Domestic violence against women has always been a major problem in families and relationships. Women and children are the usual victims of abuse. Abuse doesn’t only take the form of physical violence but also emotional abuse and mental torture. The problem is so serious that it develops into a form of mental problem called Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS).
In the United States, domestic violence is a common cause of physical injury in women. The areas of the body most frequently injured are the head, face, neck, breasts, chest, and abdomen. Battering may start from a mild slap on the face then gradually worsen to shoving, kicking, punching, or other forms of physical torture.
Repeated injury and stress that happens within a violent relationship has long lasting negative percussions on a woman’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Effects would include post-traumatic stress disorder, headaches, chronic neck and back pains, depression, anxiety disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, heart diseases, panic attacks, pelvic pain, and fibromyalgia. Abused women are also prone to nicotine addiction, drug abuse, and alcoholism. They tend to resort to these addictive activities to alleviate the pain that they are going through inside the relationship.
An especially dangerous time for abuse is during pregnancy. It’s alarming that about 6 percent of pregnant women are harmed physically. Abuse during pregnancy can bring about anemia, bleeding, infections, and low weight gain. Babies born out of violent relationships are prone to low birth weight premature birth, or even death.
As mentioned earlier, women are not the only ones who are victims of abuse. Children who witness violence inside the home also suffer long-term negative repercussions. They suffer from emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems. They are more prone to poor academic performance, violent behavior, social isolation, depression, and ailments. When they grow up, many of them succumb to drug and alcohol abuse while others have suicidal attempts. That’s not all. Men who hurt their wives also hurt their children.
Standing up for yourself is important when trapped in an abusive relationship. Don’t stay in it thinking that a man would change his ways or get better in time. Violent behavior is not curable. It’s important to stay away from the relationship before you or your children are hurt even further.
Getting professional help is also a must. Talk to a qualified therapist who specializes in problems like this. A therapist will help you remove yourself from the situation. Since battering is a vicious cycle, external help will make it easier for you to detach yourself from the cycle. Apart from a therapist, you should also get help from support groups or from family and friends. You need the emotional support of other people who love and care for you to go through this turmoil in your life.