What Are the Facts About Domestic Abuse?

By: Chris Anderson Psy.D.

Recent studies and statistics reveal that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This can include shoving, pushing, slapping as well as more severe forms of violence. Roughly 10 million people are impacted by domestic abuse each year. Sadly, 1500 deaths occur each year from domestic violence. In sum, domestic abuse is all too common.

Abuse and violence can take lots of different forms. Most people are aware of the physical forms of abuse but are often less knowledgeable about the other forms of abuse. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, sexual, economic, and occur in the form of neglect. Domestic abuse occurs across all races, socioeconomics, education levels, religious groups, genders, and sexual orientations. Nurses are typically the first people to encounter domestic abuse, but sadly most perpetrators and victims do not seek out help.

What Motivates and Drives Domestic Abuse?

Most people who abuse others have an intense need to control. Many perpetrators struggle with jealousy issues, low self-esteem, and feelings of inferiority. Many simply cannot regulate their emotions very well, in particular feelings of anger. Unfortunately, for some, it is learned behavior as they grew up in homes with domestic abuse and see it as a way to deal with conflict. Sometimes people have cultural backgrounds that support the belief that it is acceptable to control their partner. In many instances of domestic abuse alcohol and drugs disinhibit the impulse to be violent. Not surprisingly, many domestic abuse calls involve some degree of intoxication. These are some of the more common contributors and drivers for abuse.

Types of Interventions and Treatments

For victims of domestic abuse, there are a number of important steps to take to help ensure safety. As a healthcare provider, it is important to make sure the victim has a safe environment to go to after physical injuries and other medical problems are addressed. It is important to reassure the victim that it is not their fault. It is important to determine any risks to the victim and assess safety options. Medical professionals will have to determine if legal intervention is needed and report abuse when appropriate or required. Referrals should be provided to victims for social workers, shelters, legal, financial counseling, and psychotherapy. Ideally, a follow-up plan should be implemented to follow up with the victim to ensure needs are being met. Perpetrators are best served by receiving anger management counseling, often in a group, but some may be able to do individual therapy.

If you have been a victim or feel you need help with anger issues, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule a consultation with one of our psychologists or psychiatrists so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.

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