In the United States alone, it is estimated that up to 20 people are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each minute. Over the course of one year, there may be as many as 10 million cases of domestic violence and abuse. In addition to the obvious physical trauma, domestic abuse can have lasting psychological effects and contribute to the development of various mental illnesses. Despite its prevalence, domestic violence is still a very taboo and misunderstood pattern of behavior.
To help shed light on this issue, the mental health counseling team from White Spruce Counseling in Rochester, NY, has compiled a list of things you should know about domestic violence and abuse:
1. There Are Many Different Forms of Abuse
Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence. Many victims are never struck by their partners, but they may endure emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse. An abuser may isolate the victim from friends and family members, withhold medication, or use threats and intimidation to control the victim.
2. Domestic Abuse Occurs in Every Demographic
This type of abuse is prevalent in every demographic regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic class. It can occur between same sex couples, married couples, domestic partners, or couples who are dating.
3. Young Women Are Most Susceptible
Although it can occur in any demographic, young women between the ages of 16-24 are most susceptible to this type of abuse. The violence is almost always perpetrated by a male partner or ex-partner with whom they had an intimate relationship.
4. Abuse Can Impact Entire Families
If domestic violence and abuse occur in families with small children, the results can be devastating. Children who witness this type of violence often develop anxiety disorders and have difficulty developing romantic relationships in the future. Additionally, children can also be victims of the abuse and may be taken out of their homes and into protective custody if the abuse is reported.
5. Victims May Develop PTSD
As previously stated, this type of abuse can have lasting emotional and psychological effects. Victims may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may have difficulty trusting romantic partners in the future. Interventions, such as PTSD counseling or domestic violence counseling, may help to treat the psychological wounds left behind by domestic abuse, but the victim has to be willing to enter treatment on their own.
If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic abuse and needs counseling and intervention, call White Spruce Counseling at (585) 424-2436. For more information on their services for victims of domestic violence, visit them online.