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Impact of Domestic Violence

The Nature & History of Domestic Violence

Most cultures of the world tolerate domestic culture due to male dominant positions in cultures, customs, and traditions. Some cultures have justified domestic violence as acceptable form of disciplining women. Such cultures believe that men have rights to instill discipline in their wives using violence.

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Most cases of domestic violence take place at homes.

Domestic violence can affect all members of the household, including children and elderly. However, it is a violence that is common among people who were or are in romantic or intimate relationships. The nature of the relationship may have little difference on the violence since it can go beyond divorce or separation

Domestic violence takes place mainly among married couples, ex-couples, who those who are still dating or cohabiting. Hence, no form of relationship cannot experience domestic violence.

Until 20th century, domestic violence was socially acceptable in most cultures of the world. This was due to male dominant in cultural issues, traditions, and customs.

Women, who are mainly the victim, suffered in silence. It was like living with the bully as captured through a protest poster organized by Women’s Aid Federation of England in 2002 (Harne and Radford, 2008).

Victims of domestic violence usually suffer in silence with fears of further punishment if they report. Moreover, some victims have accepted their situations as normal.

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All people are susceptible to domestic violence irrespective of their status in society or sexual identities. In other words, even gays and lesbians may experience domestic violence. It affects people of different ages, socioeconomic status, education levels, cultures, race, and sexual orientations.

Physical violence: may include “pushing, kicking, slapping, punching, and choking, and the use of objects to inflict pain upon the other partner”.

Sexual violence: may include forced sexual intercourse, degrading sexual acts and names, causing physical pain during sexual act, and forcing partners to engage in sex with other people.

Emotional violence: entails emotional and psychological abuse in the form of intimidation, insults, isolation, threats, and denial of financial support

The relational element between partners defines domestic violence because the violence can go beyond home boundaries into streets, bars, clubs, in cars, and roads among others i.e., just anywhere where a couple can fight.

Effects of Domestic Violence on Society

Today, many countries have made domestic violence a crime in their constitutions with aim of protecting the victims.

Several deaths have resulted from domestic violence. This shows how the problems of domestic violence is serious in society. For instance, CCDV noted that, “Domestic Violence resulted in 2,340 deaths in 2007, of these deaths, 70% were females and 30% were males” (CCADV, 2013).

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Moreover, there were also reported cases of physical abuse each year, in which “women experienced about 4.8 million intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes, and men were the victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner related physical assaults” (CCADV, 2013).

Effects of domestic violence on victims differ based on the intensity and type of violence on inflicted on the victim.

The obvious impacts include physical and emotional injuries to victims. Depression and anxiety have become common among people who endure domestic violence.

Children suffer most in most cases of domestic violence due to long-term impacts. They may become aggressive, victims, or victimizers in their later relationships.


Domestic violence affects both public and private lives of the victim because such violence exposures victims within private and public boundaries.

Domestic violence also has negative impacts on relationships between families, friends, colleagues, and communities.

Max and colleagues observed that there were huge estimates of the “economic cost of intimate partner violence perpetrated against women in the US, including expenditures for medical care and mental health services, and lost productivity from injury and premature death” (Max, Rice, Finkelstein, Bardwell and Leadbetter, 2004, p. 259). For instance, they found out that, “Intimate partner violence against women cost $5.8 billion dollars (95% confidence interval: $3.9 to $7.7 billion) in 1995, including $320 million ($136 to $503 million) for rapes, $4.2 billion ($2.4 to $6.1 billion) for physical assault, $342 million ($235 to $449 million) for stalking, and $893 million ($840 to $946 million) for murders” (Max et al., 2004, p. 259).

Today, the costs would be much higher. Hence, society can save financial resources when it eliminates domestic violence in society.

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Elements of Persuasion for the Campaign

Campaigns against domestic violence can rely on different forms of media to reach the audience.

Media will ensure that campaign against domestic violence reaches people globally. Media would ensure that the message travel far and fast. Moreover, media provide various platforms of communication, which include the Internet, face-to-face, radio, television, posters, word of mouth, newspapers, and magazines among others. These could be both verbal and non-verbal messages. For instance, in 2002, Women’s Aid Federation of England used a poster to capture all negative impacts domestic violence in their campaign (Harne and Radford, 2008). The poster had powerful effect on the audience because it used the word, ‘imagine’ to portray all negative impacts of domestic violence on the victims. Here is an excerpt:

We all know what a bully is…

  • Imagine… living with a bully all the time, but being too scared to leave.
  • Imagine… being afraid to go to sleep at night, being afraid to wake up in the morning.
  • Imagine… being denied food, warmth or sleep.
  • Imagine… being punched, slapped, hit, bitten, punched and kicked.
  • Imagine… being pushed, shoved, burnt, strangled, raped, beaten.
  • Imagine… having to watch everything, you do or say in case it upsets the person you live with – or else you’ll be punished.
  • Imagine… having to seek permission to go out, to see your friends or your family, or to give your children a treat (Harne and Radford, 2008, p. 2)


The intent of persuasion is to persuade self and other people. The aim of persuasion should be to reach many people who experience domestic violence. Hence, media can support intent to bring about the desired changes in victims and victimizers.

People want confident and credible leaders who can initiate change in them by using facts rather than propaganda. Persuasion requires confidence rather than humility. People who advocate against domestic violence should speak with authority and use statistics and facts about domestic violence to establish credibility in the campaign. Evoking voluntary changes in others require confidence, authority, and facts. This should lead to changes in behaviors, actions, opinions, and attitudes of victims, victimizers, and society in general.

Hence, the intent of persuasion should be clear to the audience.


CCADV. (2013). Impact of Domestic Violence. Web.

Gass, R. H. and Seiter, J. S. (1999). Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Harne, Lynne and Radford, Jill. (2008). Tackling Domestic Violence: Theories, Policies and Practice. United Kingdom: Open University Press.

Max, W., Rice, D. P., Finkelstein, E., Bardwell, R. A., and Leadbetter, S. (2004). The economic toll of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Violence and Victims, 19(3), 259–72.

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