Domestic violence in the U.S.A: more prevalent than we would think it to be!
As Kofi Annan had once rightly pointed out, domestic violence is a pandemic, especially against women. While one may argue that domestic violence should be addressed as a gender-neutral issue, and it is, legally speaking, the truth about domestic violence is that women are subject to it much more than men are. And it is true of developed countries as much as the developing, or the under-developed ones. The U.S.A has a very large percentage of occurrences of domestic violence, especially against women, but the federal laws, over the years, have ensured the fact that domestic violence be made punishable, and that there are enough measures for not just physical violence, but also the prevention of any kind of domestic violence whatsoever.
As many as a quarter of the population women in America have faced domestic violence in some form or the other. This does not necessarily mean physical violence. It can also manifest itself in the form of mental torture, emotional blackmailing, sexual coercion, and economic pressure. There are different forms which domestic violence can take up. It may not be a regular occurrence, and it may happen only once, in the heat of immense rage. However, domestic violence might be continuing on a regular basis, in different forms, in many households. Not only does it happen amongst married couples, the country itself has recognized the occurrence of domestic violence in relationships amongst teenagers as well. Rage, coercion, subversion and mental torture is common in many relationships, and apart from blatant physical violence, many other forms of violence might not even be easily recognizable.
Sometimes, physical violence itself can be a reaction to some other form of domestic violence. The term used for such violence is Violent Resistance. This might occur when one partner, having suffered different kinds of domestic violence, might lash out, or might try to defend oneself, and might have to take recourse to physical violence to do so. Domestic violence is usually deeply rooted in power control and power struggle between the couple. This happens not just with adults, but also with teenagers. The general statistics throughout the U.S.A point to the fact that whatever the nature of domestic violence may be, women are more often on the receiving end of such violence.
According to these statistical figures, 2.3 million people in the U.S are sexually or physically abused by their partners, every single year, and a very large percentage of these numbers are women. Even more (about 4 million) women are beaten up by their partners or a regular basis, and for most of these women, this is not a onetime occurrence. A number of national institutions have looked into the phenomenon of domestic violence, especially against women, and according to their statistics, about a quarter of adult women in America are subject to domestic violence. Also, physical violence during pregnancy and death resulting from the same has also constituted a large figure. Also, twenty two percent of all women, even minors, have suffered domestic abuse in some form or the other. Amongst the natives, or the indigenous population, such as the American Indians, the rate of domestic violence is even greater. More than half of them suffer from domestic abuse.
Dating and the violence which manifests itself during the years of dating, also escalate themselves into larger, more serious forms of domestic violence later onwards. According to a study on this issue conducted in the year 2000, as many as 22 percent of the girls in high school, as well as ten percent more, in the case of college students suffer from abuse from their partners. Date rape and coercion for sex is also a common phenomenon even amongst high school girls.
Domestic violence has its tentacles spread in all classes, all kinds of ethnic groups, and as we can see, it is also prevalent in highly developed countries. What needs to change, before we blame it on difference in class and culture, is the way a woman is looked upon, by men, in every part of the world.