Domestic Violence Articles: The Domino Effects Of Domestic Violence In Society

By Nadia Khan

Updated December 13, 2018

Reviewer Beverly Vanover, MS LPC NCC BC-TMH CCTP

With the many domestic violence articles written every day, it is enough to make one wonder if domestic violence has some grave effects on society. Domestic violence still exists today even if there are several laws in place to protect everyone's welfare. The effects of domestic violence will transcend to communities and society in the most surprising ways. Simply stated, domestic violence tears through the very fabric of communities by dismantling families; thus, causing a domino effect on a larger and wider scale.


What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence happens between intimate partners and in families. Regardless of the sexual orientation, marital status of couples, or socio-economic status of families, domestic violence is characterized by repetitive and patterned acts of dominance and coercion. The abuser(s) often uses different tactics to make their weaker counterparts submit to them as well as exercise power and control over them. These include intimidation, economic deprivation, isolation and all forms of abuse-physical, verbal, sexual, and psychological.

In most cases, domestic violence often victimizes the weaker individual(s) in the relationship or family- women, children, the disabled, and the elderly. It is a display of power over the weaker individual(s). In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, one out of three women all over the world experience domestic violence in the form of sexual and physical abuse. In worse cases, the morbidity of domestic violence is high, and it is estimated that more than 10,000 individuals die each year due to domestic violence.

Although modern laws protect the rights of women and individuals from domestic violence, still the number continues to rise. Domestic violence articles are filled with news about a wife battered beyond recognition and raped, yet often victims don't talk about it with anyone that could help. Unfortunately, it still exists as a taboo to date. It is considered a taboo that nobody would want to talk about it readily.

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Society

Domestic violence is never an isolated issue that only affects families. Children who witness violence committed against one of their parents are at a higher risk to develop behavioral problems in the future. There are approximately around 3.3 million children in the United States that were exposed to violence, and these children are likely to have higher levels of hostility, anger, anxiety, and mental health instability. So, imagine this huge number of children growing up and starting their own families. In fact, male children who have witnessed their mothers being abused by their fathers are at much more risk to grow up and do the same thing to their partners.

Some may have recovered from witnessing the abuse while others are bound to continue the cycle of abuse within their own families. Generation upon generation, domestic violence causes the family unit to crumble over time. But more than dismantling the basic unit of society, the family, the effects of domestic violence on communities and entire societies is very serious. In fact, the cost of domestic violence to society is phenomenal. Below are the effects of such violence on society.

Government Subsidy On Healthcare Is Affected


The government's budget for medical treatment is strained because of high cases of domestic violence. Total medical cost for treating injuries that are associated with domestic violence has reached more than $44 million. But more than injuries, victims of domestic violence are also likely to suffer from chronic conditions in the future such as heart disease, stress disorder, and many others thus increasing the healthcare cost for everyone.

An important related concern is that 60% of domestic violence cases involve substance abuse. When both occur within the home, it becomes even more difficult to stop the abuse and the cycle. Thus, in addition to domestic violence, it is also important to address issues regarding substance abuse and addiction.

Increase Number Of Homelessness

Increasing cases of homelessness can be attributed to domestic violence. In fact, 50% of homeless women and children in the United States decide to live on the streets to avoid their abusive homes. After all, living on the street is better than being caged inside a house by an abusive partner, parent or other family members. Homelessness is a serious problem in the United States, and it is taking a toll on the federal reserve. The government gives subsidy to victims of domestic violence and homelessness. Lifetime costs paid by society through people's taxes is estimated to be about $96 billion. To deal with the effects of domestic violence, the government provides help by offering free counseling and shelter to the victims and their children.

Economic Repercussions

One of the economic effects of domestic violence is the loss of long-term productivity for many companies. Victims of domestic violence fail to show up at work thus also putting a toll on work productivity. It is estimated the net loss regarding work productivity amounts to $1.14 billion annually. Moreover, employers may also be liable for their workers' safety especially if the abuser comes to the worksite to torment the victim, so security becomes an even more expensive issue.

The economic repercussion of domestic violence is the reason why so many companies have addressed domestic violence by creating policies and seeking connections with agencies to provide protection to their workers. While it is good to know that companies are doing their best to protect the welfare of their workers, they put a lot of efforts to provide a safe working environment, and this equates to using up resources as well.

Community Safety

The threat of domestic violence spills into the community. In most cases, people who suffer from domestic abuse are encouraged to make other people aware of their situation. Letting their parents, friends, neighbors, children's teachers, and even employers know helps to provide a good support system for them. However, this puts the very people who provide the support system indirect link to the "private" issue thus making them at risk to the potentially harmful situation. Once properly informed and if the police are notified in the first place, they can prepare and be pro-active in implementing safety parameters.

Readers of this information may be one of the lucky few who have never experienced domestic violence, but this does not mean that they should not care at all. It is important to realize that everyone is affected albeit indirectly. As a taxpayer, readers are affected every time a police officer answers a call from a woman asking for help because her husband beats her every day. Readers are affected every time someone is ushered into the emergency room to get treatment for assault and battery.

What Can You Do?


It is common for people to turn a blind eye if they see domestic violence. Unfortunately, we still have this belief that domestic violence is a private affair that must be sorted out by the people involved. If readers know someone or see someone who is a victim of domestic violence, don't ignore the situation. However, this does not have to mean that one should get physically involved.

Domestic violence is a complicated matter. Some people would tell their friends who are victims of such abuse to leave their abusers. But most victims cannot bring themselves to leave their attackers because they have developed emotional attachment to them. Moreover, threats and assaults often escalate after the victim of domestic violence leaves the abuser. Leaving may not solve the problem, and it can be the most dangerous thing that anyone can do in the situation. The victim is not only dealing with physical abuse in domestic violence but also psychological conditioning. It is therefore important to seek the right help from the right people.

The best thing that readers can do to help is to call 911. Let the authorities handle the situation safely as they are very adept at handling all sorts of domestic violence cases. Moreover, they also work with other agencies such as social workers and therapists to provide help to the victim so that they can slowly get back on their feet.

Aside from calling 911, there are other things that readers can do to help people who are victims of domestic violence. Supporting shelters and facilities by making small donations or volunteering can make a lot of difference to the lives of the victims as well as the volunteers and staff working in the facility. The shelter is the first and the most accessible place that victims can go to seek help. They are not only equipped with rooms and facilities to provide safe haven to victims, but they also come with therapists that can help the victims sort the emotional turmoil that they are experiencing.

On the whole, we cannot accept the effects of domestic violence and even if it can be depressing to read about domestic violence, it is crucial that we don't turn a blind eye to the victims of family violence. It is everyone's vested interest to work towards eliminating violence in all forms so that we can end the cycle of violence so that we can live a brighter future. Seeking help about domestic violence is the gateway to freedom. See BetterHelp today.

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