Domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, or intimate partner violence (IPV). Any behavior classified by these terms is when one partner in an intimate relationship abuses the other—whether the relationship is a marriage, cohabitation, dating, or familial.
An act of domestic violence does not have to be physical. While physical assault—hitting, kicking, punching, restraining, etc.—is classified as abuse, the law also recognizes threats under this category. Controlling your partner through stalking, kidnapping, sexual or emotional abuse, or harassment is a crime.
Experts aren’t certain what causes one spouse to abuse the other—whether it’s biological, social, psychological, or a mixture of all three. While the biological aspect is focused on genetics and brain dysfunction, there are many more theories regarding the psychological and social triggers that may cause someone to abuse another. Common personality traits include sudden bursts of anger, low self-esteem, and poor self-control. Additionally, some research shows that up to 80% of men in domestic abuse studies exhibit some typical personality disorders. Some disorders that are risk factors include schizophrenia, alcoholism, paranoia, and anti-socialism.
Although psychologists disagree on how prevalent certain events or disorders are in regards to abuse, many also believe that persons that experience abuse as a child are more likely to abuse another later in life. There is also some research that links juvenile delinquency to adult violence.
Domestic violence has shown to have a cycle of abuse, which has three stages. The tension building phase is usually brought on through poor communication and general fear of causing outbursts—the victim tries to placate the abuser, but usually to no avail. The second stage is the violent episode where the attacks happen, usually in an explosive manner. The final stage before the cycle begins again is considered the honeymoon phase. During this time, the abuser will be sorrowful and regretful of their actions, apologizing or showing affection to their victim.
Domestic abuse or violence is a serious offense and should be reported immediately. If you’re suffering at the hands of an abusive partner, a qualified attorney can help keep you safe in a court of law. Contact our DuPage County, Illinois attorneys today to learn more.