This was a tweet from Mark Harvorth @HardlyNormal a travelling advocate for those without a place to lay their heads in North America. It is also a true fact.
But let’s grow beyond the 140 characters to understand what Domestic Violence can be rooted in (please note this article is not exhaustive, my doctorates are in Holistic Psychology, Metaphysics, and Divinity, so please seek out other sources as well to grow your understanding so in 2013 we can eliminate this blight on our species). During the holiday season isolation goes up, those struggling with mental illness goes up, those with addictions, and the social users goes through the roof. Unfortunately with our greedy materialism driven lives, financial cliffs become a leering reality for many families who over stretch their bank accounts and credit to ensure their kids and themselves keep up with their neighbours.
Also, in the US, Black Friday is break even, while in Canada it is usually Boxing Day that becomes break even for many retailers, which means that during this season for those in the retail sector this is high stress because one does not know if their store will exist post break even or not. As well, the rise of stress and usage of both legal and illegal substances in the party atmosphere lead to an increase in driving under the influence, and life crippling/ending accidents. Anecdotally, it appears that more aged relatives become hospitalized or pass away during the First Day of School-Thanksgiving-Halloween-Rememberance Day-Christmas links in the year than other times which casts society members ill equipped for interdependence in healing into grief cycles.
Are these excuses for beating the crud out of your loved ones? NO! Never read understanding rationale behind harm, as validating the harm as okay. What it means is being able to work within the setting to bring a reconciliation within the offender so they will not offend again, and bring a reconciliation within the victim so they understand that they are not the cause of said violence and they need to heal the wounds (seen/unseen) to be able to live a healthy life once more.
But the sad part here is that some (most?) reading this will be thinking of domestive violence as physical abuse, perpetrated by a Husband (or male partner) upon a wife (or female partner)…and that is only the visible tip of the ice berg that society is willing to accept. What follows is a short list of other forms of abuse that we endure within our domestic connections that one may not realize is abuse, but it is:
1) Same-sex partner abuse (male to male, female to female) or any configuration within a relationship that exists out of the LGBTTIQ communities.
2) Parent upon child
3) Child upon parent
4) Grandchild upon grandparent (vice-versa, and insert whichever generations you choose)
5) Between friends, roommates,
6) any familial relationship (aunt, uncle, mother, father, sibling, cousing, godparent, grandparent, cleric) upon another within that familial network.
These are all the relationships where domestic violence can exist (if I missed some please add to it within the comments section).
The forms it takes very obviously:
1) Physical – quite self explanatory that is inflicting bodily harm upon another.
2) Mental – degrading an individual to the point where you control them (much like Cults do) and they isolate themselves from healthy supports within their lives.
3) Addiction– whatever addiction is destroying your life, you then initiating the relative into the same behaviour, misery after all loves company.
4) Emotional – It is akin to mental, yet this is at the visceral level that makes us family (domestic units) and causes one to feel they have no value, and that how they are treated (which is usually worse than a mouse or other rodent) within their family unit is what they should seek in life.
5) Sexual – R-A-P-E or any form of sexual assault that happens by one in authority, through coercion, threat of violence, or partaking within another form of abuse. It can be petting, gropping, choking, BDSM, Manual stimulation, Anal, Vaginal, oral, bestiality…etc. but the key is that it is about power and control and it is wrong.
6) Spiritual – Where a member of the domestic unit uses the family’s spirituality/religion to control and subjugate others to their will. It becomes evident as abuse when one feels disempowered, isolated and must conform for fear of losing domestic connections. Sadly, some families of clerics fall into this trap where the cleric acts as religious and parent to the family and does not seperate the role; smaller and mega churches can also fall into this through a cult of personality. Most famous for of spiritual abuse through fear of ostracization is seen in how hte Jehovah Witnesses‘ deal with claims of abuse, or when one marries outside the faith or Bountiful, B.C..
7) Negligence – This is a catch all category that can be not providing the means of simple living (food, clothing, shelter, connection with other human beings); isolation from the community at large to family with good hearts attempting to care for a relative when they are incapable of caring and too proud/scared/inept to access the resources available for the individual’s care.
8) Financial – We have all seen the television commercial against elder abuse that sees the grandchild or child taking money through threats or coercion from their loved one. But financial abuse can be so much more. It is misuse of funds, it is playing of the love the relative has for you when you are in need, it is stealing from them blatantly, it is living with the relative but having them pay for everything. There are so many ways when the domestic unit moves from a caring/shared partnership when multiple generations live together to when it becomes a targetted one individual is the cash cow so the others can not participate.
These are forms of abuse, this is obviously not the complete or exhaustive list because as a species humanity is constantly inventing new ways to hurt those that should be the most dear to us.
The challenge is to recognize if we fall into a lesser or major extent of these, if any of our loved ones do, then to seek out the appropriate help and support.
The ancients predicted 2013 would be a year when the way the world is would drastically become the way it was and a utopia would emerge, eliminating the ability of familial violence from this earth would definately be a miracle in the right direction.
- Wichita Women’s Shelter Sees Rise In Domestic Violence Victims (kake.com)
- Kennel opens at Orlando domestic violence center (miamiherald.com)
- Deadly Domestic Violence Is A Daily Tragedy (wibw.com)
- The Signs of Domestic Violence (everydayhealth.com)
- Met domestic violence crackdown (bbc.co.uk)
- Get a $5 Haircut, Help Stop Domestic Violence (bellasugar.com)
- Domestic Violence Shelter in Need of Support (whnt.com)
- Salon Uses Domestic Violence Imagery to Advertise (bellasugar.com)
- Important Update: Domestic violence laws will now criminalise mental torment, mind games and money control … (islamiclifestylemagazine.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence and LGBT Survivors (feministlawprof.wordpress.com)