Home Domestic Abuse Causes Facts on Domestic Abuse Causes and Characteristics

Facts on Domestic Abuse Causes and Characteristics

Facts on Domestic Abuse Causes and Characteristics

Millions of individuals are subjected to physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse every year. In many cases, this domestic violence can result in severe physical injury and even death. In order to establish effective methods of preventing domestic violence, it is first essential to understand the risk factors associated with brutality and abuse. There is no specific or certain cause of domestic violence. However, there are factors that may increase the likelihood that violence will occur in an environment. Often, a negative environment that is rife with stress will lead to a greater risk of domestic violence. Individuals who are suffering from mental illnesses or substances abuse problems may be more likely to subject their partner to abuse and cruelty. Individuals who have grown up witnessing family violence in their home may have learned that this behavior is acceptable. There are various factors that may increase the chances of violent behavior. Understanding these characteristics may help us to better understand domestic violence and abuse.




In order to help prevent domestic violence from occurring, it is important to understand the factors that may contribute to an increased likelihood that abuse and brutality will occur. Domestic violence facts indicate that there is no specific or certain factor that causes an individual to take part in brutality and cruelty. However, there are some experiences, behaviors, and characteristic that may predispose and individual to domestic violence and abuse. Mental illness, substance abuse, and a history of experiencing or witness violence are all factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual will subject their partner to domestic violence. However, just because a person maintains certain characteristics or has lived through traumatic experiences does not necessarily mean that this individual will take part in domestic violence. The factors that may predispose and individual to domestic violence may assist in establishing successful methods of preventing further abuse and cruelty.

Negative Environment

In some instances, individuals who have not learned proper methods of confronting and expressing emotions and feelings may resort to violence as an outlet for negative emotions. Often, these individuals have experienced traumatic events in during their childhood, which prohibited them from openly expressing their feelings. They may have become accustomed to bottling up adverse emotions. Overtime these feelings of anger, rage, and frustration may increase in severity. It is common for individuals who are experiencing extensive levels of stress and anxiety to release this pressure in unacceptable ways. Increased pressure often causes the likelihood of domestic violence to grow. An individual who is experiencing extreme pressure may resort to cruelty in order to release pent up anxiety. Domestic abuse studies suggest that increases in the rate of domestic violence are often seen around rime periods which require increased spending, or during economic recessions. An individual who does not know how to cope with these additional stresses may inflict domestic violence on loved ones. 

Learned Behavior


Many sociologists argue that all behavior is learned. A child will learn acceptable methods of behavior by observing adults. In this way they will learn appropriate ways of reacting to specific situations and events. Witnessing the actions of adults will teach them what type of behavior they should be displaying at what times. In this way, children will learn how and when to partake in domestic violence. Studies indicate that children, who grow up in homes where they are subjected to child abuse, or where they witness domestic violence taking place, are more likely to expose their spouse or children to violence and cruelty. Children who observe one of their parents inflicting another to domestic violence may begin to believe that this behavior is acceptable. This is especially true if the abuser remains unpunished. Children who witness domestic violence occurring may develop the mentality that cruelty is an effective method of gaining control and asserting power. They may view it as a way of becoming dominant without any negative repercussions. 

Institutional Reinforcement


Often times, cultural practices and religious teachings do little to stop or prevent domestic violence from occurring. This is especially true when women are the victims of violence and cruelty. In some cases, the teachings of priests and clergymen provide men with a way to justify the abuse that they are subjecting their wife or girlfriend too. Various passages in the Bible seem to commend child abuse and domestic violence. Other passages detail episodes that illustrate the abuse of women. Some individuals believe that since domestic violence is described in the bible that it is acceptable by God. Many cultures throughout the world condone and accept domestic violence as a necessary occurrence. This is common in cultures that maintain negative perspectives of women. Many societies around the globe view women as objects and believe that they are evil. Therefore, it is acceptable for men to beat women as a method of punishment and discipline. 

Illness Based


Illnesses are often cited as contributing to the occurrence of domestic violence and abuse. Some individuals who are suffering from mental and psychological illnesses will experience episodes of irritability and aggression. During these episodes an individual may experience impaired judgement, and they may take part in activities that they would not normally take part in. Other mental illnesses may cause an individual to experience amplified emotions and sudden shifts in temperament. The extremes of emotions that these individuals experience may lead them to behave violently and aggressively. Degenerative neurological diseases may also increase the likelihood that an individual will take part in violent and cruel behaviors. Individuals who are suffering from these types of diseases may often become confused and not recognize the individual that they are living with. These types of situations can lead to frustration and violence. An individual who is being subjected to domestic violence should seek assistance immediately. In cases of mental illness, this assistance may come in the form of treatment for the perpetrators illness.

Low Self-Esteem


Individuals who are responsible for subjecting their partner to domestic violence and abuse are often suffering from low self-esteem. In many cases, they have been experiencing this self doubt from a very young age. It is often brought about by traumatic childhood experiences. Often, their parents may have maintained unrealistic expectations for them, which they could not achieve. Individuals who are suffering from low self-esteem may have been made to feel worthless and invaluable as children. These experiences will often continue to affect an individual into adulthood. As a result of their low self-esteem, an individual may feel worthless and undeserving. They may fear losing their partner to another person, and may resort to violence in order to establish control over their partner. Domestic violence will be used to instill fear into a victim. If a victim feels that attempting to escape an abusive relationship will threaten their life, then the individual will be more likely to remain in their harmful environment – a very common effect of domestic violence

Manipulative and Isolated

In many cases, an individual who maintains manipulative characteristics will seek to control everything about their environment. This may include their partner. An individual may attempt to influence the beliefs, the behaviors, and the actions of their spouse. In order to ensure that they maintain control over their partner an individual may resort to violence and abuse. They will take part in a repetitive cycle of abuse in order to help guarantee that their partner will not attempt to escape the abusive relationship. This behavior will focus on altering the mentality of the victim, causing the once angry victim to feel sympathy for their abuser. The perpetrator will often achieve this by expressing their regret and appearing to be extremely remorseful for their actions. An individual who has subjected their partner to domestic violence may beg for forgiveness and provide the victim with tokens of their affection. Due to the changed behavior of the perpetrator, an victim may choose to remain in the relationship and attempt to work through the problem. Individuals who are isolated may also attempt to isolate their spouses through the use of domestic violence and abuse. This will often be a result of extreme jealousy and possessiveness



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