Most associate violence with a physical act that inflicts pain to someone but in the case of domestic abuse, the violence does not end physically but also mentally as well. Domestic violence is not like any other crime, it does not happen because the person is in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can happen in the very place you called home or your “sanctuary”. It is violence from someone you know and someone who said they love you. The ordeals are mostly hidden from your close friends and families. On some occasions, the emotional and verbal abuse thrown at you can cause more damage compared to the physical ones.
Domestic violence in a sense is any form of violence in a domestic setting such as marriage or cohabitation. It can takes a number of forms which includes physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive and also sexual abuse. Domestic violence does not only occur to heterosexual couples but also homosexual couples as well. Statistically although women are shown to have a higher prevalence of being victims of domestic violence, men can also be victims of domestic violence as well. According to statistics in Malaysia, there are about 5421 reported cases of domestic violence and the prevalence age group for victims are women between the age of 26 to 35 years old.
Victims of domestic abuse often are stuck in a cycle of abuse by their abuser. The typical cycle of abuse begins with the abuser threatening to inflict violence, and then proceed to abusing their partner which is followed by apologizing and promising to change. The abuser may not be violent all the time, the mixture of both violent and “honeymoon” phases is what makes the abuse so confusing to the victims. During the honeymoon phase, the abuser might even say that they are going to seek help and change their behaviors, thus making the victims believe that the people abusing them are truly sorry and are going to change. This is a common tactic for the abuser to maintain their control and power.
Signs of Domestic Violence
- Physical Signs
- – Black eyes
- – Bruises on the arms
- – Busted lips
- – Red or purple marks on the neck
- – Sprained wrists
- Emotional Signs
- – Agitation, anxiety, or constant apprehension
- – Changes in sleeping pattern (sleeping too much or not enough)
- – Developing a drug or alcohol problem
- – Extremely apologetic or meek
- – Loss of interest in daily activities
- – Low self-esteem
Abuse or domestic violence can also change a person’s behavior. For example, someone who is cheerful and outgoing suddenly becomes distant and withdrawn. Therefore it is crucial that the signs of domestic violence are recognized in order to get the help that is needed.
Where to reach out for help?
- – Women’s Aid Organisation: Hotline; +603 7956 3488 (24 hours) or text at; +6018 988 8058 (24 hours).
- – Get an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) which is an order issued by the social welfare (JKM) officer instructing the perpetrator to stop committing acts of violence towards you. An EPO can be obtained at any time by calling Talian Nur (15999) which is available 24 hours a day.
Getting Help for Domestic Violence in Malaysia. (n.d.). Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://wao.org.my/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/
Saad, R. (2019, July 26). The Cycle of Abuse: Don’t Get Caught Up in the Honeymoon Phase. Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://www.rosesaad.com/the-cycle-of-abuse-dont-get-caught-up-in-the-honeymoon-phase
T, B. (2020, March 01). Do You Know the Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse? Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-someone-is-being-abused-66535