socio-economic, and religious groups, is Domestic Violence against women.
According to the World Health Organization (2007):
Domestic violence is a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socio-
economic, cultural, racial, and class distinctions. This problem is not only widely dispersed
geographically, but its incidence is also extensive, making it a typical and accepted behavior.
Domestic violence is widespread, deeply ingrained, and has serious impacts on women’s
health and well-being. Its continued existence is morally indefensible. Its cost to individuals,
to health systems and to society is enormous. Yet no other major problem has been so widely
ignored and so little understood.
Domestic violence is the misuse of power by one adult in a relationship to control another, through violence and other forms of abuse. It could be in the form of physical assault, psychological abuse, financial abuse, or social abuse. It is the most common type of violence against women, and causes as many deaths and incapacities in women of a reproductive age, as cancer do. It is also a higher reason for ill health in women than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
This essay aims to discuss the various forms of domestic violence, what leads to domestic violence, and the impacts of domestic violence on the physical and mental health of the women who experience it, the effects on the children who witness it, and the barriers that hold women back from leaving the abusive relationships.
Domestic violence could be physical assault, or psychological and emotional abuse. Physical assault occurs when men exploit their superior physical strength and size, by subjecting women to being slapped, grabbed, shocked, kicked, hit with fists, choked, and having harmful objects thrown at them. Wife beating is the most widespread form of domestic violence. Psychological and emotional abuse involve men using repeated verbal abuse, harassment, humiliation in private or public, making threats, deprivation of the victim’s physical, financial, and personal resources, in order to damage the sense of self-esteem, security, and confidence of the woman.
Violence against has long been widely accepted as normal behavior, something that people are so used to happening that it has become nothing to be alarmed by and often goes unrecognized and unreported. The roots of domestic violence can therefore be attributed to the cultural, traditional, legal, economic, political, and perhaps even religious beliefs, which have made this something that is perceived as being the norm. These beliefs are repeatedly communicated through the media and other societal institutions that tolerate it, making the abuser feel such behavior is acceptable and justified, and...