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Domestic Violence is a Serious Public Health Issue - Essay Example

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This essay gives information about the gravity of the situation, measures to prevent domestic violence and protect its primary victims – women, from suffering the physical, emotional, mental problems. In this respect, domestic violence can be prevented from the perspective of the victim…
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Domestic Violence is a Serious Public Health Issue
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, focusing on the theory of mindful space, this essay will illustrate how domestic violence can be prevented, if not at least avoided, by focusing on its primary victim - women. Domestic violence is a serious public health issue that often leads to fatality for victims or serious emotional, psychological, and mental problems for survivors. However as research illustrates, such occurrence is not the result of a single isolated event, but the product of a continuing pattern of abuse that usually "escalates through time in severity and frequency", such that women usually ignore lesser acts of violence until it becomes destructive and unpreventable (cited in Health, 1998, p.1468). In this respect, domestic violence can be prevented if its would-be victims can detect the lesser forms of aggression and employ effective measures even before domestic violence becomes destructive. Such approach, however, is difficult to achieve given the definition that today's literature attaches to violence. As Burlae (2004) points out, most definitions identify violence only after it has begun, making it difficult for victims to stop them. Hence, by understanding violence in terms of intimidation, coercion, and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, women tend to ignore the lesser and less noticeable forms of aggression, allowing the aggression to escalate and become destructive. Such reactions from women can be attributed to today's patriarchal society where cultural norms, impose on them certain roles that make them vulnerable to these acts of violence. Using Virginia Woolf's phrase "angel in the house" description, Burlae explains that the roles women take within the family setting of being charming, sympathetic, selfless, and mindful of others illustrate "characteristics that are antithetical to the possession of one's own territory", making them vulnerable to acts of aggression (2004, p.87). Awareness, in this respect, requires more than disseminating information on what is domestic violence, but instead, re-orienting the victims', especially women, a perception of what constitutes violence. In this respect, Burlae proposes the "theory of mindful space" to help women identify cues early on and help them respond accordingly. As Burlae suggests, violence should be understood as an invasion of one's bodily, personal and cognitive spaces (2004, pp.94-97), which although not always violent per se can be damaging and destructive if left unchecked. Thus, while a husband being passive aggressive to his wife may not be violent itself, it is a violation of his wife's cognitive space, which could escalate to more violent behavior if allowed to persist repeatedly. Hence, he suggests being attentive to such violations of space and setting limits to determine when it is time to seek help, take action, or disengage from a relationship. In this respect, clinicians and social workers play an integral role in helping would-be victims identify invasions of space and craft preventive strategies.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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