Term Paper: Spousal and Child Abuse

Pages: 5 (1497 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Findings say that the risk of violence is twice as much if any two of these are present in the relationship, and a couple with 7 or more of these factors are likely to be in an abusive relationship 40 times more than not.

The many deleterious effects of spousal abuse include teenage pregnancy, binge drinking, cocaine abuse, risky sexual behavior (sex before 15 and with multiple partners), smoking, suicidal tendency or attempts, eating disorders, overweight or underweight (Jacobs). A study undertaken by the Arizona State University reported that women abused by their partners suffered musculoskeletal, mental and gynecological injuries. Around 38% of them said they received at least six blows on their heads as adults and 40% of them had no health insurance (Boudreau 2002). The study also reported that 61% of the subjects suffered from dental injuries on account of the abuse, while 64% were afflicted with hearing damage for the same cause.

A separate study revealed that a jealous man can be very abusive in forbidding his partner from having friends and wearing suitable clothes that made her look attractive and in hiding microphones and hiding a detective to stalk her. He can even frame her up and then accuse her of his suspicion. The victim becomes an innocent hostage who is isolated and stifled. Within this pathological condition (Pheil 2005), the abused spouse may develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and exhibit symptoms like reliving or perpetuating the trauma, over-avoidance of the cause and hyper-arousal. The victim also over-identifies with the abusive spouse through a reactive sympathy towards the latter and even accepts or assumes the abuser's view of the world (Pheil). This shows the extremes through which an abused spouse goes to even protect her jealous and battering husband, lover or boyfriend.

The bond that develops in a long-term abusive relationship can be this shocking. A abuser and the abused form a dependence between themselves despite the huge pain in it. And the relationship often ends up fatally (Vankin 2003). Alcoholism, drug use, intimate homicide, infant and child mortality, spontaneous abortion, reckless behavior, suicide and mental disorders all characterize spousal abuse.

The victim retains the relationship often because for economic, parental and psychological reasons or considerations. She becomes his object, deprived of independence, a separate identity and individual needs. Through intimidations and other forms of pressure, she is subjected to social isolation, total dependence, even the option for intellectual or personal growth, such as studying, work or a separate business. She also stands to lose custody of their children or property, if any, as another illustration of menace (Vankin). With these overwhelming threats or conditions, she is compelled to give up to the ruthless whims of her abuser just to avoid further and more miserable consequences. Taking advantage of her vulnerabilities, he keeps her hostage.

The effects of spousal abuse further include primitive defense mechanisms, phobias (Vankin), a history of failure, more mental health problems, self-blame for personal inadequacy, and in extreme cases, masochism, or the urge to inflict pain or injury upon oneself.

An added effect is laid upon children's health (Boudreau) when their mother, the victim, is abused. It was reported that more than a third of the subjects had no prenatal care and that the children of 18% of them had health problems, which were directly or indirectly linked to spousal abuse.


Boudreau, Diane. Damage: the Health Effects of Abuse. ASU Research: Arizona:

State University, 2002. http://researchmag.asu.edu/stories/abuse.html childabuse.org. Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse. For the Love of Our Children, 2002. http://www.fortheloveofourchildren.org/statistics.html childabuse.com. Why Child Abuse Occurs and the Common Criminal Background of the Abuser. Arctic Originals, 2002. http://www.childabuse.com

Gelles, Richard. Child Abuse. MSN Encarta. Microsoft Corporation. http://encarta.msn.com

Hopper, Jim. UChild AbuseU, 2004. http://www.jimhopper.com/abstats

Jacobs, Karl M. Abuse of Spouse or Partner. Discovery Communications, Inc.: DiscoveryHealth, com, 2004. http://health.discovery.com/diseaseandcond/encyclopedia/2782.html

Newton, CJ. Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Teenagers. Mental Health Journal: TherapistFinder.net, 2001. http://www.therapistfinder.et/Domesic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Children.html

Pheil, Tim and Andrea. Jealousy, Spousal Abuse and PTSD, 2005. http://www.mhsanctuary.com/ptsd/ptsdther

Randall Vernillia R. Race, Health Care and the Law, 1998. http://academic.udayton.eduhealth/o1status/98sweeny.htm

Vaknin, Sam. The Dynamics of Spousal Abuse. Suite University: Creative Marketeam, 2003. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/18046/101460 [END OF PREVIEW]

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