Factors affecting domestic violence

15 Oct. 2022
Factors affecting domestic violence

The bibliographic review of investigations that have at times been carried out regarding domestic violence has highlighted specific indicators - factors which appear to be incriminated to some extent in the emergence or escalation of abusive behavior. The abuse of addictive substances is considered as a cause of economic and emotional problems in the family. In some families that are affected by substances’ dependency, violence is often a response, while addiction itself is used as an excuse for abuse, that is prohibited by social norms and values.
Alcohol, despite the opposite view of many scientists, is an important factor in the event of violence, accelerating the result and enlarging the destructive effect. Even one - two drinks can increase feelings of irritation and suspicion, as well as the loss of impulse control. The use of alcohol contributes, among other things, to inhibiting the defenses, with the result that, under drunken conditions, impertinent jealousy is favored.
If the destructive fights and hostility in a relationship are partly attributed to alcohol, drugs, or both, I think detoxification is necessary. Research showed that an increased percentage of partner violence (58%) took place during the night hours, when either the couple or the husband alone had gone out for fun. These rates increase on weekends and holidays, so alcohol seems to play a very important role in fighting and violence.
Alcohol and/or drugs abuse is perhaps a myth connected to the emergence of abusive behavior. Substance abuse is a key indicator of a man’s aggressive behavior towards his wife/partner. However, it has not been shown that the alcohol itself is the cause of the violent behavior. In most cases it is used as an excuse for violence, but in fact it is not a cause of its exercise.
Pathological gambling is today treated as a serious disorder that destroys not only the person who indulges in it, but also the people with whom it is closely related. Since 1989, the American Psychiatric Association has recognized pathological gambling as an impulsive control disorder. The comfort in this case is that gambling can be diagnosed and treated.
Everyone has basic emotional needs for love, acceptance, recognition and self-esteem. When these needs are not met, the individual experiences feelings of inadequacy, rejection, and inability to cope with the demands of life. Most report that they grew up with all these negative feelings and that when they played and won, they were able to “buy” friends, love and self-esteem. Profits give them this power to feel powerful and omnipotent.
Pathological gambling affects players, their families, their employers and society as a whole. Passion impoverishes them and as they are in the dependency phase, they spend little or no time with their families. They spend more than the family budget can afford, to the point of even reaching the point of selling off, sometimes, all their assets, even stealing in their own home and in general the passion affects every aspect of their lives negatively. In the phase of defeat and of course of financial losses, they often brag about past successes, they play alone, they spend more time thinking about gambling and borrow money in any possible way (legitimate or not). Fraud and embezzlement of business funds are common among these people who are capable (such incidents have been recorded) of forcing their partners and even their wives into prostitution. They begin to lie to their families and friends and become more contentious, anxious and lonely. Their family life becomes tragic and the fights and violence mainly burden their partner, who makes a desperate attempt to stop them from this destructive habit.
Regarding the time, many fights and incidents happen in the afternoon hours after work. The husband stressed by the problems, burdened with disappointments, failures and professional rejections, supposedly tries but most of the times fail to “leave the problems at work-office”. Instead of discussing his negative emotions, which he is not used to do, he remains “loaded” by them. Disappointment, feeling of failure, loss of control, etc., are the fuse in a bomb ready to explode with the first observation, the first family problem of any kind, big or small, and depending on his psychic powers, the fight ignites accompanied from all its negative results. If this lasts for a long period of time or the relations are already tense, the fights take a destructive form that is capable of any result. While the man may well share his problems with his partner by having a natural “ally”, he “leaves” them at the office and “carries” his anger. Fearing that he will lose his prestige in the eyes of his partner by mentioning his failures and disappointments and while the partner is always ready to stand up to him, he avoids discussion and keep on carrying the feelings of anger and violence.
We consider it appropriate to point out that the mention of the above factors is not used in a dogmatic way, in the sense that it does not indicate their appearance in every case of domestic violence. They could be rather considered indicative of the interaction between episodes of violence and the parameters that interfere with the latter, as they are often found in families in which abusive behavior occurs.

[1] Vaso Artinopoulou, Domestic Abuse of Women, Nomiki Vivliothiki,, Athens 2006
[2] Extensive research carried out by the Hellenic Center for Intercultural Psychiatry and Care, in collaboration with Loutraki Casino, March 2002
Vasilios Gatsas, Lieutenant General - Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology