Spousal abuse and its effects





Spousal abuse and its effects

People who are in abusive relationships find it hard to leave. They often make excuses for partners, sometimes even blaming themselves. “It’s his new job. He is undergoing a lot of pressure lately” might be an excuse for a woman who is abused and battered by the husband. In the end, what started as an occasional yelling turns into a regular battering. The husband constantly finds a reason to abuse his wife, no matter how flimsy. However, not just women are abused in a marriage setup. Men face the same problem. However, the stigma associated with it deters them to speak out. “….while at other times they tell themselves that it would be too hard to start over. They convince themselves that they do not have the financial means to leave” (Soileau xiv).

The abuse is gradual. “But I think it probably starts with the pushing, you know, pushing you back into a chair and you don’t think much of it…And then before you know it you’re getting the fists…” (MacGee 31). Spousal abuse hurts the victim emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically. An abuser seeks to control the victim. To do so, he hurts the victim in whatever way he can. It usually starts with a hurtful comment. He will bring the victim down by saying something that will injure emotionally. Over time, the abuser will feel that the effect of words is wearying off. He may then turn to inflicting shame on the victim, making them feel worthless. This, according to him, ascertains that the victim will never leave since no one will want them. Guilt is another card the oppressor uses. After all the yelling, an abuser will not take responsibility for his actions. He will blame it on the victim, making it look like if it were not for them, he would not have acted the way he did. “Saturday nights there was sure to be a fight. Either it was that Josie was ‘no fun, a man can’t be a man with such a wet rag around.’ Or it was that Josie was ‘a tramp. Why else was that guy staring at you, eating you up with his eyes”’ (Morales 561)

What is sad is that these strategies laid out by the abuser work. He will use them to his advantages and before long, the victim will feel as useless as he wants her to. The feeling of helplessness overtakes, and the victim feels that they cannot do without the oppressor. Their self-worth is shattered. They feel the oppressor is doing them a favor for being with them, without them they are nothing. A victim never seems to do anything right, no matter how hard they try. Their effort is met with constant criticism and humiliation. This may lead to anxiety, instability and depression.

When the first sign of abuse shows itself, whether physical or emotional, the oppressor might appear apologetic and even swear to never do it again. There will be a genuine show of remorse and guilt, prompting the victim to forgive. “He was crying now…he said he never could let her go that she was his whole life that he would die without her…” (Morales 563). However, once it starts, it never stops. Abuse will now seem like a solution to every difficulty faced in the relationship, a scapegoat. If a spouse questions or disagrees with a decision, harm is inflicted on them physically or emotionally. Others go ahead to abuse their spouses sexually.

“A common perception of police responses to domestic violence is that they will not take it seriously…” (MacGee 23). Victims chose to suffer in silence. They feel no one will care and that they might get blamed for it. They are also embarrassed to speak about it. People around them, mostly family and friend, tend to think they are okay and that their relationship is normal. Some tell signs would prove otherwise. Bruises may suddenly start appearing on the victim’s body. When asked, they often blame it on a minor accident mainly around the house. They will experience fear and startle easily. The victim may withdraw from family and friends. They may stop from attending social events due to the constant question about the relationship. The abuser may prevent the victim from being close to friends and family. Movement may be restricted.

Those who care for the victim are pushed aside while the victim tries to deal with the problem. There is always an excuse for not showing up to an family event. Both the family and friends find themselves lost on what to do since they might not understand what is going on and what they can do to help. Some feel like they will be meddling in the victim’s business and might end up offending them. They therefore chose to watch in silence and hope the situation does not turn to worse.

Children suffer when their parents or family members are in an abusive relationship. The mind of a child is not like that of a grownup. Sometimes they think their parent is abused because of them. They feel like it is their fault. Not being able to do anything about it makes them feel helpless. When a child lives in a house where there are constant arguments and violence, they end up not loving their environment. Going home means going back to the violence. They cannot concentrate on their studies in school since so much is happening in their head. They feel neglected and alone and feel they are alone.

No one is there to explain anything to them since they themselves are caught up in the violence and trying to deal with it. This has a long-term effect. Those children that are from an abusive background are more likely to be abusers themselves. Children learn by watching adults. A child will find that the only way to win in or end an argument is by hitting the one you are arguing with. They tend to be shy and withdrawn. Some develop stomach pains or headaches, while some wet their beds. These children later turn to drug abuse


Work Cited

MacGee, Caroline. Childhood Experiences of Domestic Violence. London [u.a.: Kingsley, 2000. Print

Morales Rosario. The Day it Happened: Exploring Literature. Longman, 2008 4th Edition

Soileau, Monica. Domestic Violence: The Forgotten Victiums. S.l.: Xulon Press, 2008. Print.


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