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Domestic Violence, SWOT Analysis Example

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SWOT analysis

Bitch, Stupid, Dumb, Cunt, Worthless, Fat, Ugly, and Idiot are all names an abusive spouse may call his wife.  Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, and pushing are all forms of physical abuse.  Signs of domestic violence and abuse often go unnoticed, especially when the abuse is emotional.  Domestic abuse, which is also known as spousal abuse, transpires when one partner in an intimate relationship tries to dominate and control the other partner.  Domestic abuse that contains physical violence is referred as domestic violence (Smith & Segal, 2012).  Events spanning the decades of domestic violence have lead individuals and criminal justice workers to reevaluate the issue and offer help for those who suffer from abuse.  Domestic violence awareness is essential for those who are involved with an abuser and for those who wish to help.

Domestic abuse and domestic violence are used for the sole purpose of gaining and withholding total control over the victim.  Abusers do not play justly or rationally.  An abusive spouse implements fear, guilt, intimidation, and shame, in order to break his partner’s spirit and keep her under his thumb (Smith & Segal, 2012).  In some cases an abuser might furthermore threaten the victim, hurt the victim, or injure those around the victim such as children and family.

“Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well” (Smith & Segal, 2012).  Contrary to some researcher’s theories, domestic violence is a community issue.

Domestic violence is a serious and hazardous issue that should not go ignored.  Abused individuals face serious physical and mental danger.  Females who experience domestic violence are three times more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, four times more likely to show signs of PTSD, and six times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than average women (UNITY).  Furthermore, individuals who experience spousal abuse show an increased risk of forming chronic illnesses than those individuals who are not exposed to domestic violence (UNITY).  Additionally, there is a significantly higher likelihood of partners of domestic abuse to engage in behaviors known to contribute to chronic diseases such as eating disorders, drinking, smoking, and substance abuse (UNITY).

Abuse typically occurs in cycles.  The abusive partner chooses to abuse, and he controls situations and his partner through charm and deceit.  The common pattern of domestic violence occurs through abuse, guilt, excuses, normal behavior, fantasy and planning, and set-up.  Through these stages, the abuser abuses his partner by lashing out in aggressive, belittling, and violent behavior.  Next, the abuser typically feels guilty.  The guilt usually transpires because he fears he may get into trouble, rarely because he is genuinely sorry he hurt his partner.  The abuser rationalizes his abusive behavior through excuses and blaming the victim.  Afterward, the abusive partner undergoes a timeframe of normalcy.  During this time, the abuser typically turns on the charm and gives his partner hope that he has changed his abusive ways.  During this period, the abused partner gains hope and increases her love for her partner.  It is typically this stage of the abuse cycle that proves difficult in ending the abuse.  During this portion of the cycle the abuse victim starts to trust her spouse again and rekindle her love for him, making pressing legal charges or leaving the relationship extremely difficult.  Following the normalcy, the abusive partner fantasizes abusing his partner once more.  He focuses on what his partner has done wrong and how he will make her pay.  Before the abuse initiates again, the abusive partner sets up the situation so he can abuse his partner and justify it again (Smith & Segal, 2012).

There are many legal issues revolving domestic abuse.  Legal issues revolving around the issue of domestic violence are those of divorce, child custody, civil protection orders, as well as practitioner treatment and reporting, among other legal concerns.  One study explores “recent reports indicating that abusing a child’s mother is in itself a form of profound psychological and emotional abuse that requires thoughtful consideration and significant weight in court decisions” (Jaffe & Geffner, 1998, p. 372).  Agreeably, any abusive offender will not provide a safe and nurturing environment.

Additionally, it is required by law for a practitioner to report suspected abuse.  “If health care practitioners and institutions became familiar with legal options available to survivors of domestic violence, they could better facilitate their patients’ access to potentially life-saving recourses” (Hyman, 1996, p. 102).  Sometimes, these prove to be complicated issues since the abuser gains so much power and control over his partner with strong manipulation.  In some cases, an abuse victim may call the police during several domestic disputes to never actually file a formal charge against her lover.  Like a substance dependent individual, an abused spouse may have to hit “rock bottom” before finally facing the reality of the abusive relationship and gaining the strength to leave or report her partner.

Because Abusers are so sly and charming, rendering the abuse is usually a challenge for the abused partner as well as law enforcement officers.  When a person suffering from domestic violence finally musters up the courage to report the abuse, police officers are typically first to respond.  “…In the midst of a crisis, many victims want police intervention because police are easy to contact, provide a highly visible authority figure, and are capable of providing fast response” (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003, p. 4).  Victims of domestic abuse rarely report abuse during typical business hours so law enforcement officers are typically the ones to respond during crisis.  Contact with other governmental agencies who deal with domestic violence usually occurs through police suggestion, referrals, the discovery of child abuse, or by coincidence (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003, p. 4).

Buzawa (2003) is absolutely correct with the notion that domestic violence should be considered more of a law enforcement problem.  A certain amount of emphasis is placed on drunk driving and juvenile crime, whereas domestic violence still goes unnoticed.  “This issue also needs to be placed in an overall societal context, because it does not occur in isolation from other societal trends” (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003, p. 4).

Prevention, education and awareness should be the starting grounds for alleviating domestic abuse within individual homes and communities alike.  For example, Hyman (1996) has the right idea on approaching and tackling domestic violence.

“Provider awareness of legal obligations and other legal considerations that arise when handling domestic violence cases is important for patient care and the practice of good risk management.  Examples of such issues include domestic violence protocol requirements, documentation of abuse, and repercussions of mandatory reporting laws. Health care providers should work in collaboration with community domestic violence programs in educating staff on issues pertaining to domestic violence and in crafting policies that promote patient safety and autonomy” (Hyman, 1996, p. 101).

Individuals can reduce their risk for becoming involved in an abusive relationship by becoming educated about the signs of early abuse.  Additionally, education and awareness may help victims of domestic violence reduce shame and guilt, induced through abuse, and gain the strength to change their abusive situation.  Through education and the availability of appropriate resources, domestic violence victims can recover hope and confidence for a happy future.

Events spanning the decades of domestic violence have lead individuals and criminal justice workers to reevaluate the issue and offer help for those who suffer from abuse.  Domestic violence awareness is essential for those who are involved with an abuser and for those who wish to help.  Abuse occurs in cycles and is a societal problem.  Although it is an extremely complicated issue, domestic violence can be reduced and prevented through education and awareness of the subject.  Individuals may find help and hope through resources available and practitioners as well as criminal justice professionals can provide appropriate help during critical circumstances.

References

Buzawa, E. S., & Buzawa, C. G. (2003). Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response. US: Sage.

Hyman, A. (1996). Domestic violence: legal issues for health care practitioners and institutions. Journal of the American Medical Womens Association, 101-105.

Jaffe, P., & Geffner, R. (1998). Children exposed to marital violence: Theory, research, and applied issues. APA science volumes, 371-408.

Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2012). Domestic Violence and Abuse. Oakland, CA: Helpguide.

UNITY. (n.d.). Violence and Chronic Illness. Oakland, CA: The Prevention Institute.

UNITY. (n.d.). Violence and Mental Health. Oakland, CA: The Prevention Institute.

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