Alcohol and family Violence has been an issues with families for many years, these are two demons that some just can’t break, families have been experiencing the traumatic of one’s physical uncontrollable actions. Alcohol has become one’s stress reliever in all views that it began to take over one’s way of thinking and reaction, this is ways individuals express their evil thoughts and the sad thing it that the abuse of alcohol has a domino effect on their children’s as they become adults and parents later in life. If community members understand violence differently, their responses may be inconsistent and even harmful to victims. (Advocate. Minnesota, (2003)). Almost 6,500 children across the world have been a victim of family violence which leads up to being in a single parent home, One in three children globally (30%) said as leader of their country; they would tackle violence by improving law and order.
For children in developing countries, improving education (17%) was the next priority (compared with just 6% of children in developed countries). (2003). Child Fund.) Finally, a 1991 study in the United States found that the average amount of alcohol consumed prior to the use of violence was only a few drinks, which “suggests that the act of drinking may be more related to woman abuse than the effect of alcohol.” Two other studies indicate that drug use is more strongly correlated to domestic violence than is alcohol. (2003). Child Fund.) Improving their self-esteem, they abuse the victim physically, emotionally, and sometimes, sexually. Another key factor in wife abuse is alcohol. When the man is stressed, he turns to alcohol to relieve it. Little does he know that the alcohol makes him more irritable? “He started really drinking excessively and that is when the abuse started. He had been drinking I sat down to read the paper and he wanted his supper . . . he kicked the cat to the ceiling, he started slapping my face with both hands,” (Berger, 1990, pg. 42).
So, if you’re in an abusive relationship what is the best way to get out and stop of the battering abuse? After notorious acts of abuse, usually, the woman will finally realize that the situation will never get better. Basically there are three basic reasons why women leave a violent relationship: Educated themselves about the necessary available help, being faced with the impact on their children (mentally, physical, sexually and courage to know when enough is enough) and women having a tolerance level of abuse. (Berger, 1990, pg. 48). Family Violence is Willfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt, causing hurt, wrongful confinement or restraint against the family member’s will or continual harassment which causes anguish.. A family member can be your spouse or ex-spouse, child (including adopted and step child), sibling, parent or in-law. Now there are many factors that contribute to family violence, the most commonly seen are the characteristics of the abused and the abuser.
There is no one specific country or culture that is more abusive than another, abuse is spread across countries, cultures, socio-economic statuses, races, religion and ethnic groups (Goldman, Salus, Wolcott & Kennedy, 2009). For example, one may be very educated and well-kept but if unable to control behavior caused by emotions, he may be abusive. While if one may be poor and lowly educated, if he is well controlled in his behaviors and emotions, he will then not be abusive. More often, in cases of child abuse, the abuser usually a parent, father or mother, could be one who may be in situations of stress or someone who simply cannot control their emotions, anger. In a paper written by Professor Harry J. Gaynor (1998), in 1,356 cases of child abuse reported by National Burn Victim Foundation, there were 176 spontaneous cases, of which 97% of them are parents that are known to have aggressive response behavior.
There are two kinds of aggressive response, active and passive. Active aggressive behaviors do not have concern over the impact that anger will have to the abused, this translates to actions of hurting the abused verbally, could be hurling hurtful words, humiliating, and physically, hitting the abused. While the passive aggressive response behaviors are those that have cooped up, suppressing negative emotions of a length of time and a blow up or breakdown can be expected, this translates to behavior of neglect and not paying attention to the abused (Gaynor, 1998). Children are victims of adult’s uncontrollable behavior of anger. As much as we blame abusers, and we should look at their background and past, that when they were children were tormented as well. Baltimore County, Maryland Police Department (2012), shared some facts about child abusing inmates, that 84% of them were abused as children, families with more than four children have higher rates of abused and neglect, more than 80% of the abusers are parent or someone the child is close to and parents on drugs is physically abused regularly.
There are parental histories and the cycle of abuse that we have to factor into the characteristics of the abuser. Many of these individuals who are maltreating their own children were victims of abuse and neglect themselves. (Goldman et al., 2003). There is no major difference in percentage of perpetrators being female or male. An apparent close percentage of 50% and 58% of mothers and fathers are found to abuse their own children. However, while single mothers are accused of child neglect, many fathers who abandon the child are almost never considered in the neglect (Newton, 2001). Abuse often happen in environment or family situation where it is overcrowded, usually happens with families with more than four children. If the living conditions are cramped and isolated and parents do not hold proper stable jobs, the chances of abuse in those families, whether parent-child or sibling abuse may occur (Baltimore County, Maryland Police Department, 2012).
From the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders (n.d.), some causes of abuse at times are simply due to parent’s ignorance of developmental stages. This ignorance can lead to frustration and eventually aggressive behaviors. They are under stress because their child has issues with toilet training or not meeting their expectations. Understanding developmental stages can help parents to understand their child’s learning curve better and they will learn to cope with their expectation. Another cause is mental disorders, parent with depression, personality disorders or anxiety disorder etc., can affect their ability to care for their children. The abused, children as the focus, can contribute toward family violence toward themselves and they may never know it. Disabled children, children with mental disorders, children with development disorders, hyperactive children are all at a higher risk compared to a healthy child in receiving abuse.
These children have needs that are special, if they do not attain required needs, manner of communication from them can be highly distressing. According to Sullivan (1996) from the Boys Town National Research Hospital, children with disabilities are found to be at greater risk of abuse and neglect compared to children without disabilities (Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001). Children with disabilities of any form may be unable to retort, have no understanding that they are abused or cannot communicate the happenings of the abuse may have issues because adults know that they can get away with it because their abuses will not be reported. Knowing one can get away with it makes it easier to push through the abuse compared to risking the child complaining to others about the abuse. Children although still the ultimate victims whether or not they are the cause of the abuse and abused children and the abuser may have much effect in the society.
There are long term effects surrounding family violence and any forms of family violence have effects to both the abused and the abuser. Some of the effects are physical and neurobiological, cognitive and emotional and social and educational. First, physical and neurological damages are the visible effects on a child, direct trauma from physical abuse can cause ruptured organs and even possible brain deformity or retardation. Neglect will cause the child to be underfed and/or nutritional deficit, the child will have slow growth rate and development of the physical and brain would be unhealthy. This makes deficient in mental growth as well. Repeated trauma produces changes in the neurochemistry of the brain that affects memory formation. This causes the person to will time to time continually getting flashbacks of fragmented memories of emotions throughout their life. Cognitive and emotional damages are relative unseen. Some children resort into extreme methods to deal with the traumatic experiences.
Some lash out at people around them and themselves. Some become depressed and do things that make them feel better, example by taking drugs and alcohol, some even go to the extent of attempting suicide. Bonding and attachments with their parents or people in general may cease and understanding of the abusing behavior might become permanent if assistance does not come. Children that have been abused also show no concern when someone else is under distress, they may even result to behave in ways like hitting the other child the same way their abuser did to them (Sigelman & Rider, (2012). A social and educational effect becomes obvious when the child become less sociable or not sociable at all, isolating himself. The child may also become distrustful toward people in general making them unable to properly have a normal relationship.
Due to this, the child will grow up having issues with self-esteem, have low level of confidence. Behaviorally, some children may grow up to become abusive or they become isolated (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, n.d.). Some of the children who do not seek and have support to recovery may consider what they have been through has normal and appropriate. This is how the cycle of abuse goes on. Abused children are often emotionally and physically in pain at school; hence they are unable to concentrate at what they have to do, leading to them falling behind their grades.
They find it hard to make friends and hence either become a bully or get bullied at school as well. Because of this, teachers at school might see them as a problematic child if they are not aware of the happenings that are going on at home. With society (school) labeling them as problematic and being abused at home by parents they are likely to feel rejected by everyone. Intervention as a Human Services Professional I would suggest that all family members seek counseling to express all issues and get to the root cause of the problem. When children are involved seeing a therapist with the family and without the parents would be one of my intervention to help their family, I would also have the parents go to parenting classes.
Advocate. Minnesota, (2003).Alcohol and Domestic Violence. www.umn.edu/hutments/svaw/ domestic/link/alcohol.htm Attorney-General’s Chambers (31 October 2009). Interpretation of this Part. In Women’s Charter (Chapter 353, Section 64). Retrieved from http://statutes.agc.gov.sg
Baltimore County, Maryland. (2 January 2013). Facts About Child Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/community/abuse.html (2003). Child Fund. www.childfund.org.av/publication/new-childfund-survey-fines-assive-kids-blame-alcohol-number-one-cause-violence Gaynor, H. J. (1998). The Root of Child Abuse: Anger. Retrieved from http://www.aaets.org/article63.htm
Goldman, J., Salus, M. K., Wolcott, D., Kennedy, K. Y. (2003). A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/foundation/foundatione.cfm
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