People deal with conflict in their lives everyday. The circumstances that create the conflicts can also be circumstances that hinder resolving the conflicts. For example, in the case of domestic abuse; it can be the source of conflict for the parties involved but the abuse can be the filter through which the actions of others people are interpreted. A person who is the victim in an abusive relationship will interpret the actions of others according to what they know. This is only one of the filters that communication in a conflict resolution situation can have to pass through, and is the subject of this paper.
What is domestic abuse and what forms is it present in? Why does domestic abuse affect women far more than men?
Many domestic abuse cases happen due to the lack of power and control the male feels over his partner as well as over the situation at hand. Men who commit domestic assaults feel that because they are males they are dominant in the relationship. They feel that they must have all the control and if they do not they make sure they do by using force or words to get the control and power they want. There are many forms of abuse. The four that are prominent are discussed below.
This form of abuse may be used only in one incident or it may occur repeatedly. Physical abuse includes using physical force in a way that injures someone or puts someone at risk of being injured. Such physical forces may include: beating, hitting, shaking, pushing, choking, biting, burning, kicking or assault with a weapon. These are all perfect examples of power imbalances. One person sits high degrading and cutting down the victim by performing the physical abuse, while the victim has all power taken away from them and is left defenceless.
Sexual abuse and exploitation includes all forms of sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual exploitation. These involve forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degradi