Domestic violence (Family Violence) does not only pertain to physical maltreatment but comprises the “abusive, violent and coercive threatening,” that affects the behavior of a member of a family or household psychological, physically, mentally and emotionally. From a simple demeaning utterance and simple physical inflict like hitting and kicking to sexual and financial deprivation or neglect to children or deprivation of freedom and battery to wife or common law wife and sexual assault are considered to be family violence that is rampant nowadays. This kind of violence was treated by many as isolated cases that started in 1980s and 1990s. (Free Legal Dictionary).
On the other hand, The Family Law Act of 1975 defines family violence as a conduct, whether actual or threatened, by a person towards, or towards the property of, a member of the person's family that causes that or any other member of the person's family reasonably to fear for, or reasonably to be apprehensive about, his or her personal well-being or safety. The common forms of family violence include spouse/partner abuse, child abuse or neglect, parental abuse and sibling abuse beyond gender differences (Family Law Courts). Hence, even men experience domestic violence. However, more women and children at young experience the same.
Exposure to this kind of violence is very threatening especially to children which results to long time trauma which may affect their mental and emotional thinking as they grow old. This cruelty leads a devastating impact including those experiencing it as witnesses (Domestic and Family Violence, Office for Victims of Crime, Retrieved January 17, 2012).
According to reports, more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Survey: 2010 Summary Report). Further, this report presented that this kind of violence starts at the early ages of victims that affect their behavior overtime. In a survey, the age of the average number of victims of this violence is at age of 12 (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
In Niagara Region, domestic violence crises have emerged up to 18, 500 on children alone and women grapple on agencies and organizations like women shelters to take them in. As domestic violence a continuing problem and crime in all nations, the Niagara Region is one of the many nations that are greatly affected by this violence. Unfortunately, the scarcity of financial help trembles the available aids for the victims of this cruelty.
According to numerous studies, it was learned that family violence came from “poorly trained adults including the early marriage and pregnancy of the youth. Further, this violence is traced back as one of the root causes of violence, as these victims become violent offenders and criminals, that is, “cycle of violence” (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Report). More so, this violence causes education difficulties and lack in physical, social and mental development. Current studies also showed that this violence even include elder abuse. In a study conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 444 elderly relatives were victims of this violence.
Despite various laws and regulations instituted to curb this violence, the increasing number of victims proves otherwise. There are many reasons for this continuing devastation on women and children abuses. The economic, personal and legal influences affecting this violence greatly play a role in resolving and what not this violence. For as long as many are left voiceless, fearful, intimidated and threatened, there is more of domestic violence in the near future.