Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault


The American population is largely plagued by sexual assault and domestic violence, as women are certain victims of such heinous acts in comparison to men. Macy (2009) indicates that data shows that nearly thirty percent of the women, once in their life will experience domestic violence while twenty percent of American women will end up facing sexual assault. Partner violence for that matter consists of sexual and physical assault arising from different relationships such as:


Boyfriend / girlfriend



Sexual violence consists of attempting to have sexual intercourse or forceful sexual intercourse. However, in most cases, the victims of sexual assault / violence have close relationships with the wrongdoer. In other cases, sexual violence can be committed by unknown perpetrators too. There are negative consequences of such an ordeal which are well documented, altering the victim's lives. The negative side effects of such assaults have a direct influence on mental and body health, which as a result demotivates the victim's ability to keep track of her career, education, aims and objectives apart from sidetracking social relationships with children, friends, colleagues and family (Macy, 2009).

Reasons for domestic violence and sexual assault

Loss of control

It's partially correct to say that abuser is beyond his control because while doing it he is very well aware that he is indulged in wrongdoing but he continues nevertheless. It's his choice to abuse and misuse his power.

Lack of anger management

Gervais et al. (2014) found that domestic violence is unleashed, because the abuser can't control his temper and succumbs to its intensity. For instance, a husband has a great understanding with his work colleagues and his friends. He usually sees eye-to-eye with them. But when he reaches home, he just can't agree with her spouse on most matters and ends up beating her. It unleashes a chain of events consisting of domestic violence and sexual assault (Gervais et al., 2014).

Stress management

Similarly he indicates that people are going through all sorts of stress throughout their lives, but what's important is that they manage it according to their needs. Hence men should keep their stress to themselves and not victimize women and children because of it (Gervais et al., 2014).

Lack of communication

In this case, the abuser usually ends up beating his spouse when he can't get his way or they don't meet eye-to-eye. Sometimes, the abuser has mediocre communication skills where he can't get his message across and in frustration, he beats his spouse. In order to prevent this from happening, the abuser needs to polish his communication skills and become coherent (Gervais et al., 2014).

Consequences of domestic violence and sexual assault on children

Macy et al. (2013) found that with the continuity of domestic violence and sexual assault, many present and future problems arise which affects husband, wife and children. The present problems due to sexual assault and domestic violence are:





Sexual assault and domestic violence also affects the children indirectly as they are mentally affected throughout their lives carrying an anchor with themselves. The pain doesn't go away. It's sort of a ghost which haunts them over an extended period of time as research from around the globe corroborates. The after effects of violence on children can occur in a few forms such as:

Mental issues

Similar behavior practiced by them

Most of the time, people who are abusers are the ones abused during childhood. Many of them are treated poorly and physically abused, but when they became adults, they didn't become abusers. Data shows that the children who have firsthand seen abuse (dads abusing their mom) didn't become abusers at all. On the other hand, the children who were abused during childhood (mentally or physically) turn out to be abusers. Hence children who are the victims of an abusive environment, grow up to think that being abusive is a given for every relationship as it becomes an integral part of their lives. They deem it necessary to abuse their spouse in case they are caught in wrongdoings (Macy et al., 2013).

Emotional and physical abuse

Warrener et al. (2013) indicates that emotional and physical fall under sexual assault and domestic violence. The physical abuse has visible indication such as damages, wounds and injuries. The emotional abuse is felt internally by the sufferers. Instances of emotional abuse are:

Foul language

Abusive language

Degrading language

The extreme cases of emotional abuse are sufferers taking their own life, when they can't tolerate it anymore. Women have detected more abusive behavior than identified by Conflict Tactics Scale while abused women were able to detect more abusive behaviors than those women who weren't. Scholars assert that there are certain differences in health status of women who were victims of emotional abuse but not physical / sexual abuse. Most of the women deem that emotional abuse is a matter which can't be discussed out in the open. The reason can be its indications which aren't visible unlike physical abuse due to which wounds, bruises and injuries are visible. But it is nevertheless one form of violence (Warrener et al., 2013).

Hamby (2014) in his study found that most of the women who dwell under the conditions of sexual assault and domestic violence are afflicted with dread and anxiety about the next abuse attack. Their life is stuck in a rut as their social life has come to a standstill as things will become evident. These women have low self-esteem as they give up on life and their situation. In severe cases, such women can commit suicide (Hamby, 2014).

The victims here aren't in the driver's seat of their own life, hence they stay passive in taking any step and are continued to get abused by their spouse. Deserting their spouse is a very complex issue altogether. The abusers have low self-restraint (Hamby, 2014).

Verbal abuse

Davidson and Bowen (2011) found that alongside the physical as well as emotional abuse, there have been distinct kinds of violence abuse, it's another form of abuse, but this form of violence has no physical indication such as marks, bruises and wounds. Verbal abuse is usually done in order to humiliate and degrade a person. Sometimes, the abuse can joke / taunt / humor which can be taken seriously and certainly fall under abuse category. Such insulting remarks and statements can have a direct effect on a person's mind. It can affect their personality traits during childhood, parents while raising children often address them insultingly to make them feel degraded. This form of verbal abuse also extends to women as well. The abuser should know his limits and while the abuser should avoid such conversations. Verbal abuse can tear apart people and render them depressed (Davidson and Bowen, 2011).

Barriers hindering abandoning of relationships

Davidson and Bowen (2011) points out that it is important to comprehend that certain barriers exist which play a role in abandoning an abusive relationship. Abandoning abusive relations isn't that easy, women can't desert their spouses for a number of reasons. The below section will explain the obstacles averting the victims from abandoning an abusive relationship. 'People are sometimes not ready to admit that they are being abused, in case matters have reached that far, and it's time to find a way out. Whether it's an abusive relationship or a stringent relationship between a girlfriend and boyfriend, safety is highly imperative', says Christina Gleason. The monetary crisis holds a woman back from abandoning an abusive relationship (Davidson and Bowen, 2011).

Macy et al. (2011) found that it is due to the fact that most women aren't independent yet. They are reliant on their husbands for money, hence it's difficult to abandon a relationship as she has no alternative place. It's been observed that sometimes, women often remain faithful to the abusive spouse because she was abused since childhood. Their backdrop is usually consistent with abusive behavior from their parents during childhood. It's tough to maintain such a violent relationship since things can't change as relationship has a given abuse factor included. Yet another factor is fear. The sufferers of such a relationship can't afford to abandon their spouses because then they would be lonely and feel miserable, getting into another relationship takes time. Another factor for not abandoning the spouse is that abusers may become excessively violent and become dejected; hence it's tough to abandon any abusive relationship. Lastly, friends and family factor comes into play as their support is usually a roll of the dice. They can abandon her completely which is another setback. As the societal and conventions norms dictate, after marriage the couple should make it work, most of the women can't choose divorce as it's not a feasible solution for avoiding a relationship. They usually think that one day things might work out themselves and in case they don't, abandoning like that isn't good for the children. Apart from that, women don't want to nurture their young-ones as…

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