The human services profession requires its members to be strong-willed, compassionate, energetic and empathetic. These skills are most in need when dealing with one of the most troublesome problems society faces today, domestic abuse. Domestic abuse has wide reaching effects, not only within the family construct, but in the large macrocosmic sense of society as well. Domestic abuse and its often vague and obscure symptoms provide the counselor or social worker with a unique problem that is mostly treated and addressed at the by the human services professional
Across socioeconomic backgrounds of all kinds, domestic abuse appears in many different forms and manifestations. This form of violence is unacceptable, and it seems baffling how people may resort to domestic violence against their wife or husband or even a child. Humiliation and intimidation, in my opinion, are not suitable ways of treating fellow humans. Domestic abuse is of great concern to me due to my professional attachments, but more importantly my human instincts tell me that this issue is preventable and containable.
Unnecessary suffering should be eliminated at all costs. Simplicity and an empathetic approach to living me become more focused during these times of extreme violence seen throughout society and the world today. While it maybe impossible for someone in my position to end all violence, especially upon children, but I feel it is important by doing my part towards eliminating unnecessary suffering by minimizing violence and promoting a peaceful approach to fraternal living and economic and societal prowess.
Before examining the causes and solutions to domestic abuse it is very important to first understand the terminology. Domestic abuse, can appear to be a vague term. My personal definition of "domestic," describes this word as being from the home. Domestic would be a nonpublic type of engagement. Family life is typified by a domestic environment. A typical family, or a normal family, consists of two parents and children, with the parents usually being of the opposite sex. Abuse is a much trickier word to understand. To me, abuse is the misuse of any particular material object. Abuse is an individual set of actions. While one can abuse someone else, it is only when the victim accepts their victimhood does abuse occur. Therefore domestic abuse relies on interpersonal relationships, the individual intentionally infliction of pain, that is supported by the relationship.
The Mayo Clinic introduced a recognition description of how basic abuse may manifest itself. While it may be difficult to first identify how domestic violence is affecting someone, relationships usually have an abusive tone from the beginning of the relationship. Domestic abuse can also be referred to as domestic violence. Domestic violence appears in many different ways, including sexual abuse, physical abuse emotional abuse and threats of abuse. Most times men abusewomen, but abuse can happen in any type of relationship.
Some symptoms of domestic abuse occur when the following behaviors occur:
-name-calling and insulting behavior
- isolation from family and friends
- mandatory obedience
- alcohol and drug abuse
-physical violence, including choking hating and kicking
-physical violence towards pets and material objects
- rape and forced sexual contact
Fullwood (2002) summed up the problem to add perspective to the argument. She found "nearly 1/3 of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. Reports of child abuse or maltreatment are equally alarming with almost 1,000,000 confirmed reports of abuse or neglect the children in 1998. In that same year, an estimated 1100 children three per day died of abuse or neglect nearly 80% of them children under five years of age." If these facts and figures are indeed accurate, society has a very large problem on its hands with social services professionals needed desperately to address the symptoms and bring about healing and understanding.
The Needed Change
With all the continued and rising violence, something appears to be wrong. A change is desperately needed somewhere throughout the system. Perhaps the system is broken. What is most important however is to understand my personal capabilities in addressing this particular issue. I need to understand that I cannot solve all the world's problems in a single attempt, however it is very important that I maintain personal discipline and continue to strive to contribute to my part of the solution. Individual contribution towards large group and the macrocosmic goals, create the circumstances necessary for large-scale societal change, in my opinion.
Specifically, there are two avenues of approach I recommend in addressing change. First, the educational and training systems of the human service professionals needs to be modified in some ways. Systematic and standardized theories, while describing general principles fail to address practical solutions. It is important to understand within his profession that the relative problems of one specific social worker does not always correspond to another. The millions of variables that enter into any domestic situation needs to be somehow addressed as an individual and relative case before applying any general theory. This is the first step in addressing the problem. Social workers and human service professionals need to understand this trend of domestic abuse is getting worse and not better. Solutions start from within and can emit positive solutions outward. I believe this is most important, however probably more difficult to achieve in the next significant change I believe is needed.
Practically, social workers and human service professionals need to demonstrate a balancing approach to their work. Dependence is a tricky and relative term to apply. However, overdependence on a social system causes much unnecessary stress and seems to undermine the societal benefit of its provisions. Finding a balance between dependence and independence in addressing these issues towards the relative cases of each individual domestic problem seems to be the most applicable use of change for this particular subject. More responsibility needs to be given to the social worker in order to prove how independence can manifest itself into understanding and potential. When the social worker of human service professionals appears handcuffed by systematic and bureaucratic red tape, it does not demonstrate self-sufficiency. How can we expect abuse sufferers to gain courage to become more independent, if the system itself is too overly dependent?
Knowledge and learning prevent mistakes. Knowing and understanding appropriate goals that do not appear as attainable helps in developing plans and systems that can contribute to enlightenment. In formulating goals it is important to understand the totality of the situation. Widespread societal change cannot happen unless it happens at the individual level first. Localizing seems to be a useful goal. Quantifying localization may be more difficult, but understanding the importance of inward reflection and self-sufficiency will help realize these goals. I have developed three goals that seem to be attainable and practical for my future profession and for others learning as well.
GOAL #1: Reestablish the importance of self-sufficiency at the educational level.
GOAL #2: Reestablish the importance of self-sufficiency at the street or practical level.
GOAL#3: Synergize the knowledge and theory of the educational level with the wisdom and experience of the practical level.
All three goals can be simultaneously attempted using a methodical yet individual approach to problem-solving. Domestic violence is nothing but a problem that can be solved using logic and eliminating false pretenses. Examining the root causes of domestic violence will identify the misunderstanding of emotion and experience and will help realize these goals which will no doubt contribute to societal change but only when it is sprung from the local and individual levels first.
There is much evidence and analysis regarding the topic of domestic abuse and domestic violence. The social worker or human services professional could spend the rest of his or her life investigating all that has been written about this problem. For my particular project, I've identified certain articles that help support and contrast my case. A combination of both spousal and child abuse examples were used to highlight parts of my arguments. The literature pertaining to this subject will be introduced throughout the remainder of this essay to support and conflict my argument and will qualify my solutions and analysis.
Tarr (2008) highlighted an extremely enlightened point when she addressed this idea of economic autonomy and domestic responsibility. In finding this balance as she suggested "battered women are not immobilized by their situation and they do not need the state, or an employer, controlling their destiny. The process of decision-making defines autonomy: the ability to get information, reflect on that information and make independent decisions. In mediating the tension between protectionism and autonomy, only laws and policies that favor autonomy will provide sustainable change" (p.426). Self-analysis and self-reflection becomes a necessary tool to obtain in solving these problems.
Analyzing the environment is a useful experience to help gather facts and trends before determining a suitable action plan. A SWOT analysis will be useful in determining the strengths and weaknesses opportunities and threats for implementation of any particular business strategy.…