Domestic violence: how it occurs and how to detect it

Domestic violence is a serious problem which is happening in all social groups, professions, cultures and religions. The male sex is even popularly conceived as the constituent of the only aggressors, but the reality is that in many cases, women become the aggressors, so it turns out that this also happens in both sexes.

It is a public health problem which is unfortunately on the increase. In Mexico alone, there has been a 9.2% increase in investigative cases for this crime over the past year, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

To make matters worse, according to the results of the latest national survey on the dynamics of relations in households (ENDIREH), prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), reports that 10,800,000 married or married men to a woman 15 years of age or older have experienced some form of violence against their partner throughout their relationship, particularly 40% emotionally, 25.3% financially, 11.6% physically and 5.3% sexually .

    Types of violence

    The figures above illustrate the different categories in which a person can be injured, depending on the content of the assault. More information is provided below.

    physical violence

    This category includes hits, scratches, pulls and pushes; it is easier to identify why it usually leaves marks on the body such as bruises or visible sores, Which in many cases results in the death of the victim.

    Psychological or emotional violence

    The person attacks with hurtful words such as slurs or nicknames, with the intention of disparaging the couple. Such actions produce in the victim feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, fear, shame, sadness, as well as low self-esteem.

    sexual violence

    Sexually-oriented behaviors are forced, Without the victim’s consent, just for the simple fact of being their partner. This can include physical and psychological abuse.

    economic violence

    It is a question of stealing the couple’s money, of embezzling their bank account; and even when only the abuser is the one who works, he threatens to deny his wife the money.

    The keys to domestic violence

    Men who are typically child molesters have witnessed domestic violence against their mothers. they grew up in a violent environment where established roles existed for each gender and where women were disparaged; there is therefore a learned behavior towards the couple. This means that in their future relationships, the person ends up repeating what he witnessed in his childhood, because he unconsciously chooses as a partner a person with a submissive profile, then playing a dominant role.

    In addition to low self-esteem, the abuser has a low tolerance for frustration. In other words, he is easily frustrated, and it is in these cases that he has outbursts of aggression and blames the victim for provoking it, so what he wants most is to have the control of both the relationship and his spouse.

    If we look carefully at the types of violence mentioned above, we can identify that the common denominator is the aggressor’s desire for power towards the victim; that’s why it denigrates her physically, psychologically and sexually. In the case of the economy, this is another kind of power, because money is a very important resource; if the victim is financially independent, she has some degree of power, so in economic violence the abuser also seeks to take such a thing away from her. That is why, behind human domestic violence, we find sexist ideas.

    On another side, women victims of domestic violence they often experienced something similar in their childhood; they grew up in an environment where violence was accepted and subordinated to the men of the household. Likewise, submission is also a posture that can be learned, probably from the belief that this role in the relationship is normal.

    Aside from low self-esteem, the victim you may be depressed and emotionally dependent on your partner, What makes not wanting to separate from him by showing to love him. So when the abuser is to blame for causing the violent outbursts, the victim accepts responsibility. Also in submission, in the same way in the mind of the victim are found sexist ideas.

    And when there are children …

    When there are children in the middle of the relationship, they can suffer from various behavioral and emotional issues, which will soon manifest as poor academic performance, being participants or victims of bullying at school, isolation, being prone to drug use, falling into depression, Resentment, low self-esteem or post-traumatic stress, among others.

    As they grow up and develop in an environment where violence is accepted, they are more likely to repeat patterns, either as abusers or as victims in their relationships, as happened with parents. . It should be noted that it is in the family that children learn to define themselves, to understand the world and to relate to it through what they observe and learn.

    Cycle of violence

    The interaction between the aggressor and the victim is usually a vicious cycle that is constantly returned. Below I present the three phases in which it is composed.

    Voltage build-up phase

    In this first phase insults, reproaches, taunts, scenes of jealousy are presented and tries to control the actions of the victim as well as the constant discomfort which is increasing. For example: criticizing the way you saw, prohibiting outings or certain activities.

    Explosion phase

    This part represents a higher level than the previous phase. At this point, the person has a violent start in which there are beatings, broken objects and threats.

    Repentance phase or honeymoon

    At this last level, the person is called sorry and apologizes (Not without first holding the victim responsible for raping her), but she promises to change. Suddenly the romance returns to the relationship and the abuser becomes a retailer for a while, until something reappears that he doesn’t like to start the first phase over and so on.

    When the victim is the man

    There are also situations where the woman is the aggressor and the man is the victim. Like the man in his role of aggressor, the woman seeks power and control over her partner.

    In such cases, the woman begins with psychological violence until over time it turns into: Hit, slap or stalk her husband.

    Although he is stronger than her, the husband does not apply violence because he considers it cowardice to use force on a woman, so he prefers to isolate himself feeling deep shame and by remaining silent so that no one finds out about their situation. Humiliating; probably if he decides to tell someone, he wouldn’t believe it or make fun of it, including the authorities if there is a complaint. This way, man suffers psychologically while trying to preserve appearances.

    What to do about domestic violence

    Below, I suggest a series of steps to follow to prevent and act in cases of domestic violence. Intended for men and women. Identify the signals:

    • Use hurtful and accusatory words against yourself.
    • It makes you look foolish in the presence of other people.
    • He insults you when he gets angry and blame you for doing it or getting angry.
    • Control everything you do, where you go, who you are with. Check your mobile. It forbids you to go out with your friends and / or your relatives, or he forbids you to speak to such a person.
    • He says he’s jealous because he loves you.
    • It pulls you away from a part of your body or clothing, or just pushes you.
    • He grabs you firmly and yells at you.
    • It presses or forces you to have sex.
    • He threatens to hit you or hit your children.

    If your partner does more than one of the actions mentioned above, you are already a victim of some kind of violence and soon your partner could be affected. Talk to someone you trust and make an emergency plan to protect yourself and your children if necessary. Try to have a place of refuge, for example, the home of someone you trust.

    In the event that you have already been plunged or plunged into mistreatment, carry out the emergency plan to protect yourself, leave your house and go to this place of refuge. Tell a lawyer about your situation, as it is necessary to take legal action against the abuser, who will be arrested and prosecuted.

    If you do not have a shelter, there are sponsorships from town halls, non-governmental organizations or religious institutions that help the victim and her children to be protected by covering their physical and emotional needs. Even in some of these places, they offer legal advice and psychological support to provide the necessary help.

    What to do if you are a close friend or relative of the victim

    Don’t judge or criticize their attitude or inability to deal with the problem. On the contrary, take the time to listen, understand and let it unfold. Let him know he’s not guilty of anything. It also offers your support in which you can help, for example to take care of your children, provide shelter or find a lawyer.

    Consider the safety of the person and their children. Even in situations where the attacked person does not perceive reality as it is and is unaware of being a victim of violence, it may be you who are asking for support and making a complaint to the authorities. Your collaboration can make the difference and avoid serious consequences.

    What to do if you are the abuser

    Finally, if you are the perpetrator, think about the consequences your behavior may have. To do the first step, Accept that you have a problem and seek professional help.


      The courtyard is the antechamber of marriage. If at this point a toxic relationship is already maintained in which one of the members of the couple tries to control and have power over the other demonstrating any of the types of violence mentioned above, there is a strong probability that in the future there will be cases of violence within the family.

      It is during courtship that risky attitudes must be identified.. Everyone should be careful how their partner treats them; find out what their values ​​are; in addition to being attentive to the way he treats his parents and others, especially those who provide him with a service in public places. Because the same way you treat them, this is how you are going to treat your spouse.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Acosta, F. (April 19, 2018). The ICU treats 100 cases of domestic violence per day. The Chronicle.
      • Alcocer, J. (August 14, 2018). Domestic violence reached 75% in 2018. Publimetro.
      • Melgosa, J. (2008). How to have a healthy mind. Madrid: Safeliz.
      • Ponce, K. (May 12, 2017). Concrete data on domestic violence in Mexico. Excelsior.
      • Health, OM (November 29, 2017). World Health Organization. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from World Health Organization:

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