Top 5 Articles on Domestic Violence from GoodTherapy.org

An abused woman is worriedThe topic of domestic violence entered the media spotlight well ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this year. October has been dubbed domestic violence awareness month since 1987, and each October, we see a flurry of media content dedicated to raising awareness about the alarming numbers of people who are affected by violence in the home. This year, widespread media coverage of a professional football star’s appalling abuse of his then fiancée, made more horrific through video footage, rallied forces to stand up and speak out against domestic violence several weeks ahead of October.

But domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence, is not limited to sports stars or to any particular month. Domestic violence occurs in millions of households every day, and a huge number of these incidents go unreported. Violence in the home affects everyone within the household, whether or not family members are victims of abuse themselves, and it extends well beyond the confines of the home, affecting neighbors, family, friends, coworkers, and the community at large.

The sources of domestic violence are many, and both the abuser’s and the victim’s backgrounds play a part. Over the years, GoodTherapy.org has published a number of articles addressing the complexity of intimate partner violence. This October, we’re highlighting our top five picks that help illuminate statistics, dispel myths, and illustrate the nature of violent relationships.

A man reaches out to his abused partnerWhy Do Abuse Victims Stay with Their Abusers?

Our GoodTherapy.org correspondent, Zawn Villines, addresses the recent media coverage of the physical abuse Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice inflicted on his partner, Janay, and the popular response, or bafflement, as to why Janay chose to stay with her abuser. Villines outlines some of the reasons an abuse victim might choose to remain in an abusive relationship.

 

The Psychological Wounds of Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence Female Survivor 

This comprehensive article takes a look at intimate partner violence in the United States today, examining the characteristics and complications associated with violent relationships. Statistics and data on prevalence, psychological outcomes, and resources are provided as well.

 

Seen, Heard, Felt, Hidden: Recognizing Domestic Violence SignsMan and woman covering each others' mouths

A therapist provides a case example to highlight the ways that people in violent relationships can’t see or refuse to see the signs of abuse. Particularly in the absence of physical abuse, it may be difficult to identify controlling behaviors, put-downs, and emotional manipulation as ongoing abuse.

 

young-boy-hugging-dog-1011134Emotional Outcomes for Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence

The psychological ramifications for children who witness domestic violence in the home can be damaging and lasting. They may experience social or academic problems, anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, or somatic symptoms, such as stomachaches. Later in life, children who witness abuse may end up as abusers or victims themselves.

 

Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Coupleswoman crying on floor in bathrobe

Therapist and LGBT issues Topic Expert Susan Leviton dispels the myth that domestic abuse is solely a heterosexual issue, and she addresses some of the misconceptions surrounding domestic violence in same-sex couples, such as the notion that violence between LGBT partners is always mutual. She also points out that internalized homophobia may account for some couples’ experiences and acceptance of abuse.

GoodTherapy.org also offers readers an opportunity to share their experiences with issues like intimate partner violence and the therapeutic interventions that helped them along the way through the Share Your Story section of the Good Therapy Blog. Several readers have shared their experiences with domestic abuse, including one woman who found she was brought back to life with therapy: ‘I Don’t Need Therapy:’ Why I Was Wrong.

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  • Melinda

    Melinda

    October 18th, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Every single one of these are very good articles and what I love the most is that they all have just a little bit of a different perspective so that you can study the abuse issue from several different angles. I think that this is important so that we can get a really firm grasp on what happens in abuse cases and why it might happen, as well as giving us some clear thoughts on how we can best address these issues with someone who could be confronting this very thing in their home on a daily basis.

  • Grant

    Grant

    October 20th, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I particularly enjoyed the article about abuse among same sex couples, not because I enjoyed it per se but because it related a lot to me and my own past experiences.

    You see, I was in an abusive relationship with a partner but no one really believed me I don’t think because it was two men and you think that this does not happen with gay couples. But this happens all the time and the more we speak out about this truth then the more likely that someone will speak up when they need help.

    I was afraid because I sensed that there was this disbelief because we had fought so hard to be together and to be accepted it was almost unreal that this started happening to us.

  • JustinE

    JustinE

    October 21st, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Women and men both who are abused have their own reasons for styaing with their relationship and the abuser and many times it is multi faceted. They are financially dependent on this person, they have kids with them, they truly love them… all of these things are reasons why any of us might choose to stay with someone even if we know that they are toxic to us and the relationship is a toxic one too. Let’s try to put ourselves into their shoes for just a minute before we judge their decisions too harshly.

  • matilde

    matilde

    October 22nd, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    I have read all of these and I have to say that the thing that most impresses me is that this site continually has their finger on the pulse of the things in society that so many people are dealing with but may not know how to fix. You always furnish such timely reading material as well as tools and resources and ideas for people to get help when they need it. I hope that the word continue sot get out about all that you do because the services are so valuable in so many ways.

  • NATE

    NATE

    October 24th, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Too often the ones who are being abused are the last ones to see the signs (or to want to see the signs?) that they are being hurt. They come to think that this is what a loving relationship is supposed to be like either because this is the kind of relationships that they witnessed when they were younger or they have been manipulated to believe that this is the way that it should be. There will be times when you have someone in your life that you will have to work on pretty hard to show them that this is not natural or normal for a loving relationship and that there could be something far better out there for them.

  • Brea

    Brea

    October 25th, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Wonderful recap of the most informative articles on the subject!

  • Andrew T

    Andrew T

    October 26th, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    no matter how many times I try to understand why you would stay with someone who hurts you in this way, I still have a hard time coming to grips with it and I guess it is because I have never been in those shoes before.

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