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Domestic violence poses serious mental and physical health risks. In fact, it is estimated that" more than 1.5 million women nationwide seek medical treatment for injuries related to abuse each year" (Stark, 2001, p. 347(Tomison, 2003)). Those who are abused can experience mental health issues, such as anxiety attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, acute stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and ideation (Tomison, 2003)."
Domestic violence in America comes with an annual $R44 million price tag with more than 20,000 hospital stays and 40,000 doctor visits each year (Tomison, 2003).
One of the issues that literature has uncovered is a lack of services or resources for women who are the victim of abuse by their domestic partner.
Shelters and batterer's intervention programs are often geographically inaccessible and not community based (Asbury, 1987; Williams & Becker, 1994; Williams-Campbell, 1993). Inaccessible services are less likely to be used despite the need. Transportation constraints, lack of money to get to appointments, and fear of entering a perceived hostile environment often result in a decreased likelihood of victims including African-Americans keeping appointments and fully participating in services (Tomison, 2003)."
Research has also uncovered issues that individuals have with seeking help for domestic violence issues that include lack of transportation to get to support groups, lack of childcare during the support groups, lack of access to the resources or the resources are filled to capacity at the time the victim calls for help.
With the evidence the literature provides it is evident that domestic violence prevention needs to target the provision of more accessible programs. In addition the research indicates that across the board with all victims education to recognize the early signs of a potentially abusive relationship is crucial to the reduction of domestic violence.
Domestic violence continues to be a serious issue in America. Children who are exposed to domestic violence are more prone to becoming victims of domestic violence in their adult relationships. It is important to work with them one on one to help them develop high self-esteem and to have a safety plan for themselves in the future. It is also important to teach them to recognize early signs of potential domestic violence in their future relationships and how to walk away from it.
Dating partners are more at risk than ever before as the incidence of domestic violence between dating partners continues to grow. Education of young adults and adolescents to recognize the early warning signs is an important step to the reduction of its incidence.
Adults who are victims of domestic violence need to be educated not only on how to retreat from domestic violence relationships but also of the importance of not exposing their children to domestic violence so that the cycle can stop.
Further studies need to be done to identify individual programs that will be helpful in this endeavor. Long-term studies need to be performed to follow children who have received help to determine how successful the intervention was.
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