When Home is a Battleground – Domestic Violence

“When a father beats his son for hitting
his sister what is the message he
is really sending?”


  • In an average minute 24 people are victims of rape,
    physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.
  • In 2010, 241 males and 1095 females were murdered
    by an intimate partner.
  • In one year, more than 12 million women and men
    report being a victim of rape, physical violence, or
    stalking by an intimate partner.
  • In their lifetime, 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%)
    report experiencing severe physical violence (i.e. hit with a fist
    or something hard, beaten, slammed against something) by an
    intimate partner.
(“The National Domestic Violence Hotline Statistics”)

Widespread Violence

Domestic violence doesn’t just effect a couple. Children learn a lot from what they see and hear in the family setting. Domestic violence between marital partners is one of the fastest growing problems in our country today.
Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women. It affects 1-3 million women a year in the U.S., making it more common than muggings, stranger rapes, and car accidents combined.

Types of Abuse

There are different types of abuse that are perpetrated against victims, but each can be equally as damaging.

  • Verbal – calling names, insulting
  • Emotional – ignoring feelings, humiliating, criticizing
  • Psychological – brainwashing, making someone think they are going “crazy”
  • Physical – slapping, kicking, hitting, biting, pushing, choking, etc.
  • Sexual – forcing sexual contact or sex after violence or use of objects or damaging acts
  • Religious – using religious/biblical principles as a means of restricting someone’s actions or as a means of punishing someone. Preventing someone from attending religious services or participating in spiritual practices or forcing someone to attend or participate in religious services or spiritual practices.
  • Economic – Giving a spouse or partner an allowance, not allowing them to have a job, causing them to lose a job, or not providing childcare or transportation so that they can work.

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Children who witness domestic violence in the home are directly effected. Many times parents are too caught up in the violent behavior to even take notice of how it is affecting their children. Ultimately however, if parents are able to separate themselves from the problems at hand, the children’s needs must be attended to through the help of a professional counselor.

  • Children who live in homes with domestic violence are more likely to have: depression, poor school performance, trouble sleeping, or poor health problems.
  • In 30% – 60% of homes with domestic violence among adults the children are also being abused.
  • Teen boys and girls who witness abuse are at increased risk for depression, drug and alcohol use, and behavior problems.
  • Children who see one partner hurting the other are more likely to be in abusive relationships themselves.
  • (“Child Sexual Abuse Statistics”)


    It is never a good idea to encourage a couple to undergo couples’ counseling if they are in a domestic violence relationship. The very nature of the power and control factor inherent in their relationship by virtue of the fact that one partner is continually trying to exert force over the other makes counseling next to impossible.

    • Couples’ counseling places the responsibility for blame on both partners. Domestic violence is the sole responsibility of the abuser.
    • Couples’ counseling works best when both people are truthful. Individuals who are abusive to their partners minimize, deny and blame, and therefore are not truthful in counseling.
    • Couples resolve problems in counseling by talking about problems. The batterer’s abuse is not a couple problem. It is the batterer’s problem. He/she needs to work on it in a special program for abusers.
    • A victim who is being abused in a relationship is in a dangerous position in couples’ counseling. If she/he tells the counselor about the abuse, she/he is likely to suffer more abuse when she/he gets home. If she/he does not tell, nothing can be accomplished.
    • (House and House)

      Intervention Program for Abusers

      Perpetrators of abuse may voluntarily attend a Perpetrator Intervention Program, or they may be court ordered to attend. Either way, there is no guarantee that the abuser’s behavior will change. Abusers must make a serious commitment to the process of changing, and perpetrators rarely recognize their own mistakes nor take responsibility for their own actions.

      How Do I Know if an Abuser is Really Changing?

      • He/she has stopped being violent or threatening.
      • He/she acknowledges that his/her abusive behavior is wrong.
      • He/she understands that he/she does not have the right to control or dominate.
      • He/she does not coerce or force sex.
      • He/she respects his/her partner’s opinion even if he/she doesn’t agree with it.
      • He/she respects his/her partner’s right to say “no”.

      Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality

      • Is jealous of his/her partner
      • Control his/her partner
      • Has unrealistic expectations in a relationship
      • Rushes into a relationship
      • Isolates his/her partner
      • Blames others for his/her problems
      • Blames others for his/her feelings
      • Is hypersensitive
      • Cruelty to animals or children
      • Has a “playful” use of force in sex
      • Uses verbal abuse
      • Insists on rigid sex roles in a relationship
      • Has a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Personality
      • Has a history of past battering
      • Makes threats of violence
      • Breaks things or strikes objects
      • Uses force during an argument

      Domestic Violence Hotline

      The National Domestic Violence Hotline (since 1996) responds to calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a vital link to safety for women, men, children, and families affected by domestic violence.
      1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

      • Reference & Data Information Provided by the Following:
      • “The National Domestic Violence Hotline | Statistics”. Thehotline.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 June 2016.
      • “Domestic Violence-How It Affects Children”. WebMD. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 June 2016.
      • House, Penelope and Penelope House. “Home”. Penelope House. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 June 2016.