Domestic Violence: The Deadly Virus

Table of Contents What is Domestic ViolenceWho is a Domestic AbuserWhy Does Domestic Violence HappenEffects of Domestic ViolenceWarning…
woman victim of domestic violence slapped on face

Isn’t domestic violence like a deadly virus that’s spreading globally? Why is abuse at home on the rise even in the developed countries?

Domestic abuse has become sort of a disease now, so much so that we need an awareness month to address it just as we do for breast cancer.

Yes, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in America. I find it the perfect time to write on this topic as it really touches my heart and deserves attention by men and women alike.

Why is this sickening behavior getting out of proportion and what stops us from taking control over this man-made cancer?

There might be many reasons for why domestic violence is on the rise, but there’s one personal quality that can act as a deterrent and an antidote – self control.

What you also need is LUCK – love, understanding, compassion, and kindness.

May be that’s too easy to say because the situations that lead to violence aren’t that simple. And, self-control isn’t a child’s play either. Love too either ceases to exist or loses its magic with time.

How else can we deal with domestic abuse, which makes one out of three women suffer around the world? That’s really too much, isn’t it?

You’d be surprised to know that it’s not only women who’re the victims, but even men report being abused by women!

However, the number of men as victims is much lower and their cases are mostly not as severe as those of women who’re abused by men.

Well, in either case, there are injuries and casualties, and many more lives including children – who are greatly affected. If we call ourselves civilized, we need to put an end to domestic violence.

Let’s understand the what, who, and why of this deadly virus that has severely infected the world. And, in this post, we’ll only take up the issue of violence against women.

“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe.” ~ Rob Jackson


What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship. It can include violence in marriage, courtship, or cohabitation.

In one of my earlier posts – 9 Early Signs Of An Abusive Relationship – I’ve mentioned about what is abuse and how is an abusive relationship.

An abusive relationship is marked with physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and even financial forms of abuse as explained in the above-mentioned post. I hope you’ll read it to understand abuse better.

All these abuses also happen in domestic violence against women. Do you have any idea what abused women go through?

It sends a shiver down my spine even as I write this – women and even young girls are subjected to forced rape, sexual assault, and even murder!

Women are also burned or killed in the name of dowry and honor killing in some Asian countries.

Else, they are brutally attacked with acid. The acid attack victim suffers with burns and scars on the face and body throughout the rest of her life, IF she survives.

Besides these severe physical abuses, women also are subject to biting, kicking, hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, and choking.


For that matter, even denying medical aid when needed, and depriving the partner of food and sleep causes physical harm.

But domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse.

Some other forms of domestic violence are dominance, forced isolation, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, blaming, endangerment, stalking, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence also includes dating violence. It’s sad to see how the dating valentines transform their loving relationships to domestic violence!

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone. But not everyone is an abuser.

man showing domestic abuse hitting his wife

Who is a Domestic Abuser

A domestic abuser is no stranger.

The domestic act of violence are always committed by either the spouse, boy friend, family member, or any known person having intimate relations.

Mostly the abusers are:

  • Youth in the age group 18 to 30 years
  • Persons from low-income socioeconomic group
  • Unemployed and frustrated
  • Uneducated or having lower levels of education
  • Employees with low job satisfaction
  • Abusers of alcohol and other substances
  • Persons with past history of violence
  • Those who grew up in an abused and violent family
  • People with antisocial personality disorders
  • People with attitudes and beliefs that accept gender inequality

However, exceptions are always there.

The abuser can also be an adult or senior, a person with high-income background – one who’s well-placed in career, and even the one who’s not a substance abuser in any form.

One aspect that may surprise many is that most abusers are often charming and loveable in their other relationships. Thus, people might never suspect them of being aggressive and violent.

Yet, just like the Jekyll and Hyde personality, these charming abusers unleash hell when at home or in privacy.

Further, the domestic abusers are equally prevalent in all types of caste, creed, and race. They all probably have the same types of reasons for domestic violence.

Why Does Domestic Violence Happen

Arguments, differences, and disputes do occur occasionally in relationships. An intimate relationship is no different in this respect.

But when things go to extremes, where one or both partners try to establish supremacy – the fair playground gets muddier.

Here are some basic reasons why partners abuse or are abused.

1) Domestic violence is a learned behavior. Mostly you do what you see and experience. You’re most likely to use violence in intimate relationships if you encounter it in your family and around yourself.

2) The kind of parenting you experience is a big factor in your becoming an abuser or victim. You subconsciously start to imitate your parents and reinforce your observations.

3) However, some even consider the effect of genetics, brain development, and biochemistry on the personality and nature of the abuser, and the acts of violence committed in close relationships.

4) Domestic violence occurs because one partner tries to gain power and control over another intimate partner.

5) The abuser hurts the victim to induce fear by intimidation and inflicting pain so that the fear of leaving become greater than the fear of staying.

6) A lot also depends on the socio-cultural status of the place where the abuser and the abused live. Some countries or cultures find the behaviors as normal, while other countries or cultures treat the same as domestic violence.

7) The social structure also matters. People from patriarchal or male-dominated families tend to subordinate and oppress women, and they don’t hesitate to use force.

8) The public depiction of women as objects through videos, movies, songs, books, computer games, and especially pornographic material make women unworthy of respect. This creates a negative impact in the young tender minds of children and teenagers, who later become abusers.

9) Boys or male children are brought up in a way that they think they’re not responsible for their actions. They think they can do what they want, and always have things their way, including mistreating their partners.

10) People who experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become abusers in their intimate relationships when they grow up.

11) Many religions have beliefs that teach and instruct women to accept male domination, and men to control women.

12) As a rule of nature, a submissive person is generally suppressed, pressurized, controlled and tortured even more by the dominant partner; this is what happens in domestic violence.

13) Certain chemicals like crack cocaine and anabolic steroids are known to cause violent behavior. Alcohol removes the ability of the brain to block aggressive behavior. Remember, substance abuse doesn’t cause, but encourages domestic violence.

14) Acts of violence against women are planned and purposely done. Men do it either because of clash of egos, feelings of insecurity, intense dislike, or because they can’t tolerate her as an equal.

15) Domestic violence happens because the abuser is not happy with himself. One who’s not happy with one’s own self can never be good and happy with others.

Can you think of more reasons? Mention them in the comments.

Whatever be the reason, abuse of any kind is neither justified nor rational – whether it is against women or men.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victim of domestic violence is battered and shattered.

The person begins to lose self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence. But this is not all.

• Talking about the United States, women who’re the victim of domestic violence are more likely to become homeless.

• Many women lose their jobs being victims of intimate partner violence.

• Domestic abusers are likely to abuse even their children, besides abusing their wives.

• Children, who witness or experience domestic abuse, are more likely to do the same when they grow up. They might even become juvenile delinquents and engage in unsocial activities.

• Many young children end up in jail for murdering their battered mother’s abuser.

• Victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and even sexual dysfunction.

• The abused always fears the abuser, and this fear makes the victim dependent on the abuser. They fear that leaving the abuser may bring more harm to them.

There may be many effects of domestic violence, so break the silence and come forward to share what you’ve experienced, heard, or seen. Remember, you might be able to help a domestic violence victim through your act.

To avoid the ugly effects of domestic violence, you should be able to recognize the early signs of domestic abuse.

woman chained in domestic violence

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Are you suffering from domestic abuse? If you’re not sure, then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.

I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.

If you come up with having many “yes”, then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, who can be your family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.

  • Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and any clothes?
  • Have you been ever forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?
  • Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason? Do you fear going home?
  • Do you blame yourself for the violence?
  • Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from your partner including being called names?
  • Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?
  • Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the Internet?
  • Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?
  • Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?
  • Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?
  • Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?
  • Are you treated like a servant?
  • Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you – whether you’ve done them or not?
  • Are you never allowed to take big decisions about the family or even yourself?
  • Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take up a job?
  • Is your dignity being questioned? Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all your moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?
  • Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?
  • Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?
  • Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?
  • Does your partner make you do illegal things, blackmail you, or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?
  • Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?
  • Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?
  • Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?

Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.

However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical abuse, but also psychological, emotional, mental abuse. Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.

I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.

Why? That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you to be yourself and develop yourself.

If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.

If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the stages of domestic abuse.

Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.

Never ignore these behaviors or patterns. These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner. You need to raise a strong voice against it.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” ~ Mark Caine

What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse

It’s only YOU who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.

What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering.

I’d write a full-fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence sometime later as this post is already very long, but till then here are some general suggestions.

First, take the initiative and courage to break the silence.

Talk to someone close to you. If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.

Second, if you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings. You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk!

Third, if mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.

Fourth, if nothing works – walk out! Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.

It may happen that your partner will deny that any abuse ever happened; instead, he might only blame you.

Your partner can even go to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness. But then you might realize that the apologies made are conditional, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.

He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened. Or, maybe his apology is genuine – you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.

Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.

Purple Ribbon

Call to ACTION

Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it. Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.

You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.

Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated. The choice always lies in your hands.

Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.

Always remember that if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.

Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violent behavior.

On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.

You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance. But if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away from such an abusive relationship.

Don’t think twice because YOUR life is precious!

I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.

It’s YOUR life and you have ALL the right to live it the way YOU want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live ONLY once. 🙂

Over To You –

Have you observed any signs of or experienced domestic abuse in your life? What tips would you suggest to deal with domestic violence? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

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  1. Hey Harleena,

    A very indepth post. I get angry reading about it. I have worked with survivors of domestic violence, on three months of uni practical training. When I first arrived a I was shocked that the woman could sit around and talk about abuse without tears. Some made jokes of it.

    But these women were escaping abuse and it must have seemed like a relief and very odd to be living outside of it. Some of the stories gave me nightmares. We are not talking a punch or a slap, it was brutal force.

    Anyway the more this is talked about the better. Because victims need to know they can leave – it may not be easy but it is definitely an option.

    Great post.


  2. This is very well written and it doesn’t concern only those who are facing this problem themselves, but everyone! I can not stress enough how important it is to notice these kinds of signs in friends and family – these things just go on in life, from one generation to the next if no steps are taken to prevent or fix the situation.

    I really hope to see less and less of this going on.
    Thanks for writing this. Don’t forget to help anyone who even remotely looks like he/she is in need of help!

  3. I think it’s smart to have an escape route in the event that domestic violence arises. Always have a list of people you can turn to…especially if kids are involved.

  4. Hi Harleena,

    Yes control is not something that comes to us at will. It takes time to cultivate the attitude to keep anger in control no matter what the situation, and not hurting anyone verbally or physically. It’s a really difficult thing to do. The victim can be anybody irrespective of age or gender, but sadly women are most at risk. Because of the ‘damaging programming’ they are put through all their lifetimes.

    I think the abuse starts the moment someone tells a little girl that she’s less important than boys. It’s difficult to encourage most women to take a stand against their tormentors. The worst part, they can justify being abused, even the educated ones. Education will help when males will be taught that females are neither inferior beings nor properties nor everything they (women) do is anyone else’s business but their own. Also, children should be taught to negotiate via talking and not by using fists/force especially on someone they perceive weak.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Harleena,

    What a great article and I would like to say thank you so much. I am a survivor myself as well as an advocate for well over 13+ years. Hooorahhhh and I do mean that. I wish more would speak out on this cause as well as sexual assault.

    You did a fantastic job covering so many of the dynamics involved in domestic abuse. I also have an article scheduled for this month to go out on this topic. I hope to remember to share your post when I publish mine.

    Irish at Dedicated 2 Life

  6. Hi Harleena,

    I believe that domestic violence is a life threatening issue that should be taken seriously.

    We hear it all the time… There will be times when arguing may occur or both partners may have issues that need to be worked out. It’s a crime that often goes unreported to the police. What makes matters worse is that I’ve heard many officials that do not view it as a crime.

    What I believe is that at the end of the day, controlling or violent relationships usually get worse over time. If your partner might be controlling or abusive, it’s better to get help now than to wait.

    Great topic Harleena!

  7. Great post, Harleena!

    I have never been physically abused, but in my first marriage many years ago, I was emotionally abused. And in the thick of it, I didn’t even realize it. Luckily, I had a wonderful support system of family and friends, who helped me to find myself again (because before him, I was a very confident, strong young women). That was what seems like a lifetime ago (24-25 years ago), but I never let any man treat me that way since. My son is almost 11 and I teach him how to treat people (all people, but especially girls), and will do more so as he gets older. My husband knows that the way he treats me… teaches our son how to treat women. I have a wonderful and smart husband, now. 🙂

  8. Great information as always. No one should ever have to go through this in a relationship. Love shouldn’t hurt and if you find yourself in an abusive relationship, please seek professional help before you attempt to get out of an abusive relationship. A professional can give you the support and tools that you need to survive an abusive relationship.

  9. Oh, Harleena… That this post is even necessary is a sad reality. I’m so glad you wrote it, because it’s incredibly important to keep the awareness raised.

    Kim at My Inner Chick dedicates her blog, predominantly, to the memory of her sister Kay, who was killed by her own husband. Abuse had been present before the murder, although Kay hid it. Now, it’s an impossibly heartbreaking loss for the family.

    As uncomfortable as it can be to talk about, talk about it we must.

    In raising our voices, we’re not just speaking up for current victims, and for victims who no longer have a voice with which to speak. In raising our voices, we’re speaking up for those who might be fearful of speaking up, and for those who have the potential to become victims themselves.


  10. Harleena, I believe you are admirable to be addressing this issue. It is finally getting the needed light on a long term problem.

    I think it has been going on behind close doors for a long time. Domestic aggressors have gotten embolden somehow.

  11. Hello Harleena!

    It’s good to know that a few persons like you still have the courage to write about highly ‘unpopular’ but very important subjects such as domestic violence.

    Personally, I’m not in a relationship that bothers on abuse…as for persons who are in it, two options present themselves:

    1. Make the abuser change (using all the power at your disposal) or
    2. Flee the relationship!

    Fornin the end, Harleena, you’ll discover that it’s because you’re alive that you are even in that relationship in the first place!

    – Terungwa

  12. Hi Harleena,

    Well this topic is rather sensitive because often is too difficult to admit you’re victim or abuser. I know one women who actually without hesitation tells how her husband once in awhile slap her. And eventually ends up talking how she loves him, they have kids etc.

    Now you have a situation where women confesses she is a domestic victim of her husband but won’t do anything to change that. Something I really can’t understand. How sadly is that?

    I don’t want to be a psychiatrist, but the the first thing that came to my mind was just walk out. Like I said, it’s delicate matter and it’s not easy to admit these things nor to make some changes.

    Thanks Harleena for raising awareness of this subject. I think everybody should read this post, might be surprised.

  13. Oh, Harleena – don’t get me started on this one.

    My younger sister was murdered by her husband, so I have some personal experience of the trauma this issue can cause. The statistics are alarming – I think I’m right in saying that in my own country about one woman a week is killed by her partner or ex-partner. I think a lot of it is to do with the abuser’s inadequacy and desire for control.

    What annoys me is the low profile domestic violence has nationally and internationally, and my view is that this is because we live in male-dominated societies, characterized by male-dominated governments and male-dominated world religions. If the majority of victims of domestic violence were men, I suspect there’d be a different attitude towards it and more assertive action taken by governments and courts.

    I think the advice you give in this post is excellent – the most important thing is to admit it’s happening and not try to hide it. A lot of victims are in denial or so ashamed (because they think it’s their fault!) they find it hard to seek help or admit there’s a problem.

    I’m grateful to you for raising awareness by writing this thoughtful post on a subject that needs bringing to everyone’s attention.

  14. Hey Harleena,

    We come across cases of domestic violence every other day in the newspaper or any other social media and its really miserable!

    And the worst part is to think that someone is not safe even in their own house then how could we could assure safety outside.

    You have written a great article pointing out the various reasons of domestic violence, its effect and the way to fight it back.

    What is most remarkable in the post is the ‘Warning signs of domestic violence’. Many of us get abused daily and are not aware of it. This article will actually enlighten people and help them take precautions before anything grave happens.

    I am really touched by this post and will share it with my friends and family.

  15. Hi Harleena,

    I can relate very much to this post. 🙁

    I came from a domestic family abuse. My mom was a battered wife since I can remember, since I was a baby. Mom had 8 children, all came from the same man. In the Philippines where we used to live, divorce is not an option. If you are married to someone, you are married for life. Sure, you can separate. And I heard if you’ve been separated for 7 years, that’s considered legally divorced. Whatever. I don’t understand the governnment in the Philippines.

    …neither do I understand men using their own hands to beat up their wives!

    My dad, who is now dead, was a successful engineer. A professional man. And although he could manage 30-people working under him, he couldn’t manage his own home. We, kids, were always petrified by him. It’s like walking on thin ice and egg shells. He can erupt any minute like a violent volcano. We just never know when he’s going to burst out his anger on us. Although he didn’t really laid hands on us, kids, he did beat up mom like a punching bag.

    I told my mom that if I was married to him, I would’ve killed him a long time ago. I will not stand for it. When I became an adult and finally got out of the house, I advised mom what to do. And here’s what I told her:

    • get a good camera, mom
    • when he hits you, take a picture of every bruise
    • put them in an envelop and make xerox copies
    • file a complain in the police dept and give them that envelop
    • make sure you have a copy of these documents in envelop
    • next time he hits you, call the police & they will put him in jail

    …but mom never followed my advice. I read these steps “how to stop your abusive husband to hit you” in some magazine. Men will who says, “Please forgive me, I will never do it again” are LIARS and even them DO NOT know that what they’re talking about. An abusive man is like an alcoholic, they will never stop.

    Some men have been abused themselves by their parents and is repeated in their adult life abusing others. And so since there was no role model growing up, they tend to repeat the syndrome over and over again…and it goes on from generation to generation. Some men do not have a mother growing up (like my dad did) and at such a young age, he became the mother & father of his brothers and sisters. So that responsibility was passed down to him.

    …I believe dad has an “anger issue” that’s never been resolved.

    He died. And until this day I’m not sure if he knew what he had done. He asked “forgiveness” from all of us before he died. But like one writer said, “Forgiveness can be an instant but the healing takes time.” The history have been recorded. We can never erase the past. We forgive. But I’m not sure we can forget what happened. How can we even forget about this when everything is woven in the fabric of our soul? He’s the REASON why our brothers and sisters are not close. Our family suffered a lot and is/was deeply dysfunctional.

    Although I do not hate my father, the memory can never be forgotten.

    Anyway, I hope that your article can reach a lot of men & women and educate themselves. I think abusive men are IGNORANT because an anger that turns into VIOLENCE is not normal. It’s not normal when you want to stab someone because you are angry. This is not acceptable and is ZERO tolerance. Men who keeps asking for forgiveness should never be given 3 chances. One strike and they should be OUT.


  16. Hi Harleena

    I think you pretty much covered everything about domestic violence.

    It usually starts out very innocent and then just grows, that is why a lot of women find themselves in that kind of mess.

    I remember an actress finally divorced her husband of 40+ years for abuse. So money makes no difference and you would think in the public eye she would realize she has plenty of money to get him away from her.

    There was even a police officer that abused his wife for years. I remember they had a movie on that.

    The men must have such insecurities about themselves to want control over someone to the point of such abuse. Like you say they don’t love, it is disguised as love, but it really is control. When they feel they can’t control someone they start beating on them or whatever other method they chose to abuse.

    Unfortunately it is everywhere in every town in every country in the world. Rich or poor it makes no difference it does happen.


  17. Hey Harleena,

    This just really turns my stomach when I think about this and although as you know I’ve never been associated with anyone like this unfortunately one of my neighbors is abusive.

    I live in a small condo complex and he’s three doors down. I don’t normally hear when they’re going at it but as soon as they step outside I do. Just this morning I witnessed him manhandling her child and he’s probably about four or five. I’ve witnessed it several times now and seen the bruises on her but she keeps going back to him. I can’t believe that her ex-husband even allows his son to be around him but she’s back yet again. The police have been here probably three times now but she keeps forgiving him.

    They are suppose to be in counseling because she just had his child but after the incident this morning I’m about ready to call child protective services. One thing they live in a one bedroom condo with two small children and I think the children are suppose to have their own area which I know for a fact that they don’t. I’m just not familiar with all the laws since again this is not something I’m familiar with personally. But I’ll be calling today to at least ask.

    I also know that unless she files charges there isn’t really anything I can do and the man is just mean and nasty. It’s not that I’m trying to be ignorant about the situation but he rebels when he finds out someone has done something like turn him in. Like I said, he’s just mean.

    Thank you for making us aware that this is the month for domestic violence. Maybe I should go put a sign on their door or something. Just to rub it in. Gosh it’s so upsetting to watch.


  18. Hi Harleena,

    What an epidemic and a plague domestic violence is, and the list of most likely people to be violent that you mentioned here is so right on, and I would add low self esteem as well. People with low self esteem seem to be more prone to violence than anyone who has a healthy self esteem. That goes especially for males.

    As parents, if all we have to offer to our children is a violent environment, we are multiplying the chances that they will become violent adults. The family nucleus has such an important impact on society.

    Women victim of violence must break the silence as you’re saying. No one woman or man should accept such behavior to go on. My mother used to say that if she had ever received a single slap from her husband it would have been a reason for divorce to her. We MUST be uncompromising about those things. At least that’s how I see it.

    Thanks for another get topic, Harleena

  19. Hi Harleena,

    Thank you for tackling yet another tough subject. Your words here are so important and may save lives. People who recognize abusive behavior can then take steps to get help and remove themselves from danger.

    I worked at a Victim’s Advocacy Program for raped and battered women, giving speeches, working the hotline and helping out at the battered women’s shelter. Seeing the effects of battering on the victims is heartbreaking. While the physical wounds may heal, the psychological wounds may linger for much longer.

    Often women’s self-esteem has been so reduced by her abuser that she doesn’t have the confidence to escape or realize that she can get along without her partner. You point out the many issues a victim may have that can compound the problem, such as depression and other mental illnesses. Often a woman doesn’t value herself enough to extricate herself from the situation. But if there are children involved a woman should realize that the abuser will inevitably turn their attention to the children eventually.

    By asking those questions, you are helping people recognize the signs of abuse so they can begin their journey of escape and healing.

    Thank you also for mentioning that men can be the victims of abuse too. My first call I fielded at the hotline was from a man who was being abused by his partner. I was thrown by that because it hadn’t been covered in our training. But the issues are very real and the dangers do exist.

    From your commenters here, it’s clear that this article really resounds with your readers who were brave in sharing their experiences.

    I will be sharing this with others, Harleena, so your words can help to change lives.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you SO much for saying that – it means a lot to me. Yes, the main aim to write such posts is to save lives by creating more awareness, and if we all can bring in our experiences and thoughts about such issues – it would surely help others 🙂

      It must have been a heartbreaking, yet an eye-opening experience to work at a Victim’s Advocacy Program and help such shattered women – hats-off to you for taking the initiative.

      You are absolutely right – the psychological wounds might never even heal in some cases. I think the emotional abuse they undergo is too much for them to get over, which is more than the physical abuse that often heals with time.

      I agree with you – I think lack of self-esteem and the state she is reduced to by her abuser makes her feel rather unworthy of doing anything, leave alone escape. It’s only when she gathers the courage, where such programs, friend’s, family, or joining groups help – can she really plan to take the step towards her freedom. Till then she just suffers silently, or as you mentioned, goes through trauma, depression, and other mental illness – just feel so bad.

      I think a woman doesn’t leave at times because the kids are also involved, or wonder how she would manage financially. But just as Debbie mentioned in her comment above, when she saw her ex’s wrath and verbal abuse taken out on her daughters, she just got the courage to plan her move. Yes, eventually it will come on to the kids, or they will be used as a medium also to torture you.

      There could have been many more questions I could have written, but these were just to make them a little aware of the warning signs and if they see this in their life so that they know what to be prepared for.

      Oh yes…men too go through domestic abuse and violence, just as you got to know. I do plan to write about the abuse they go through too, though in another post and perhaps a little later because their issues are very different as compared.

      Indeed, I remain ever so grateful to my wonderful readers to come forward and always share their experiences here with all of us because they know it’s going to help others, and it’s for a good cause.

      Thanks so much Carolyn for adding more value to the post through your precious words and experience, and for sharing it with others – I appreciate that 🙂

  20. Hi, Harleena Mam,

    Yes, domestic violence is a deadly virus as it sucks lives in the same way what computer virus does with the vital information in our computers. It makes our lives bad to worse.

    It is not only a problem for lower income families or countries, even, the condition is same for high income families or countries. And reason behind the violence is the more or less same.

    In our country, India, it happens in the name of dowry, honor killing and many more. Even, we have a law against it; however, the lack of awareness playing a big role in the domestic violence, dowry and honor killing. ;(

    The domestic violence is becoming monster just because we don’t have the courage to say a BIG NO and we tolerate all which is slowly becoming a habit of ours.

    I think these two things can reduce violence in a many fold.
    1) Courage to scream BIG NO, Either Dowry, violence, alcoholism, or sexual assault.
    2) Awareness about the domestic violence.
    And I do also agree that self control is an antidote for it.
    I liked your LUCK.

    Thank You very much for sharing thought provoking post against DV.
    Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Aha – I like the comparison you made of DV along with the virus in the computer – quite true 🙂

      Yes indeed, this deadly virus has spread all over now – not only in the low income groups but we keep seeing and reading about so many cases even in the lives of celebrities and the high society. It’s just that we feel surprised when we hear of such cases because we don’t expect them to go through domestic abuse as well.

      Oh yes…it’s been there in our country since ages, not to mention the number of lives that are also lost, or women that are even burnt to death at times. No law ever works here, had it, the many rape case other similar issues would have got immediate results. But I’m glad people are becoming more aware now and raising a voice against DV and abuse, so much so that the law would have to take action sooner or later.

      You are right – those who tolerate the abuse and violence are tortured further, and this cycle never ends. Unless people don’t say NO to all such things, nothing will work. Whether it’s related to men or women, they themselves have to take a strong stand and raise a voice.

      Yes, if we can help spread more awareness about such issues, we can help people who are dealing with DV or warn the others well in time.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the post, and I appreciate you sharing this with your friends 🙂

  21. Hi Harleena !

    Its really sad to know people behaving in this manner . I think the main reason behind domestic violence is hatred . Its very important for the opposite sex to get rid of their partner if they experience hatred towards from their partner.Situation will worsen is this hatred doesn’t stops . One more reason that can incite domestic violence are the TV shows based on crimes as they can bring wrong thoughts to the minds of people .Thanks for sharing the information and have a great week.


    1. Hi Pramod,

      Yes, it is sad, but this is just how people behave, and I also wish it would stop and that people would think with more of empathy and sympathy towards each other, instead of hatred.

      If nothing seems to work and you have tried everything in your power, then walking off from such a relationship is the only solution, and the sooner done the better. Oh yes…the social media, television, and even movies based on similar crimes add up to things and put the wrong ideas in people’s mind. Sometimes these negatively affect even those who might not be domestic abusers, to become one.

      Thanks for stopping by and expressing your thoughts. 🙂

  22. Hi Harleena,

    You might not believe, but I really don’t know how but I read one more post today related to the same topic on another blog. It was about human rights, racism and domestic violence and crime against women and children.

    Really, it is shame and pity for all of us humans. We consider ourselves modern, civilized, advanced and so much of bla bla bla. It is sad to say but we are proving ourselves completely inhuman.

    At the surface level, we are showing advancement but at the inner level, we seem to be returning back to olden days. It feels so sad watching news and reading newspapers, most of the news are related to such issues.

    I have even planned to launch one blog dedicated to the burning issues happening around us because somehow, I feel the heat of such issues in me and If I don’t vent it out, it may burn me some day.

    According to me, the most important strategy to fight domestic violence would be to stand against it and speak out “NO, It is enough, Not anymore.” The takers of domestic violence are equally responsible because their acceptance fuels the mind of abuser as they think that they have all the rights to do it.

    Thanks Harleena.

    See, even your post turned out as a vent to feel the brunt of the heat burning in me against such burning issues.

    1. Hi Ashutosh,

      I DO believe you! I think the reason for that is because this month is well known for creating more awareness about such causes and human rights 🙂

      It IS a shame and if more people thought and felt the way you feel, things would be so different, but that sadly isn’t the case. An abuser really doesn’t really think I feel – he just goes ahead and does what he wants to do. Where can we really call ourselves civilized or even human to see the pain of another and not act? Just as in the recent rape cases in our papers, if you remember.

      It would be lovely to see a blog dedicated to such important social issues, and as you write so well and have the power to express your thoughts, it would be real hit – go for it! I say this strongly because of the fire within you, which one needs to try to make a difference to the society, in whatever way we can, and being bloggers and writers – we can surely use the power of our blogs to reach the masses, isn’t it?

      Absolutely! Speaking out and standing against DV is the ONLY thing that really works. And unless the abused, whether it’s a man or woman doesn’t stand up and speak, nothing will work. Life is all about the choices we make, and this too is a major choice WE have to take for ourselves. Yes, you are right – the one who doesn’t raise his/her voice, is suppressed further.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. I can see the heat Ashutosh, and this is the very reason you should have a place to vent out, perhaps on your new blog 🙂

  23. Hi Harleena….It is so heartbreaking! especially the stories shared here.

    I know this malaise so well….I it is so rampant in Indian society. I have seen it in almost every Indian home, one or the other form of domestic violence mentioned by you [ having heard a million stories from my colleagues and having seen with my own eyes] but what enrages me is that people let it continue! I have not seen a single woman react in a firm and decisive manner or walk out of the home. While reasons for non reaction may vary but even educated, financially independent women continue to accept it!

    Thanks for such a thoroughly researched article. I hope it rings the bell in some minds.

    1. Hi Balroop,

      I know that, but this again is the bitter truth, isn’t it? Yes, very rampant, not only in India, but worldwide now.

      I agree with you, some form of violence does exist in most homes, and that’s why it’s said that one in three women go through it. Sadly, in our country, most women just keep quiet and bear it up, again due to various reasons – the common ones being for the sake of her kid’s, and she’s not yet finaicially independent.

      Ah…people really don’t care for another person, and that’s the saddest part – no wonder SO many crimes are committed and no one really takes any action. Some women do have the courage to walk out, but they are rare, again due to reasons like what people will say, what her parents will say, where will she go, what will she do etc.

      Yes, even the rich and famous, or finaically independent women bear it, though they lead miserable lives, or turn to other men or alcohol in the high society, where such things are acceptable, while others bear it up for the sake of their status. I wish things would change too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  24. Hi Harleena,

    Another great post I must say, I love this post because it has really exposed a lot one more thing I need to add is that I do not know why some ladies that are being abused by their partner in their relationship still go ahead and get married to the man even when they know he acts wild in the relationship so I still ponder if they hope that he will stop after marriage or what they hope to achieve? Anyway I have sworn never to abuse a woman in anyway because I have a sister and would not take it likely with any man that does such to her. A good way to control this is mind control and discipline it goes a long way to help both partners.

    Have a great midweek

    1. Hi Bob,

      Thank you for liking the post, and I’m glad you could relate to it 🙂

      Good question! If you read Donna’s comment on top, she fell in love with a person, and love is really blind – it sees NO wrong in the person you love. I guess such women feel that once they are married, the wild behavior of their partner would change, and sometimes, though rare, it changes too.

      Oh…you are never doubted! I think men with sisters or other women family members are more considerate, though again, one can never say who might turn out to become what later in life. But those men who place themselves in the shoes of another person would think with empathy I feel, and would never commit such abuse. Yes indeed, it all comes down to self-control, and the ability to control your mind from going overboard.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. Have a nice week as well 🙂

  25. Oh My Harleena,

    This is going to take some courage, but I find that sharing can help others.

    I was a victim of domestic violence. At the time, I had low self esteem. I met a wonderful guy that I thought was “too good for me.” That was the first mistake.

    While we dated, he thrashed things around and raised his voice. Now I was used to this behavior because my dad was an alcoholic and has done the same thing. I thought this was normal.

    I married this man and had a child. While I was pregnant, there was so much emotional, financial, and verbal abuse going on, I became submissive to it. It was like the Stockholm Syndrome whereby I tried to defend my abuser.

    At 6 months pregnant the physical violence started. He threw me across the room. Now I have NEVER experienced physical violence in my life. I was perplexed. I talked to him and told him he was hurting his own child. The next day, flowers and tears. Well this went on for three years until I threw out his drugs.

    I can still remember the rage. I was stabbed and did anything he told me to do. I was tortured because he wanted to go upstairs to take my child. Lucky me…I found some drugs and gave it to him. It was enough to knock out a horse. He took them and passed out.

    I ran out of the house bleeding with my child and went to my parents. After that, I reached out. I got help from the Battered Woman’s Shelter whereby I had therapy and an advocate.

    This was the most terrible time in my life. But through it all, I turned from victim to victor!

    I worked in the shelter for a while and gave speeches to several universities. I am still an advocate.

    Sorry for this very long comment, but if only one person reads this that is going through abuse, maybe … just maybe they will seek help too.


    1. Hi Donna,

      So sorry if it brought back sad memories…you know I didn’t intend doing that, and yes, you sharing your story will help others for sure, which was the main purpose of writing this post 🙂

      Ah…don’t we all feel the same way when we are in love! The perfect guy, the right match, made for each other – that heavenly feeling, which makes us feel on top of the world. We can never really make out that it is a mistake because we are blinded by love!

      Oh dear…having an alcoholic parent is bad enough, and now you had to deal with a guy who was doing the same. Yes, but natural for you to think it was all normal. However, had that not been the case, the raising of the voice and throwing things around are very clear indicators that this person isn’t right for you, isn’t it?

      Oh my goodness! How could he even think of hurting a pregnant wife, and his own child? But that’s how abusers are – they just see no wrong in anything they do, and yes, the flowers, tears, forgiveness starts the very next day when the damage is already done! Yet you carried on with all this for three years – amazing!

      Stabbed! That must be the end of it all – crossing beyond the limit I’d say! And anything could have happened to you. Thanks God for those drugs that knowcked him out and you could leave with your child, or else he would have got after your child sooner or later too, or make it a means to get to you, as is usually the pattern seen with such domestic abusers.

      Look where you have reached now, Donna – yes from a victim to a victor indeed, and you must have helped so many people through your talks and coaching. And all this happened only when you moved out – you just had to – anyone should if they are in a similar situation, perhaps much earlier. I guess you waited this long because you keep hoping or feeling that things will get better, especially as they all say it does, once the child comes in. But it didn’t happen with him, and I still wonder why he has so much of rage in him?

      Thank you SO much for this couregous personal story. Oh no…your long comment seemed so short as compared to the long misery your underwent, and I’m grateful to you that you opened up and shared your bitter past with all of us. This is surely going to help a lot of DV abused victims.

    2. Donna,

      I’m so sorry you had to endure the physical and psychological torture of a man who abused you so very horribly. Congratulations to you for getting yourself and your child out of that terrible situation. It couldn’t have been easy to endure the abuse or escape and start your life over again. But you did it and became a victor.

      Thank you for sharing your story here and for turning your experiences into your foundation for helping others.

      You are amazing.

  26. Good subject to talk about Harleena.

    For myself I was in a verbally abusive relationship with my Ex. He was always putting me down. And than i saw him doing it to our kids as they got a little older. That is when I decided, no this was going to stop. I did make a plan when getting out of the marriage. I didn’t just walk away, but had a plan that took me about 6 months to set up, so the divorce might be easier on me and the girls. (Even though things did get pretty rough at times after the divorce) But to save my self-esteem and my girls it was worth it. It made us strong, even today.

    I do have to say that my oldest daughter has had to divorce her husband because of verbal abuse. What i would like to let others know is when it comes to abuse, if one of the parents is being abused, your child could grow up to be an abuser or get in a relationship with an abuser. (I did try to warn her when she decided to marry this person, but to no avail.)

    No one deserves to be abused! Thanks for showing the signs of abuse. We all need to know them. I do believe abuse starts with the parents. Then it becomes a child’s comfort zone.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Nice to know that you liked the subject 🙂

      I know you’ve been through such a lot from your earlier comments at the blog, and also from your posts where you keep writing about it all. Verbal abuse can really be endless and pretty bad I’d say, sometimes as bad as emotional abuse, though that really gets to you, isn’t it?

      I can well understand how it must’ve started affecting the kid’s, and such domestic abusers don’t really spare anyone because they aren’t really in the right frame of mind, or feel they are doing no wrong.

      You made the right choice to move away, for the sake of your girls. I think being mothers, we can take in whatever comes our way, till we can and don’t reach a saturation point. But when we see it negatively affecting our kid’s, we don’t leave any stone unturned, don’t we? I think I’d have done the same thing had I been in your place – move away with my children, for the good of my children by keeping them away from the wrath of their abusive father.

      Divorce is never easy – on anyone, and our kid’s are actually the ones who are really affected the most. Perhaps yours were young that time, and that helps in some ways, though the memories take time to fade I think, while in some cases they just remain.

      Sorry to hear about your oldest daughter, but that’s what even studies indicate that it kind of becomes a pattern and plays in the sub-concious mind of the child. Perhaps that’s why children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced also, even though they might not want to. I think in her case, she must’ve been in love with him to think sense of what you were trying to tell her. I wonder how could you make out that the guy was an abuser before you warned her? Were there any signs or indications that made you think so? Just curious as it might help other parents too.

      Yes indeed, the main aim of this post was to create awareness about dometic violence and abuse, and what people can do to recognize the signs of DV as well.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your personal experiences with us, that are surely going to help many. 🙂

      1. Hi Harleena,

        When it came to my daughters ex it was the attitude, look in his eyes and the way he carried himself. Very smug. One of those guys that came across like the world was his and he was going to do what he wanted. When he talked you could tell that he only said what he though you wanted to hear. To sum it up it was mainly in the eyes and attitude.

        When it comes to children follow parents foot steps when it comes to divorce, yes, she is the oldest of the 3 girls and spent the most time with her father. She took some abuse from him before I left him. You might say, when it cames to men it was her comfort zone. How she understands more about why she made this mistake.

        1. Hi Debbie,

          Thanks for clarifying that, because like me – others too might want to know how one can make out, and you are right, often times it is the look and attitude that gives way.

          I can well understand that how DV and abuse can have an effect on the children, and even divorced parents affects their lives when they grow up. Nevertheless, I’m sure your daughter must be so much better off without her ex.

          Thanks once again 🙂

  27. Very comprehensive review on domestic violence. Its one of those things that is not often talked about in India since we are a very male dominated society.

    Lot of these issues are as you mention due to lack of education and substance abuse.

    There are some high profile cases in the news recently for example of Nigella Lawson the celebrity chef. Seems as if its also seen in the rich and famous too.

    Difficult to say how to combat, perhaps women should take up martial art and not be afraid to use it when faced with such situations.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked the post, and you know that this is such a topic that one can keep writing about to no end 🙂

      Yes, it’s not a much talked about a topic in India because of the male dominant society as you mentioned, and it’s something so many women accept willingly as part of their fate. I wish things would change here too and they would become more aware of their rights.

      Oh yes…the rich and famous also are victims of domestic abuse, but it’s just that we get to know about such cases when we read them in the papers or see them on the television, which surprises us.

      Lol…good one about women taking up martial arts, but that would surely help any abuse on women, especially if she is outside her house and many schools have now introduced it as part of their curriculum too. But it’s the woman herself who has to rise up and take a stand, where DV is concerned – she has to fight it out within her four walls, or else gather up the courage to leave such a relationship.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  28. Hello Harleena,

    Thank you for sharing this important issue. Let me tell you, you have described the characteristics of an abuser and why to a T. I couldn’t help but think of my ex…it’s him all over this page.

    Having survived being physically and emotionally abused I can tell you that the emotional abuse is so much more harder to overcome. This happened to me over 20 years ago and I’m still dealing with the affects.

    My lack of self confidence, how I see myself in the mirror, fears, all of that stems from the abuse. I have to remind my self to walk with my head up and not look down….

    I consider myself one of the lucky ones who was able to get away from her abuser. I remember a friend of the family who wasn’t so lucky and died in the hands of hers.

    Although I agree with your advice on what to do, in my personal experience, #2 was very touchy. I tried talking to him about how I felt and it just enraged him….so I would advise him or her if their abuser sets off easily to tread carefully and have those talks in a calm neutral setting.

    Wonderful post Harleena!

    1. Hi Corina,

      You are most welcome, and I’m so glad you could relate so well to all that’s written – having gone through an abusive relationship yourself.

      Sorry if this post brought back bitter old memories, though you know that wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to create a little awareness about how domestic abusers are and how everyone needs to beware of what they might be going in for, along with a few tips to help the domestic violence victims.

      Yes indeed, the emotional abuse eats your core off leaving scars behind that may take ages to heal, if at all. I think those memories only fade with time, they never really go away and with a slight trigger point, it comes all back right again, isn’t it?

      I can so well understand that lack of self-esteem and unworthiness, even though we all know you are doing wonderfully for yourself now, but it’s that inner feeling that takes time to get over. Yes indeed, you were one of the lucky ones. I wonder how those who are still stuck in such situations ever manage to survive, if they live on that long in such an abused relationship. Sometimes the kid’s are a major reason, while at other times it’s financial dependency.

      I agree with you about #2 – some people are beyond talks or need a different setting for talks. And sometimes even if you try your level best, till the other person is not receptive to you and your feelings, nothing really works.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your own personal experiences with us, which is surely going to help many readers 🙂

      1. I don’t mind sharing my experience at all especially if it means helping someone realize they need to get out of a bad situation that’s only going to get worse.

        It’s also kind of therapeutic for me too. It makes me stronger because it’s a great reminder that if I can survive that, I can survive anything :).

        Thank you for sharing it on this week’s issue! Have a lovely new week my dear friend! Talk to you later!

  29. Hello Harleena,

    Domestic violence is indeed a deadly virus that has taken all over the world and indeed they should do an awareness day to help people who are in this shoe and those who’ll fall victim too.

    I have witnessed a woman who always beats her husband because her husband’s a drunk. The man was a sailor but lost his job and his wife always try to put up a fight with him, that sadness made him a drink addict… After some time, he can’t stand the beating – he ran away till date.

    Domestic violence is a disease that needs serious attention to….
    Thanks for this wonderful post and do have a beautiful week ahead

    1. Hi Babanature,

      I agree with you there, and I wish more people would raise a voice against the injustice done, whether for men or women. The person who is the victim is the one who suffers the most, and we really have no idea of all that they go through, isn’t it?

      Oh dear! That does sound horrible! I guess in his down times, he needs her support more than anything else. Or perhaps she was frustrated also because there might be no money in the house, and for our daily bread and butter we do need funds. One really can’t say what the reason might be, but beating up is way out of line. Yes, running away perhaps was the best thing he could do, though he could have tried to resolve issues first because there is a solution to everything, provided both sides are willing to give it a real hearing.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice week ahead as well. 🙂

  30. Hello Harleena,

    It’s really sad to hear that even far more developed countries like USA is a victim of domestic abuse. I already knew its common in our India, also saw many with my own eyes when I was a little child.

    However as you mentioned in the post the best bet could be communicating with each other and resolve the problem themselves. Trying to take authority on each other is the leading problem. They can even learn that from the film’s nowadays. Ego and hatred can destroy a person easily.

    Anyways thanks for sharing this with us Harleena and also I hope we all win against the cancer and hatred feelings one day. Let us hope so . Have a good day and bye:)

    1. Hi Sumanth,

      You’re right. India has a big problem with domestic violence. We read many cases about domestic abuse almost daily in the newspapers, and the way girls and women are treated in the country is very bad. Though it doesn’t happen everywhere in the country, and not everybody is an abuser or being abused, and so is the case for any other country, including the USA.

      I think the issue of domestic violence is not related to the country being developed or not, because it deals with the core human issues – ego, dominance, control, and power. You may find people struggling with these issues in any corner of the world.

      Communication is the best and should be the foremost way of resolving any issue, but to be honest, it doesn’t always work out if people are adamant, stubborn, and just don’t want to change or improve.

      You’re right – ego and hatred only destroy a person, sooner or later. The cure for this disease of domestic violence is love and understanding, empathy and sympathy, sharing and caring. We should all have positive hopes that we’ll cure the cancer of DV from our societies, countries, and the world by changing ourselves.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and views, and your own personal experiences. Have a great week ahead! 🙂

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