Addressing the Root Causes of Domestic Violence
The term “domestic violence” evokes so many vivid emotions that it’s easy for people to write off a perpetrator as evil and deserving of punishment. In reality, the dynamics behind DV are not that simple. Sometimes, otherwise decent people find themselves perpetuating a cycle of violence that they hate but don’t know how to stop. If you’ve been arrested on domestic violence charges, the top priority after dealing with the immediate charges is to look for ways to avoid repeat offenses. Let’s explore some of the common root causes of domestic violence—followed by some practical tips for disrupting the cycle of violence so it doesn’t continue.
Common Root Causes of Domestic Violence
To be fair to this topic, there may be many complex reasons why someone develops violent tendencies, especially toward someone they love; it’s rarely just “one thing.” However, most people who struggle with this issue can trace the root to one or more of these three general causes:
Family background/childhood abuse
Many domestic violence perpetrators can point to some dysfunction, turmoil, or neglect in their childhood as the reason for their behavior. For example, if you grew up in a home where domestic violence occurred regularly, you might be conditioned to see that pattern as part of “normal” family existence, and you’re more likely to repeat the pattern in your own relationships. Additionally, people who were abused as children are more likely to become abusers themselves. Exposure to trauma, tragedy, or abuse as a child can also lead to unresolved anger issues, which can manifest as violence in the home.
Often, the catalyst for domestic violence is addiction. Researchers have established a clear link between substance abuse and domestic violence. The World Health Organization reported that as many as 55 percent of domestic violence incidents involve alcohol abuse—but illegal drugs (and even prescription medicines) often play a role in the problem, as well. Alcohol and drugs may reduce your inhibitions, giving room for pent-up emotions to surface. Sometimes, you may not realize that your actions are harmful to others or even remember them at all.
Mental health issues
While most mental health problems don’t inherently make a person prone to violence, untreated mental illnesses like severe depression, schizophrenia, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) can create a sense of hyper-vulnerability that may lead to violent outbursts.
Tips for Breaking the Cycle of Violence
When you don’t address the root causes of domestic violence, the cycle is likely to repeat itself. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some practical tips to disrupt the pattern so you can avoid repeat instances of hurting those you love and subsequent arrests:
- Identify and address the root causes. The best way to break the cycle is at the root of the problem. Seeking professional help can go a long way toward uncovering your root causes, whether it’s addiction, childhood trauma, mental illness, or a combination of these.
- Avoid triggering situations. Learn how to walk away from disagreements with your partner before they escalate out of control. If you’re battling an addiction, stay clean and sober, and have an accountability buddy to help you. Take practical steps to safeguard yourself from moments of weakness.
- Learn more constructive responses. Domestic violence results from impulsively bad choices that become habits. Once you learn the causes, you can re-train yourself to react differently to triggers and form better habits.
Regardless of the root causes, if you’re facing domestic violence charges, you need compassionate legal representation to help you navigate what comes next. The attorneys at Razumich & Associates can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation.