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Definition of Abuse on Women

  How to Define Domestic Violence   Woman abuse can include, but is not limited to, the physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, social, spiritual and financial abuse that occurs in an intimate relationship.   There is little consensus among researchers on how exactly to define "domestic violence." As a result, definitions vary from study to study, leading to a variety of different statistics and making comparisons among different studies difficult. Some studies, such as the National Violence Against Women Survey, define intimate partner violence to include rape, physical assault, and stalking perpetrated by current and former dates, spouses, and cohabiting partners. This approach is potentially problematic since it only includes actions carried out with the intention of, or perceived intention of, causing physical pain or injury to another person. It ignores other behaviors that are used to control, such as verbal abuse, humiliation, and denial of financial resources. Victim advocates need to be aware of all possible effects of domestic violence. Therefore, an understanding of domestic violence should include any physical, sexual, psychological, and/or emotional abuse perpetrated by current or former dates, spouses, and cohabiting partners, in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. Physical abuse is the most easily recognized form of domestic violence by police and the criminal justice system because it often results in actual physical evidence of a crime. Physical abuse includes being pushed, restrained, slapped, bitten, kicked, choked, or punched, as well as threatening another with weapons, throwing objects at another, locking another out of the house, abandoning another in a dangerous place, subjecting another to reckless driving, or refusing to provide assistance to an injured, sick or pregnant partner. Sexual abuse often goes hand in hand with physical and emotional abuse in an abusive relationship. Sexual abuse includes subjecting another to unwanted or uncomfortable touching, forcing one to watch her partner show public affection toward other women, hurting another with objects during sex, and forcing a partner to participate in sex while others watch or while she is sick or injured. Sexual abuse also includes denying sex and affection, forcing a partner to strip, accusing a partner of promiscuity, minimizing or criticizing a partner for her sexuality, or telling anti-women jokes or insulting another for being a woman. Obviously, rape is also a severe form of sexual abuse and assault. Psychological or emotional abuse is often the hardest to recognize. Some criminal justice authorities do not or will not recognize emotional abuse as abuse because there is no "tangible" physical evidence of its existence. The effects of emotional abuse are as detrimental, if not more so, than are those of physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse includes continual criticism, name calling, humiliation, threatening with abandonment, threatening to abuse children or pets, ignoring one emotionally, isolating a partner from friends and family, playing mind games, telling a partner about affairs or accusing her of engaging in affairs. Additionally, if a woman is forbidden to drive, socialize, work, or access money; treated as a servant; punished for not "obeying" by denying approval, appreciation or affection; ridiculed or insulted for her beliefs or culture; accused of taking the abuse too seriously; or given responsibility for the abuse, she is a victim of emotional abuse. Perpetrators of domestic violence engage in behavior that is meant to maintain power and control over another person. As the above discussion illustrates, the methods used to maintain power and control over another vary, but it is important to remember that they are all forms of abuse. Often all three types of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) exist in an abusive relationship; in other words, physical abuse is rarely the only type of abuse that exists. Therefore, advocates who work with victims of domestic violence need to recognize that there are different types of abuse to address. For the purposes of this topic, perpetrators of domestic violence who engage in any type of abuse will be referred to as a "batterers." This term commonly refers to a perpetrator of domestic violence, but it is not meant to refer only to physical abusers. It is a term, for the purposes of this topic, that refers to perpetrators of any kind of domestic violence. Continuums and Patterns of Intimate Partner Violence The following three continuums of physical, sexual, and emotional violence illustrate the progression of potential intensity of domestic violence. Intimate partner violence often progresses from more "minor" and less intense assaults to more severe assaults over time. Unfortunately, by the time victims of domestic violence are recognized by the criminal justice system, the intensity of the violence is usually severe.     After prolonged abuse, women develop some or all of the following characteristics: Internalized blame Tendency to minimize the seriousness of the abuse Confusion when abuse is not on a continuous basis Fear and anxiety about the violence in their lives Addiction to numb out the pain If you feel you are a victim of abuse, protect yourself. Try and remember that no one has the right to control another person and that it is everyone’s human right to live without fear. Find help and keep trying until you find someone who will help you and respect your right to make decisions for yourself.   DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Information Sheet the health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicede by intamte partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. of this total, nearly $4.1 billion is for victims requiring direct medical and mental health care services. Lost productivity and earnings due to intimate partner violence accounts for almost $1.8 billion each year. Intimate partner violence victims lose nearly 8.0 million days of paid work each year - the equivalent of more than 32,000 full time jobs and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity. Domestic Violence Stats 85-95% of all DV victims are female Over 500,000 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year. 5.3 million women are abusesd each year. 1,232 women are killed each year by an intimate partner. DV is the leading cause of injury to women. Women are more likely to be attacked by someone they know rather than by a stranger. OF BATTERED WORKERS: 96% experience problems at work due abuse 74% are harassed while at work by their abuser 56% are late to work 28% leave work early 54% miss entire days of work          
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