Abuse is anything that is harmful, causes injuries, or offensive to any living things. According to the “Types of Abuse: What Are the Different Forms of Abuse?” 2016, there are psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse, elder abuse and spiritual abuse. In this context, we will be discussing about abuse that usually occur in a marriage.
As stated by Women’s Aid Organisation in their article Domestic Violence 2011, with 39% of Malaysian ladies evaluated to have been mishandled by their accomplices, household viciousness is a critical, but regularly covered up social issue. The ‘invisibility’ of the issue is generally credited to the affectability of the issues encompassing the issue, particularly the conventional conviction in the holiness and protection of the family and the closeness of conjugal connection. It also stated that in 1989, 1.8 million or 36% of ladies over the age 15 were beaten by their spouses or boyfriends. Only 909 women actually reported violence to the police.
Causes of abuse in a marriage are often related with the attitude of the abuser or sometimes it could be because of the victim themselves. The most common forms of abuse in marriage are verbal abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse (“The 3 Forms of abuse in marriage,” 2016). As stated in Marriage.com 2017, research shows that over-thinking usually leads to detrimental thoughts which presents real image that is may and may not happen in real life. It is called trigger-thoughts. When they started to have this kind of thoughts, there is no way they will become a positive thinker again and it will only make them fight more. The next reason will be because of they grow up in an abusive family. Generally, not all of them came from an abusive family but majority of the abusers happened to have childhood trauma. Many victims of abuse come from a family in which the flow was toxic filled with either psychological or physical abuse. With that, both parties did not realize, and it was seen as a norm and sometimes even as an expression or affection. Other than that, the lack of empathy also makes the abuser feels like they are superior than others. They take other people’s feeling easy and they often see others’ flaw and insecurities and used it as the weapon. Marriage is always difficult and takes a lot of work. But it should never bring abuse and suffer from the side of those who are meant to protect us from harm. Abuse in marriage will also affect the children. Studies shown by Sturge-Apple, Skibo, and Davies 2012, witnessing destructive interparental conflict characterized by high levels of hostility, disengagement, and parents’ failure to resolve their disagreements should directly increase children’s risk for developing psychological problems. This is what we call childhood trauma. Also, interparental discord may have an indirect effect on children through its deleterious impact on parenting. Thus, the indirect pathway hypothesis posits that destructive interparental conflict indirectly undermines children’s functioning through its association with parenting disturbances (Sturge-Apple et al., 2012). According to Sturge-Apple et al., in the earliest study, Sullivan, Juras, Bybee, Nguyen, and Allen (2000) examined the implications for children of having a mother who experienced psychological and physical abuse at the hands of their partner using a cross-sectional design and findings from Parental Conflict, Children, and the Family System 385 this study suggest that when the perpetrator was the biological father or stepfather, children experienced lower levels of self-esteem and perceived self-worth compared to children who were abused from a non-father male in the house (2012).
There are a few steps can be taken if you were to be abused by your partner. More than 1/3 women and 1/12 men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (“10 Ways You Can Help Prevent Domestic Violence Where You Live,” 2016). First, you have to know the signs. Domestic violence can happen to anyone- white, black, young, old, rich, poor, educated and not educated. Now and then, violence starts early on in a relationship and other times it takes month or two to show their true colours. Next, you cannot just ignore the sign. Some people think that if someone that they love hurt them, it is okay. They eventually let it pass. This is absolutely wrong. Once you have ignored what have they done to you, they will tend to do it again and again. In other cases, when someone came to you to seek for help, please help them or maybe the least you can do is lend an ear without judging. They are many ways to help a victim of abuse. More importantly, ask them first on what you can help. We do not want to make things worse. If you were to know the problems earlier, and were told to shut up, respect their request. Maybe they are still looking for the right time to act. What you can help is to create a safety plan and maybe hire an attorney so when they are n desperate, you can straight away help them.
To conclude everything, abuse issue is not a taboo issue in our country. We can see many cases related to abusing nowadays. Preventing abusive behaviour is not simply can be done by one side, but rather it is about creating understanding between two parties. It remains important to remind the public that abuse in marriage or in any other context is a serious threat to the victim themselves and also the people around. As stated in “Abuse and Neglect,” 2018, as sociologist Robert Wuthnow has noted, every volunteer effort or act of compassion finds its justification not in offering solutions for society’s problems but in offering hope “both that the good society we envision is possible and that the very act of helping each other gives us strength and a common destiny” (Wuthnow, 1991: 304).