This past Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of passing of the Violence Against Women Act. Joe Biden, now Vice President if rhe United States, introduced this bill as a Senator. This new lawbwould now make it a felony to assault and batter a woman (http://m.whitehouse.gov/1is2many/about).
Prior to the passing of this law, if a man hurt his wife or domestic partner, it was considered a family situation. When a women was raped, the idea that she somehow “deaerveit” pervaded. http://time.com/3319325/joe-biden-violence-against-women/
There were, of course, psychological repercussions for victims as well. As one woman said, there was a lot of guilt and self-blame. This legal environment would.naturally challenge an abused woman to seek remediation.
Since the passing of this bill, reported domestic violence has decreaswd 64%.
Interestingly, this issue was highlighted by a recent incident of domestic abuse that was caught on video. In the news currently is the situation in which Ray Rice a professional football player for the NFL had beat his then-fianceé, Janay, into unconsciousness in an elevator.
This revelation has highlighted this issue. An estimated 1.3 million women each year experience domestic or intimate partner violence (DV/IPV). Some women, like Janay, choose to stay with their partners.
Culturally, this is a bigger problem for black women. They tend to be statistically overrepresented. Many black women feel that cultural issues demand a greater loyalty, and thus are more hesitant to report abuse.
Part of the reason for the higher rates if abuse in the black community may stem from psycho-sociological factors. Unemployment, for example, has been higher, and men may feel emasculated being not able to provide for their families. They take their frustrations or on their family.
Additionally, many black people are hesitant to bring an abuse issue to a mostly-white police force.
Domestic abuse leaves psychological scars on the victims (
http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201105/domestic-vio…). Domestic abuse is defined as any situation in which one partner wields power over the other through abuse.
The Office of Violence against Women reoorts that a women is abused every nine seconds and is the leading cause of injuries in women.
Domestic abuse tends to occur in a cycle. There is a build up and then the abuse happens. There is then a period of calm as both partners act like nothing happened. As time goes on, the time between cycles gets shorter.
Over time, the victim develops Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Being abused by someone who should otherwise be trustworthy also creates depression in women as well.
These days there are many resources. There is rhe National Abuse Hotline, http://www.thehotline.org/, or 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).
What is especially important is that the victim extract herself from the situation. It is also important that she (or in some cases, he) also seek counseling to help deal with the emotional fall out from the abusive situation.