Domestic Violence as Human Rights Violation
Disclaimer: the material presented in the article below should only be considered as a general overview regarding domestic violence as a human rights violation. Should you or anyone you know, find yourself in an abusive relationship, it's best that you speak to an attorney immediately. They can help you decide on the best legal actions to take.
Domestic violence is a violent act or behavior within your home and is usually an action or behavior coming from your intimate partner. Your partner may have used this kind of violence to control or manipulate you to do his/her bidding. You’re not the only person experiencing this; it’s a widespread problem around the world. Many people are currently suffering emotional, psychological, physical and even financial effects, which can destroy anyone. This is the reason why domestic violence is considered as a human rights violation. You and everyone else have the right to get protection from abuse, no matter where it comes from and how it’s done.
● Why is domestic violence a human rights violation?
Domestic violence is acknowledged as a human rights violation. This is because, according to international law, your right to life and your right to bodily integrity are the core fundamental rights that should be protected. Domestic violence violates those rights.
However, most people don’t recognize domestic violence as a human rights violation because of the view that international human rights law is not applicable to private harm. They see domestic violence as a private matter, and as a result of alcohol abuse, poor impulse control or mental illness.
Fortunately, recent understanding has reflected that domestic violence is a way to establish power and control through abusive means, and could indeed be seen as a violation of basic human rights.
● What are the forms of domestic violence?
You may be a victim of one of these:
❖ Physical abuse
You're physically abused when your partner hits, bites, slaps, shoves, batters, punches, burns, cuts, or pinches you. It's also abusing when your partner denies you medical treatment or forces you to take drugs or alcohol.
❖ Sexual abuse
Your partner is sexually abusing you when he/she forces you to have intimate relations without your consent. It’s also sexual abuse when he/she attacks your sensual body parts, physically hurts you by forcing you to have sex, sexually demeans you or tells sexual jokes about you.
❖ Emotional Abuse
You're emotionally abused when your partner invalidates your self-worth or self-esteem by criticizing, name-calling, injuring your relationship with your children and interfering with your abilities.
❖ Economic Abuse
Your partner is economically abusing you when he/she makes you financially reliant by controlling your financial resources, withholding your access to funds, or preventing you from working or going to school.
❖ Psychological Abuse
You're psychologically abused if your partner is instilling fear through intimidation, threatening to hurt people you care for, destroying your property, injuring your pet(s), isolating you from your loved ones, and prohibiting you from seeing other people.
● Why don’t victims report or file a complaint?
In most cases, you might be staying with your partner because you’ve been locked into the cycle of violence, and it’s difficult to get out. You may be in love with your partner and hoping that he/she would change. Or you fear your partner to the point of reverence, or maybe you’ve become dependent on your partner that you can no longer see life without him/her. Sadly, maybe one of the reasons that you’re not reporting or filing a complaint against your partner is because the police don’t believe or blame you.
● How to deal with domestic violence?
These are the things you should do when you’re being abused:
❖ Have an emergency bag
Pack light and place your bag in a place where your partner can’t find it.
❖ Make a safety plan
Develop a plan to contact authorities, and keep it where your partner can’t find it.
❖ Contact a domestic violence hotline
Domestic violence hotlines can help you make a report of domestic violence.
❖ Call the emergency services
Call authorities and tell them that you’re not safe and it’s urgent that you get help.
❖ Document the abuse
Take pictures or take down notes of your injuries and keep copies of them.
❖ Take a copy of the report
Save a copy of the incident report as well as the case number.
❖ Look for a safe shelter
Find a place that you can go to when you move away from your abuser.
❖ Go to a doctor
If you’ve been injured, seek medical attention immediately. This will also give you an additional form of documentation of the abuse.
❖ Seek protection
Ask for help from the court through a restraining order to help you protect your partner.
Domestic violence is not a laughing matter, and nobody should ever go through with it. It’s everyone’s rights to be protected from harm, even if it comes from within their homes. Your partner should love, honor and protect you, not the other way around. If you're domestically violated, don’t let it continue, and get help. There are a lot of people willing to help you; you’re not alone.
Rachel Green hopes to impart a decades' worth of her experiences as a law writer in the form of knowledge through her work where she writes on law topics the common reader may find useful. Rachel brings sunshine to the room with her witty banter and jokes. Whenever she has the time, Rachel also loves walking Bruce, the family dog.