Often times, domestic violence is thought of as a traditional scenario where the perpetrator of the abuse is a man, and the victim is a woman. Furthermore, this abuse is often thought to be physical, and usually severe or visible. While this scenario can be accurate in some cases, there are many aspects of domestic violence that aren’t addressed in mainstream domestic violence discussion—including target populations, types of abuse, and severity.
Specific populations may be at increased risk to experience abuse by a spouse or family member, or for cases of domestic abuse to go unreported. For example, a man who was experiencing physical abuse from his wife may not understand that he is in an unhealthy and dangerous situation. It is this double standard that can lead to harmful situations that can escalate into serious problems. In addition to men, it is also important to note is the prevalence of underreporting domestic violence in gay, lesbian, and transgender populations. There can be particular challenges when facing domestic violence in these non-traditional cases, such as perpetrators threatening to ‘out’ their partner, threaten to take away children, or use sensitive information in a lawsuit.
One thing to consider is that there are various types of abuse, all of which can be extremely destructive and scarring. Physical abuse is considered the most common type of domestic abuse, but sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse are all examples of domestic violence. While abuse that isn’t visible can be easier to hide, if you ever feel that a friend or loved one is unsafe or in an abusive relationship, in any form, please contact the National Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
The severity of abuse is also something that victims can sometimes question. If abuse isn’t severe or visible, some victims may not consider the behavior to be abusive. Abuse that isn’t physical or visible can be harder to spot, but there are often signs of abuse that you can watch out for, such as: anxiety or fearfulness regarding their partner, frequently missing school/work without explanation or notice, constant injuries, or drastic personality changes, just to name a few. While these traits may not be noticeable by themselves, together they paint a picture of a dysfunctional relationship or possible destructive behavior.
It is through awareness, counseling, and support that victims of domestic violence can safely get out of dangerous relationships.
West Valley Counseling Center offers therapeutic services for survivors of domestic abuse, as well as anger management classes throughout Southern California. For more information or to speak to one of our staff at the West Valley Counseling Center, please contact us at (818) 758-9450 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or to speak to one of our staff, please contact us at (818) 758-9450 or email us at email@example.com