Domestic violence or abuse by one or both the partners in a relationship negatively impacts the family, individuals and the community. This can happen in any close relationships like cohabitants, marriage or a family. Domestic violence can be anything from mild abuse like pushing or slapping, to very severe abuse like injury through repeated beating, etc. Domestic violence can also include physical, psychological, verbal, emotional, sexual abuse involving threatening, intimidating and deprivation. Domestic violence usually arises out of the controlling need from the abuser's end. An abuser may want to exert excessive and unnecessary authority in that relationship. Many times, outside intervention is necessary for domestic violence to subside. The most common abusers are men and the most common victims of domestic violence are women and children.

With deep roots in the Indian tradition the psychology doctors understand empathetically the clients condition and suggest remedial measures accordingly.

Occurrence and causes of domestic violence

Domestic violence does not spring up suddenly, but occurs with many warning signs. A person with aggressive personality may want to show control over the more passive one through emotional or physical abuse. This usually occurs in co-dependent relationships, and takes many forms like isolation of the victim, controlling the finances, making threats or through physical and verbal abuse. Some of the causes of domestic violence are:

History of violence during the abuser's bringing up
Abuse of drugs or alcohol, which usually leads to controlling behaviour
Situations of poor health or job loss
Psychological causes like poor self esteem, sudden bursts of anger and poor impulse control
Mental illnesses like bipolar, schizophrenia, or personality disorder

Domestic violence - Types

Domestic violence may range from physical to emotional through various forms:

Verbal abuse- verbal threats, mocking, name calling, shouting or criticising
Threats - violent threats, intimidation, carrying out violence on inanimate objects, brandishing a weapon
Sexual- rape, degrading remarks about sexuality, using force
Harassment - stalking, following, constantly obsessing who the victim is spending time with
Pressure - lying, making threats, removing communication devices
Breaking trust - breaking promises, lying, withholding information
Physical - pushing, slapping, beating, kicking, burning

Counseling for victims of domestic violence

In many relationships, the victims find it very difficult to come out and talk about their abuse. The victims may feel that they deserve the abuse and stop dealing with it. The victim may also justify the actions of the abuser. If children are involved in such situations, the victim may find it even more difficult to come out of such relationships. Immediate family or friends should intervene and suggest counseling for such victims, to improve their self-esteem and self-worth. They should also try to provide safe accommodation for the victims of domestic violence, so that the abuser cannot reach them anymore.

You can understand that the relationship is undergoing domestic abuse, if there are the following indicators:

One partner gets angry, or abusive very quickly
One partner exerts excessive control over the other
The victim usually becomes overly cautious around the other one, so that the abuser does not get upset
The abuser shows great deal of extreme emotions and mood swings
The victim tries to make many changes to their lives to keep the other partner happy

Domestic violence should be taken seriously as it might harm the victim significantly, and in some cases lead to fatalities. It is essential that the victim finds help to come out of such relationships, and seeks counseling to gain the lost confidence. They can talk to any of the expert psychologists in Chennai for advice and improve their quality of life. JNANA GANGA offers excellent counseling for domestic violence in Chennai, where victims of domestic violence can get help. Expert counseling services for domestic violence from JNANA GANGA are also available in UAE and Kerala.