Domestic violence: When friends and relatives become silent observers

According to statistics a staggering 50% of the population in the country is either subject to domestic violence themselves or know someone who is a victim of this burgeoning problem. The social evil along with alcoholism was visibly on the rise during 2010’s economic recession – a time when a lot of hard working citizens had to lose their jobs and homes. Consistent exposure to domestic violence can cause victims to develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, fear, and low self-esteem above all. Experts are of the view that friends and family can play a crucial in curbing the problem and helping the victim develop resistance towards such behavior. However, what would happen if the same individuals become silent observers and decide not to act on the grounds that “it is not their business to interfere in someone’s private life”. Help for victims of domestic violence can become limited in that particular scenario leaving them alone to resolve the matter.

There is no denying the fact that family and friends play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s personality and sculpting his outlook on life. Support from our loved ones can make all the difference in the world when help is needed the most. This is especially true when domestic violence is in question, however, research would indicate that support is not always present. According to experts a large number of relatives or friends of victims who were aware of the physical abuse their loved one had to endure at the hands of the perpetrator chose to stay silent on the matter and in the process become silent abusers themselves. The decision taken by the victim’s relatives to turn a deaf ear towards this sensitive social issue not only causes the physical and verbal abuse to get worse to the point where it becomes life threatening but also affects their relationship with the victim who, in most cases, is hoping from some form of support from his family and friends. Experiencing disinterest from their closely knit circle can cause severe trauma to the victim and develop feelings of loneliness, exhaustion and self-pity. Experts are of the view that such behavior from friends and relatives is comparable to the abuse itself which the victim is already enduring. Turning a blind eye to the matter and not intervening only makes the situation worse for the victim.

What friends/relatives need to do

Friends and relatives should consider it a social responsibility to know when and how to report domestic abuse, especially when the wellbeing of a loved one is at stake. In certain scenarios timely intervention by our family and friends can make all the difference between life and death – a safe and happy life and one filled with depression and anger. Furthermore, knowing which authorities to contact so that appropriate measures can be taken to effectively eliminate the problem is also crucial.

You May Also Like