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The term domestic violence is any behavior the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl or boyfriend or intimate family member. It is not only physical violence but it’s also sexual violations, such as punching, chocking, stabbing, throwing boiling water or acid and setting on fire, the result of which can range from bruising to killing. What may often start out as apparently minor attacks can escalate both intensity and frequency. It is therefore important for everyone to understand how it starts, the signs that leads to domestic violence, the action to take after being abused, prevention to measure and finally moving on never to come back.
The evening before the Grammy Awards were being held in 2009, police responded to a situation in which crooner Chris Brown was accused of assaulting a woman who was initially labeled as an anonymous victim. Eventually, word spread that the anonymous victim was, in fact, Rihanna – one of the most beloved singers of her generation.
Domestic violence is not limited to certain group or classes.it affects everyone-the rich, the poor, the famous-the ordinary-blacks, white – our heroes, our villains.
It might not be easy to identify domestic violence at first and the actual extent of violence in home may never be accurately known. Although, in most abusive relationships, more than one type of abuse occurs. “The longer the violence is allowed to continue in the relationship, the greater the chances are of the victim experiencing all forms of abuse. Therefore, it is importance to cut down communication with that an abusive partner before it gets worse. Most of the abusers focuses on personal explanations such as use of alcohol and drugs, the victim’s actions, mental illness, stress, frustration, financial crisis and violent families of origin. I still believe no one at all, is entitle to undergo domestic violence despite of any excuse. Individuals must accept responsibility for their own violent actions and societies must confront domestic violence.
Having said that domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. “Men are sometimes abused by partners but it is mostly directed toward women. More so, it further happens to heterosexual or some sex relationship. Many people end up dating and marrying abusive people. When asked, they say they say that they would not have married such people if they knew what they were really like. However, the truth of the matter is that the warning signs were there all the time, but they either could or did not want to heed them. We all avoid people that appear insane or abusive and would not select them as dating partner. However, some individuals are better at hiding their personality and behavior. It is so ironical that we are warned to be careful against strangers and not forgetting about the closer people we are with daily. Then again, after doing my research i still question the say that goes “Better the devil you know, than the angel you don’t know”.
Another key thing to remember is that, individuals should get to know the main traits of the ‘Losers’ as I personally call them out of experience. I realized my Ex- boyfriend Satan (not his real name) had all these traits but I would not conclude he would have hurt me so bad both physical and also emotional. I remember vividly back in November 2016; it was a cold chilly night at 11:00pm, we had an argument that night and he buttered me brutally, I had a bland eye and a swollen lip. I really wanted to go home and therefore he decided to drive me home. He changed the route to Milimani and started driving towards Waiyaki way, he was driving at a very high speed and was shouting and abusing me. All I wanted was to go home because I never wanted to be late or miss to go to work the following morning, therefore I had to agree to everything he said although all my word fell on dump ears. I prayed silently for God’s grace and mercy, I thought that was the end of my life, hardly had we approach road bumps, when I threw my hand band and jumped out of his Ford Ranger, in deed it was a narrow escape. The ‘Loser’ did not care of whether I had died or bruised, instead he drove off and I could only see her at a far distance ahead. I quickly walked to the nearby cab and we went home. I cleaned up my mess, set my alarm in preparation for the next day. I blocked Satan’s phone number and felt relieved. The following day, I did a full make up routine to hide the black eye, I thank God nobody noticed, later in the evening the make-up had started fading and Lucy one of my colleague friend who was also elderly couldn’t stop staring at me. She walked towards me and I knew that that she wanted to asked what happened to me, instead, she came closer to my ears and whispered “live that bustard alone” I nodded my head in shamed and promised her I can never go back. After 6 months, my wounds were healed and I was so happy again. I do not remember to date how I unblocked Satan and there we were again, texting, dinner dates and the road trips.
The ‘Loser’ as I had mentioned before, acted like an angel. All my friends were so disappointed with me but the only thing I saw; was the nice, caring, comforting reborn Satan that I called my King. He would always express his love and affection by bringing me rose flowers which were my favorite, Toblerone chocolates and my best perfume Good Girl. He indeed knew how to win my heart. That’s a first trait to know, they have quick attachment and expression of showing love, they can easily say ‘I love you’ same way they can easily ‘dump and hurt you’. Although, he was short tempered, that would always be an excuse of his harsh treatment, cruelty and breakage of properties whenever he got angry. I couldn’t still see the sign. Whenever we had a discussion, he would constantly correct my slight mistakes and little did I know he was killing my self-confidence. In fact, I thought he was genius, he was always correct for sure that was my “Mr. Right”
Similarly, he tried cutting off the relationship I had with my closer friends saying they treated me badly and he wouldn’t understand what I gained from that kind of relationship. I would avoid my friends in order to keep him and I believed he would never let me go. Days and months passed and he often changed from being mean to sweet and back again. On one occasion, he would be abusive and threatened to end the relationship over a minor issue then again, he would apologize and be the sweet Angel I knew before. I would always blame myself over and over again and promised to change. So, one fateful day, after I thought it wasn’t worth it and decided to end the relationship, he insisted of us meeting up and end the relationship at peace. I decided to bring in third part- my best friend. After we discussed and saw that we have been through a lot together, we decided to renew our relationship and never to fight or argue again. We happy all again, went out for few drinks and that night was one of my best nights, he even promised to buy me a new car as remark of that day.
After parting and dancing, we were all tired and decided to live the famous billionaire’s club, we then dropped off my best friend – Rahma, and that is how I fell asleep. Satan was to drop me and then go to his place as our previous normal routine. While I was sleeping, I heard a strong and hard bang! On my right eye, at first I thought I was dreaming, the second slap was so hard that I woke up screaming! I tried opening the safety belt but he pulled my hand and bet me up until my fake stick on nails broke, I felt so pain that I peed in my pant, I tried shouting and telling him to stop but he repeatedly beat me right on my face, over and over again. He dropped me home and took away my phone. I cried out my heart in pain and bitterness, I dint know what to do, my white off shoulder top was bloody and my pants were smelly, I dint know what to do, I quickly took my laptop and sent Rahma a message “please save me you are all I have at the moment” on her Instagram account, she immediately replied and she was in my apartment in a jiffy. She later took me to the hospital where I was given proper medication and eye drops for my red eye. Thereafter, I first bought a new phone, blocked Satan’s number and reported him to the police who really seemed not to care of the situation. “It was time to revenge, it was time to kill that man, he was the worst person I ever met” my thoughts, the scars again swollen lips and two huge swollen black eyes, my broken heart, red eye I had so much bitterness in my heart. I went through online counseling and today am free and happy.
To cut the story short, it is very important for victims of domestic violence to understand and knows the preventive measures to follow after the abuse. Most women tend to stay in abusive relationship due to variety of reasons like; fear of losing their children, thinking that the ‘Losers’ will change and more so, financial crisis since the finance is always under control. After and abuse, the individuals are supposed to end their relationship immediately, contact your family members and close friends, check on local legal or law enforcement options like restraining orders, drop down hints that you are depressed and make yourself busy by doing what interests you like movies which really was of much help for me, and even cooking. They should also not agree to meet or reunite to discuss the old time that will bring about a new relationship. ‘Losers’ will focus on making you feel guilt. Do not fall for that, it was never your fault and they are to be blame for their bad actions. And finally seek professional counseling for yourself or support from others during this time.
In conclusion, as the saying goes ‘A man’s home is his cattle’, but many men act as if they are feudal lords. Our homes and relationships should be treasured and treated as sanctuaries where people can live peacefully and more importantly, safely. Those who break this should be punished severely. Before marriage, couple should have pre-marital counseling to determine what each of them think is normally family behavior. So that those who believe that conflict can be solved with violence can undergo counseling. To be honest, laws relating to domestic violence and abuse should be revised and amended. The police should avoid ignoring domestic violence and giving the abuser’s more benefit as long as they provide “kitu kidogo”. Punishments should be more severe, in order for the abusers to be discouraged from committing future buttering. As Cava (2010) stated that “ the more battering the battering the higher the jail sentencing. And some should be classified as habitual criminals and locked up for life.” for assaulted women or men, they should appear in court to testify and end their relation completely. The cycle of abuse must end. Until one undergoes domestic violence or until death occurs, it’s taken seriously. Only when society recognizes this will we start to see real and long lasting change with regard to domestic violence.
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