We all have a more or less precise idea of what violence is in general. But what do we really know about domestic violence?
"Domestic violence includes psychological, physical, verbal, and sexual assaults as well as acts of economic domination. It does not result from a loss of control but, on the contrary, is a means chosen to dominate the other person and assert power over her. It can be experienced in a marital, extramarital, or romantic relationship, at any age."
Domestic violence not only has a social, emotional, psychological, or economic dimension. It also represents a criminal dimension as it can involve offenses such as assault, threats, or harassment.
Domestic violence always occurs within an intimate relationship; whether the relationship is current or past, whether the people live under the same roof or not, and whether or not there are children. Nothing predestines a woman to become a victim of domestic violence: neither her age, her social or economic status, her culture, or religion.
Alcohol, drugs, and stress can facilitate the expression of violence, but none of these elements can justify it; there are no substances or stressful situations that have the power to make someone violent against their will. The use of different forms of violence allows the aggressor to adapt his control strategies based on his partner's reactions.
"Domestic violence does not result from a loss of control but, on the contrary, is a means chosen to dominate the other person and assert power over her."
Sources: • violenceconjugale.gouv.ca, • INSPQ • http://www.lagitee.ca/femmes-5... • Quebec Government, intervention policy on domestic violence; prevent, detect, counter domestic violence, 1995.
Outbursts of anger, heavy silences, intimidations, threatening glances.
Anxiety: I feel it might go wrong, I feel worried, I put a lot of energy into reducing the tension, I'm scared: I freeze, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells.
Verbal, psychological, physical, sexual, economic.
Anger and shame: I am humiliated, I am sad, I feel a sense of injustice.
Makes excuses, explains why there was an outburst: The reasons are outside of him.
Does everything to seek forgiveness, asks for help, talks about therapy, suicide.
Hope: I see his efforts to change, I give him a chance, I help him, I find the one I love, I change my attitudes.
Being a victim of domestic violence affects every aspect of life. However, this situation often goes unnoticed, as it is not immediately considered as a cause of the woman's symptoms. Symptoms may be attributed to a mental health issue, when it is rather the repercussions of the domestic violence endured.
Domestic violence is complex and takes on many forms. The process evolves over months or even years. Recognizing the violence, knowing what to do is not easy, yet it is important to act quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get out. Difficult, but not impossible.
There are numerous impacts of domestic violence on women and children; here are some examples:
The interveners at Mirépi, shelter house are there to help you understand and regain control over your life.