Domestic violence and drug abuse are two main points of concern in societies that can affect anyone at any particular time regardless of gender, size or strength. The problem gets mostly denied or overlooked by the society, and this tends to impact negatively on the victims due to lack of adequate mechanisms to address their plight. Domestic violence can be broadly categorized into psychological or physical, emotional abuse often minimize, but it tends to leave deep and lasting scars (Pugh, 2004, p32).Domestic abuse can also be referred to as spousal abuse, which occurs when one person in a relationship or to a larger extent marriage tends to dominate and control the other partner. Many of times domestic abuse tends to include physical violence, hence termed as domestic violence. As it can be observed in most societies, domestic violence does not discriminate, it happens among both the same-sex and mostly the heterosexual relationships. It affects concerned individuals irrespective of their ages, sex, race, economic backgrounds or academic levels. Women and girls are the biggest victims of domestic violence in most cases, instead of feeling the importance of being at home, they face a regime of terror and violence, caused by those who could love and care for them and somebody whom they trust, and they get subjected to both the physical and psychological torture. They are unable to think freely and make their own decisions, voice their own opinions or determine their own destinies. An article, presented by the UN in 1993, observed that violence against women was a clear indication of the traditionally unequal power relations between women and men, which led to the domination over and discrimination against women, which always led to the increase in male chauvinism (Saddler, 2005, p74).
From this traditional perspective, it can be augured that the place of the woman was merely in the kitchen, and she had to be subordinate to the men in all aspects, surrounding their daily lives, this made men be even more superior and take full control of their wives because they viewed them as part of their property, thus, devising various methods of punishing them. Violence against women continues to be an issue that requires fast corrective measures; it is present in almost every part of the world (Yaseen, 2012, p61). Most countries have tried to curb domestic violence, but through cultural practices and norms or misinterpretation of religious tents, when the violence takes place within the home as is always the case, the victim can decide to remain silent and not disclose it to the third party or even if she decides to report the existing laws may not guarantee severe punishment to the offender.
Causes of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence and abuse is a contemporary issue that has captured the attention of many prominent individuals, non-governmental organizations, various governments and the international community at large. A lot of initiative and resources get put into use in order to fight this menace, many forums get organized in order to sensitize the victims about their rights and the steps to undertake in case the domestic violence occurs; men, who are the key perpetrators, have also been urged to stop domestic violence (Pugh, 2004, 96).
The increased cases of the issue have led to social outcries that have led to the agenda, relating to gender equity, before all the above highlighted arguments brought on board; a good understanding of domestic violence has to be achieved. Domestic violence and abuse do not originate from a vacuum, under the assumption of the rationality of human beings, there must be factors that propel a partner, let us say a man to abuse the spouse either physically or emotionally (Saddler, 2005).
Some basic causes of domestic violence include cultural issues like acceptability of violence as a means of solving issues, cultural definition of the appropriate sex roles, and belief in the inherent superiority of males among others (Stevens, Tortu & Coyle, 1998, 113). The issue of the cultural definition of roles, based on gender, can lead to violence, where one partner may accuse the other of not committing to his or her responsibilities or a situation, where one partner feels that the other one is interfering with his/her roles.
The issue of men empowerment with culture so as to feel superior has always meant that women are totally answerable to men and that man dictates the flow of events in the homestead, this has always meant that women who can’t follow the commands of their men ends up in abuse. Customs of marriage, where men have to pay a certain amount of dowry in order to get married, gets viewed as a way of buying women just like any other commodity; men have used that opportunity to inflict pain on women since they argue that they posses their wives (Pugh, 2004).
Economic factors also propel domestic violence in the society, issues like women’s economic dependence on men, limited access to credit and cash, limited access to education and training among other issues. Women’s economic dependence on men has been a leading cause of the domestic violence because men are the key breadwinners, while women tend to be the homemakers and the housewives; men can domestically abuse them and get away with it after all women depends on them for their survival (Zees and Lewin, 1999).
Limited access to training, jobs both in the formal and the informal sectors drastically lowers the purchasing powers of women; this makes them morally reliant on men and that being the case it means that men can exercise absolute powers on women without resentment. Legal issues also tend to result into domestic violence; there are situations, where there is lesser legal status of women by the laws of the country. Once this is the case, men take this loophole to benefit them by perpetrating violence on the women, while knowing that the available laws are unable to prosecute them (Pugh, 2004).
There are instances, where the legal literacy among women is low or wanting; this gives room to the offenders to carry out their activities and walk away stress free. It can also be viewed under some circumstances that the legal definitions of rape and domestic violence tends to ignore the most visible and the most frequent forms of violence and abuse. In some states, the laws regarding divorce, child custody, maintenance and inheritance remain complicated; thus, denying women to seek divorce so that they may move out of the violence oriented marriages; when this is the case, then, violence tends to increase (Saddler, 2005).
The political organization and setting has, over the years, acted as a catalyst to domestic violence, where issues like under representation of women in power, politics and media are notorious, and this means that the plight of the women cannot be properly voiced out since the political arena dominated by men who are also the key perpetrators. Some political regimes or to a larger extent the legislative arm of the government may fail to enforce laws; that can help to sabotage the domestic violence due to the notion that family issues are private beyond the control of the government (Veysey and Clark, 2005).
Drug Abuse and Family Abuse among women
According to Greaves (2004, p42), there are many links between domestic violence and drug abuse, the only substantial issue is that people cannot casually justify which of the two proceeds from the other or which leads to the other. According to this study, it can be viewed that most families, which experiences domestic violence, tends to have problems as a result of the violence related activities. Many families disintegrated as a result of drug and violence related issues. Before, analyzing the link between domestic violence and drug addiction; first, the emphasis should be put on understanding drug addiction and analysis how it starts.
Drugs abuse can be defined in clear terms as the excess use of drugs, while drug addiction refers to a chronic, often a relapsing brain disease that causes drug use irrespective or without paying attention to the consequences to the individual involved. It gets viewed as a brain disease as drug abuse causes changes in the functioning of the disease; it is evident among individuals that the initial or first decision to take drugs is voluntary but over time the brain system gets altered to facilitate usage of the drug since the self-control of individuals gets eroded (Veysey & Clark, 2005, p71).
When these changes occur, it makes it hard for the addicted person to stop using the drugs, the society has responded to the plight of those who abuse the drugs by erecting some rehabilitation centers, where people get counseled and advised on how to quit drugs. In most of the societies men get known for being the main drugs and substance addicts, they tend to use the drugs beyond the required levels and end up being addicts. Under some circumstances, women have also been observed to be users of drugs, and to extreme extents, some have ended upon being a full time drug user who cannot do without drugs (Pugh, 1999).
Drug abuse remain a social problem to many organizations; prominent individuals like sportsmen and religious leaders, governments and the international community have used substantial amounts of resources and time to dedicate their efforts to the war against drug and substance abuse (Brady, Back & Greenfield, 2009, p87). Governments have put in place the legislations that monitor drug related activities and have also come up with the rehabilitation centers, which aim at helping the addicted members of the society to live drug free lives. Drug and substance abuse just like any other social problem cannot originate from the middle of nowhere must be caused by some other factors, which from the former addictive point of view, gets caused by some issues, which are beyond the control of the users. Many people take drugs so that they may be able to forget their problems or to assume that those problems do not exist in the first place.
Children born by drug addicted women do not have moral values in life. They tend to copy the behavior of their mother and result in drug taking. Children needs maternal attention and those women who uses drugs tend to forget their parental roles and spend their time searching for drugs. In this case the children a left alone at home to guide themselves on what to do. When they interact with other individuals they learn bad behavior. They do not have a person to tell them what is wrong and right. When they are left alone at home they watch videos like pornographic movies and other movies which need parental guidance. When they grow up they are unable to raise their own family, because they do not have a role model. When drugs are used as a defense mechanism against domestic violence can become an inheritance trend passed to many generations. When women engage in drugs they should not forget to take care of their children in order to prevent the trend from being passed from one generation to another. Families experiencing domestic violence need close attention to prevent the violence from being transferred from parents to children (Galanter, 1997).
Link between Domestic Violence and Drug Addiction
From the basic knowledge, people can confidently argue that there is a relationship between domestic violence and drug addiction, but the only missing link is how the two alternate that is which between the two precedes the other. Under domestic violence, a woman tends to suffer more than men; they suffer both the physical and psychological consequences. They get subjected to this kind of brutality by either their official marriage partners or their intimate spouses. Domestic violence affects women psychologically; they become depressed, and a feeling of betrayal and mistrust comes to their minds. Just like any other normal being, women try to forget their predicaments, some resolve into alcoholism and drug use so as to help them to try and forget the brutality they suffered in the hands of their beloved ones (Buddy, 2011, p21).
When some women are abused by their spouses they tend to end up in drugs. They loose meaning of life and decide to engage in drug. The consecutive use of drugs makes the women to get addicted with use of drugs. People tend to think some drugs like alcohol assist in forgetting what an individual has passed through. When a woman becomes addicted she results in bringing trouble in the family. Domestic violence is a two way game between men and women when drugs are used has defense mechanism. When a woman is addicted she can not care for the children neither play maternal roles, and this makes him to be treated harshly by the husband. Drug addiction is not a way to solve problem but creates more problems (Buddy, 2011).
Such measures like taking alcohol and use of drugs may have a lasting impression on women’s lives, once a woman starts taking alcohol and other related drugs, her brain may undergo a permanent metamorphosis, where it might be extremely hard to do without drugs. When an individual resorts to take drugs in order to deal with a tough situation, such an individual has a weak mentality since he/she remains scared or afraid of facing the reality. Such kind of individual, therefore, said to be a parasite on drugs and his/her only source of comfort are drug related substances (Zees and Clark, 2005).
Women take drugs in order to make it appear like their problems do not exist anymore, this gets done to make them to forget their marital and other domestic violence related issues (Galanter, 1997, p163). They can make it a habit that whenever domestic violence occurs, they must indulge in the use of drugs in order to move on with their lives this is a rather tough stand to be taken because, in the long run, it shall affect the health conditions of the concerned women and deny the kids proper upbringing and parental guidance.
Drug abuse has resulted to domestic violence hence divorce. Many women who are drug addicts’ lives single life. They do not have need for man, since they spent their time taking, drugs and they can not take care of a family. Drug addiction leads to irresponsible behavior. Women should avoid drug taking since there many side effect of taking drugs in woman body. Drugs can result in to giving birth to abnormal babies and early death. Women should uphold their moral values and take care of their families. Children should be given special care, because they are gifts from God and one should respect what God has given to take care. Many women decide to take drugs because of the harsh treatment they get from their husbands or lovers. Men should respect their wives and give them attention when stressed.