Intimate Violence

Background

For many years, police reports have been filled with cases involving intimate violence. Nowadays, domestic violence is registered among the most common and serious problems that affect millions of Americans. The health department classifies it as a preventable problem that relates to public health. Intimate violence can be defined as sexual, physical, or psychological harm. The violence occurs among both same-sex people and heterosexual people living together. The police have been trying to fight intimate violence, but it has turned out to be a problem that requires a different form of approach to be solved. Many organizations have come up with ideologies that can be used to minimize violence.

The ideologies include training the police on how to handle intimate violence cases, instructing couples about their rights, and teaching members of the public about the legal procedures they may take. Proper dating skills are significant for the youth since they can educate them on ways to avoid and prevent violence. Nevertheless, many people think that it is not only the duty of the police department to give an eye to such problems, but it is a collective duty of society. Many people tend to keep quiet because of fear to report on intimate violence. Numerous cases of intimate violence include sexual misconduct. This very factor makes many people experience fear of reporting since they do not like sharing their private life. The growth of media has assisted many to deal with incidents of intimate violence since it is taking responsibility for educating people about intimate violence and the way to avoid it. Moreover, social media provide a good chance for victims to share their encounters without necessarily giving their details.

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Introduction

Intimate violence is historically referred to as domestic violence. It involves physical harm done by a person who is a former or current intimate partner, family member, or close friend. Violence can cause both short-term and long-term social, economic, and health consequences. The factors that make different people keep silent about intimate violence include relationship, individual, societal, and community factors. To curb intimate violence, one has to understand these factors and coordinate resources to foster and initiate change in families, societies, and individuals. The police and other interested groups, such as the centers for disease control, the national violence against women survey, and society at large, classified intimate violence into four main categories. One of these categories is physical violence. Many people have undergone physical pain when some close individual, such as a relative, a spouse, or a friend, uses physical force on them.

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Physical violence involves burning, shoving, slapping, choking, shaking, punching, or shooting. Physical forces can initiate injury, bodily harm, death, or disability. The second type of violence is sexual abuse. It is further distributed into three sub-categories. The first sub-category is the use of force to compel an individual to engage in a sexual act against a person’s free will. The second sub-category is complete or attempted sexual activity with a person who is not able to resist because of disability, illness, or drug influence. The last sub-category is abusive sexual contact (Radford & Hester 54). It is when a person touches the victim’s body parts without the consent of the person. The third intimate violence involves threats of physical or sexual violence, whereby a person threatens another one that he can cause death, injury, disability, physical harm, or rape. The police connect it with the use of gestures, weapons, or words. The last form of intimate violence is emotional or psychological abuse. It involves a person oppressing another one through humiliation, taking control of a victim, isolating a person from loved ones, hiding essential information, or preventing a person from accessing basic resources or money. The introduction of community policing has brought some changes to intimate violence. It has led to the inclusion of stalking as a form of intimate violence, which is threatening or harassing behavior, such as sending unwanted presents. Intimate violence is an issue of concern to all members of society. Thus, it needs to be evaluated to seek a permanent solution. The police should not be left the responsibility of dealing with intimate violence, but all members of society should contribute to its solution. The paper will focus on intimate violence and the ways of its solution by the police and society.

Outcomes and Consequences

Intimate violence is an action that brings many challenges to society. This scabrous problem encompasses psychological, economical, and physical challenges both to a person and to society. Several factors make individuals vulnerable to intimate violence. The factors are age, level of income, academic achievement, and adolescent behavior. Other factors, such as health, disability, and job, can also make a person become an easy target for domestic violence. Many people are not able to leave partners who are violent because they do not have alternative means of financial support; some fear retaliation while others are concerned with the welfare of their children. Some individuals make decisions to leave violent partners, but they lack support from friends and families. Others are held by customs and hate the consequences of divorce (Johnson 1006). Some are held by love, having hope that one day their partners will change. These factors bring unpleasant consequences and, in some cases, even death. The consequences of domestic violence are stipulated below.

Physical Assault

Many people in society have suffered from intimate violence to the extent of acquiring physical wounds, burns, and blisters. A small number of cases get through the police records. Nevertheless, most of the occurrences are not testified because many individuals do not feel comfortable prosecuting people who are close to them. It makes many criminals go unpunished, which encourages them to repeat the same crime in the future. Many women are physically assaulted by their intimate male partners, but they take it as normal ups and downs in marriage. Unfortunately, some individuals suffer extended physical assaults that can cause death.

Death

On many occasions, cases of intimate violence start as simple issues that couples can solve themselves. Many cases go unreported, but a small number appears in the police records. The truth that numerous sufferers do not report makes the offender feel that the harm is not enough; therefore, they tend to exert more pressure. It results in the death of the victim, ending up being a police case. Other victims commit suicide after experiencing challenging moments without the will to share with others. Victims of domestic violence also die from other diseases that arise because of psychological torture.

Psychological Torture

In most cases, victims of intimate violence are people who depend on the offenders either directly or economically. They may include spouses, aged people, or sick adults who rely on the provision of basic requirements from the offender. For this reason, they cannot report their suffering for the fear of losing the facilities that they get from the offenders. On such occasions, the victims experience a high rate of psychological torture throughout their lives. Some suffer exceedingly, and it results in experiencing mental diseases.

Sexual Abuse

Another consequence of intimate violence is sexual abuse. Both men and women experience sexual abuse from individuals who are close to them. It occurs through either threats and force or when some of them are disabled or sick. Many of these cases, when reported to the police, require the victim to testify and start depending on himself without the support of the violator. It is an issue that many consider before reporting to the police and, hence, prefer to remain silent. Sexual abuse also results in unplanned babies, which becomes a problem when the victim does not have the economical ability or psychological preparedness. Therefore, many opt to abort pregnancies, which can bring mental challenges. Moreover, the police have reported that sexual abuse evokes stress in the victims and makes them on the verge of committing suicide. Several people have even contracted sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Mental Health

It is evident that individuals who are harassed by people they care about suffer high levels of depression. Many of them think about how they can get rid of the problem, and this factor depresses them. It results in alcohol addiction and drug abuse. Many people believe that consumption of alcohol and drug abuse can help a person forget the challenges that he is encountering in life (Martin et al 206). Therefore, a high number of domestic violence victims become drunkards and drug abusers. As a result, they are imprisoned or lose their mental health and become insane. It has also been observed that intimate violence induces mental challenges that make victims acquire sleep and eating disorders.

Self-Esteem

Before the occurrence of intimate violence, every person has values that he respects and adheres to. A victim usually experiences low self-esteem for a short period after experiencing intimate violence. They feel that they are suffering because they are just a burden to others and yet they cannot do without them. They end up getting post-traumatic stress disorder, which damages their mental health. The sufferers become reckless and engage in unprotected sexual behaviors. If the violence persists during pregnancy, the victim may miscarry or end up having premature labor, premature birth, and fetus injury. In some cases, children born to be victims of intimate violence are underweight and have many health challenges. These children are at risk of failing to get immunization since the parents are not fully committed. Many children born to these victims also suffer the risk of death before attaining the age of five years.

Conclusion

To sum up, intimate violence is a problem that affects a big population of Americans and people across the globe. Many victims have experienced physical, psychological, and emotional harm because of the abuse of close relatives or partners. Even though many suffer from intimate violence, people often do not report to the police for the necessary legal procedures to take place. HIV-positive individuals also suffer from intimate violence exercised by the people they expect to take care of them. Physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, and controlling behaviors always occur to individuals who are weak, sick, or dependent but they do not have an option of defending themselves. Those who report the cases to the police suffer victimization and loss of provision. Both men and women suffer intimate violence depending on circumstances and factors such as health, level of income, and family background. It is about time for people should realize the damages caused by intimate violence. Thus, they must find the best strategies for assisting the police to deal with such issues and come up with a solution. The police service should also take responsibility for helping people to deal with intimate violence and install order in society. The community should look after the members of society who are suffering to help them upgrade their living styles and eliminate the horror of domestic violence.

Recommendations

Domestic violence is one of those issues that can end only if strict measures are taken. The judiciary, police, and people must create effective and promising approaches to prevent and respond to intimate violence. There is a need for comprehensive multi-sectional collaboration with civil societies and the government. The collaboration can prevent the occurrence of intimate violence through:

Reforming the Criminal and Civil Legal Frameworks

The issue of intimate violence is contributed by the assumption that the legal measures will have minimal negative effects on the victims. Therefore, many people commit a crime without fear of the consequences. Reforming the criminal and civil legal framework will make it easy for victims to report and receive justice. It will also be helpful to ensure that offenders are punished to discourage other people from committing a similar crime in the future. A reformed framework will be easy to understand for all members of society since there will be no fear of approaching the concerned departments such as the police or the judicial systems.

Media Campaigns

Today, television, radio, and social media are among the most influential sources of information. All citizens have media that they listen to, watch or concentrate on during their free time. Therefore, the media is an effective tool that can be used to campaign and create awareness in society on the existence of registration. The media can be used to inform members of the public about the steps they should take to get justice when they encounter intimate violence in their lives. Media services are cheap and easily accessible which can make society get information in time. The police can also use media campaigns to create a proper connection with society. They can also use the media to enlighten people about commitments to their duties and the need for community policing.

School-Based Programs

Many intimate violence cases occur because of ignorance and lack of knowledge. Hence, the government should initiate school-based programs to start teaching life skills at a young age. The programs should also enlighten young people about constitutional structures such as the judiciary or the police that can help them address cases of violence any time they occur. If followed well, school-based programs can apprise young people of life skills and reduce the perpetration.

Early Intervention

Individuals, who eventually become offenders in intimate violence cases, start cruel behaviors at a young age. Many copy the behavior of their parents, guardians, friends, or teachers. Nevertheless, the attitude and behavior can be improved before worsening. Therefore, it is essential to interfere with at-risk families, offering special family programs and helping them solve minor disputes that can lead to intimate violence in the future. In addition, young people should be enrolled in programs that will help them maintain good behaviors and be protected from child abuse. One of the factors that lead to intimate violence is low income. To curb the problem, young people should be enlightened on how to manage finance to their advantage. They should be able to live on the income that they earn. Knowledge and awareness together with good cooperation of constitutional systems, such as the police, are essential factors to eliminate intimate violence in society.

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