Violence In The Home And The Community

Violence in the Home and the Community

In recent months the internet and television has been bombarded with many incidents of violence ranging from kidnapping, murders, lootings, gender based violence and other destructions and this has affected many people’s lives. In this article, Sanam Naran addresses the topic of violence, giving us clear view of the subject, how we can identify it and therefore overcome it. 

What is violence?

Violence is something that is done to hurt another person, object or animal. It can be something you do or something you say which hurts their body or their feelings.

Types of Violence:

There are different types of violence that happens around us that affect our day to day lives. It’s important that you identify violence when it’s happening and take the necessary steps in preventing it from escalating. For more counselling on approaching a violent situation, please CLICK HERE and speak to one of our professional counsellors. Here’s a list of common violence.

Domestic ViolenceCommunity ViolenceSexual ViolenceSexual ViolenceGang Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence happens at home when family members fight, whether they are arguing or hitting. Domestic violence affects one’s mental health in a tremendous way and it’s so common not to be aware that you are psychologically affected when you are the victim. When one of more members of the family are arguing uncontrollably and even hitting each other, then it has escalated to domestic violence. if it happens that you are a victim of domestic violence or you are seeing symptoms of domestic violence, it’s important that you reach out to a professional for assistance.  

Community Violence

This type of violence happens when community members are fighting with each other. One of the most recent examples of community violence was the July 2021 unrest that took place in South Africa. There are many other incidents of community violence that we can list. Community violence increases fear and insecurity among the members of a community and most often affects the economy within that community. Most locally owned business close down because of violence in our communities. It’s very important that we invest more of our resources towards group therapies within our communities to best reduce the causes of community violence. 

Sexual Violence

Rape cases in South Africa are the high. A lot of women are not aware that they have been sexually violated in most instances and this has liberated sexual offenders at high rate. It’s important that you are able to identify sexual violence and the signs of a sexual offender, this will assist you in preventing it before escalating.

What is sexual violence? You have been sexually violated when you have been raped or physically abused in a sexual way. Sexual violence can be forcing someone to participate in any sexual activity that they have not consented to.

Gang Violence

Young people form gangs for many reasons, one the most common reasons is to feel important, safe or powerful. Gangs often become violent with one another and may fight over drugs or territory. The period of adolescence is filled with stress and uncertainty about self-identity, this has been one of the most common influences of gangsterism and gang violence.

It is common for teens to question society, their community values and beliefs, as well as experimenting in different roles, so it’s important that they have supportive family and friends. Teens spend a huge amount of time with peers, and usually want to feel accepted.

Peers’ opinions become very important in a teen’s life, and this is where peer pressure comes from. Peer pressure will always result in positive and negative outcomes. Gangs provide a sense of security, protection and belonging that a teenager might be lacking at home. Gangs are social groups that value exaggerated forms of masculinity, risk taking and autonomy. It’s very important that you get all the support you need from a professional when dealing with changes and developments at this stage of your or your teen’s life. 

How To Identify Abusive Violence

  • Physical Abuse– Involves threat of violence, forms of intimidation such as reckless driving, destruction of property, slapping, punching or kicking, strangling, burning, stabbing, locked in the house, threatened with a weapon or shot.
  • Sexual Abuse– raped incest, date rape or gang rape. Use of force to obtain sex. Forced into prostitution.
  • Emotional Abuse– Pressure, put down, ignored, made fun of, criticised, isolated, shouted or sworn at, death threats. Partners, who make empty promises, refuse to pay child support.
  • Financial Abuse– Taking or withholding money or being forced to account for every cent of the money or having child support withheld.

How To Protect Yourself From Violence

One of our natural reflexes when we are faced with danger is flight, and is usually the best option in a violent situation. When you have identified signs of violence in someone towards you, it is best to run away. Stay away from dangerous places. You almost can always tell when you are in an unsafe space, it’s always the best advise to stay away from such places or people. Stay away from strangers. Avoid letting your guard down when surrounded with strangers. Don’t provoke or argue with people who have been drinking. Keep dangerous objects away from violent people. Stay near someone you trust. Always surround yourself with people that you know and trust. Know community police number and Child Line

Why Do Men Abuse Women?

Men believe they can control women, reinforced by social customs. Most abusive men resort to violence as a way of solving problems and this has lead to a lot of the domestic violence cases. Other men us violence to vent frustration out on partners who may be physically smaller. Some feel powerless in their lives and want to enforce power on people who have less power. Beliefs that men should be aggressive and women should be submissive. Others are abusive consequentially, as a result of being abused in the past. Men with low self-esteem need to assert themselves on women.

Why Women Find It Difficult To Leave An Abusive Relationship

Fear of poverty as their partners provide for them. Another reason is fear of the abuser as they may threaten to kill them if they leave. Their ethnic, cultural beliefs don’t support divorce. They fear that the community will reject her. They believe their children deserve to have a real family and father and may feel as though they are taking that away from them. Sometimes they are just in love with abuser, such that they continuously forgive him. In this case you certainly NEED PROFESIONAL HELP.

Sometimes the victims are isolated from family and friends, the abuser sets it up this way so that they are not detected or suspected and the victim will have no one for support. They have little or no legal protection. They stay in the hope that things will eventually get better (cycle of violence syndrome). Some may have grown up in a home where there was violence so they believe loving and hurting each other go together.



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