FACTS about Domestic Violence

"Man is king of his castle and has the duty to discipline his wife within reasonable boundaries, one of which being the whip with which he disciplines her should not be thicker than his thumb." The expression " Rule of Thumb" is derived from this old English law. Fortunately, modern-day law says that any "king of his castle" who rules in this manner should be dethroned!

Domestic violence is very democratic and without prejudice. It touches all walks of life, religions, professions - crosses all color lines and breaks down every age barrier.

More than half of all married women in the United States are abused by their husbands. Domestic violence effects not only victims, but families of victims and the health of the community as a whole.

Children in violent families, whether they are hit or not, are abused children. Their model of family life is like a war zone. It is well documented that violent prisoners come from violent families. Children in these families are at high risk for psychological illness, acting out behavior and for developing learning disabilities. Violent families are in fact a breeding ground for violence when intervention is not available. It is a naive assumption they can be protected from violence in their homes.

Frequent characteristics of children in domestic violence homes:

1) Often hit, kicked or thrown as they get in the middle of fights between parents or become safety shields for their mothers.

2) Neglected due to the overwhelming level of tension between parents

3) Take on responsible adult role in keeping family together by caring for brothers/sisters/injured mother or becoming father's sexual partner. They see all behavior emanating from themselves; therefore, they feel responsible for parents' behavior.

4) Get parents' attention through negative acting out behavior, which later develops into more serious behavioral problems, i.e., substance abuse, juvenile crime, teenage pregnancy, runaways, school drop-out, and violence.

5) Low self-esteem - poor communication skills and problem solving skills

6) Confused about loyalties to parents and about male and female roles

7) They are powerless to both control the violence and to leave

Taking all this into consideration, it is unfortunate that children of domestic violence homes are generally not viewed as abused children by Child Protective Services unless physical or sexual abuse can be proven. 63% of all boys between the ages of 11 and 20 who commit murder, kill the man who is beating their mother. "Why are murder, rape, assault and battery wrong between strangers, but okay in families?"

Wife beating in the United States accounts for approximately $100 million in emergency room medical bills annually.

Women murder their husbands in self defense 7 times more often than men kill their wives while protecting themselves.

"Closing your eyes to reality is an agreeable form of blindness."

Contrary to popular belief - NO ONE "ASKS FOR IT"!!! Regardless of her action or inaction, she does not deserve to be beaten. No one has the right to use violence against another person, exception self defense - EVER!!! Anger is a natural human feeling. Everyone experiences anger, but it is not acceptable to manifest that anger in abuse against someone else. Many of us learn about violence from our families of origin. Most men who experienced family violence as they grew up may still be feeling some of the hurt. One would think a man who experienced violence in his early life would make certain not to use it as he became a husband and father. In fact, most of these men do swear to do just that. However, just the opposite often happens. A man will follow in the footsteps of his father or mother by doing JUST WHAT THEY SHOWED HIM TO DO IN DEALING WITH STRESS AND ANGER. Violence then becomes the only path he knows for resolving conflicts. IT IS WHAT HE LEARNED. Yet, he can be taught a different path if he is truly willing to learn - or UNLEARN. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

A victim once said "MEN BEAT WOMEN BECAUSE THEY CAN." In other words because WOMEN ALLOW IT; their FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS ALLOW IT; the COMMUNITY ALLOWS IT; and SOCIETY NOT ONLY ALLOWS IT, but condones it - by turning its head the other way and pretending it doesn't exist or by assuming that what goes on in someone's home is no one's business. BUT when laws are being broken (NOT TO MENTION BONES AND FAMILIES) it ceases to be private.

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