The relationship between domestic violence and communication is very clear and concise. Violence in the family and physical and verbal abuse leads to a breakdown in communication between spouses and also parents and their children. According to the American Medical Association, medical practitioners have often been encouraged to ask their patients concerning Intimate Partner Violence, also known as IPV (Lapidus). This is used as a precursor to gauge whether specific health issues could be a result of their general well-being. Since 1992, once this tactic was adopted it has shown significant results in that patients either do not want to talk about it, fear speaking out, become uncomfortable with the subject and also patient denial (Lapidus).
According to Dudley D. Cahn’s An Evolving Communication Perspective on Family Violence, since 1986 communication experts have been able to create a link between family violence and the lack of communication and how it has become an increasing worry in the USA mostly (Cahn). In 1986, the concerns on domestic violence appeared in communication journals. This was the first time that the matter became public and people began to discuss the issue at length.
This was through several communication scholars such as Infante who also believed that lack of argumentation skills and verbal aggression was part of the reason for violence in families (Infante, p62). Infante and his colleagues were able to publish several articles on this subject that were able to make this issue public knowledge (Cahn). As time went by in 1995, scholars were able to come up with qualitative journals that we’re able to show statistics on the growth of the issue of family violence (Lapidus). Most of these scholars were communication experts, but in recent times the issue of family violence is not only a communication issue it has become multidisciplinary
The fields of sociology and psychology have become increasingly focused on the subject of violence in families and even exploring it to a deeper level (Lapidus). This means that this violence perpetrated by the parents will also affect their adult life because they will become victims of their upbringing. This is why there is awareness that occurs to be able to prevent other forms of violence, such as bullying in schools and different environments. All these issues arise from how a child is brought up and what they experience as they grow up (Cahn). One may find that these children are even afraid to express themselves due to what they went through when they were young.
According to Infante and Wigley, verbal abuse or aggression could damage a person’s ability more than physical abuse (Cahn). This is because verbal abuse becomes more harmful, and it last longer than physical violence in people. This was as far back as 1986, and it is a fact that verbal abuse damages one’s ability to communicate because one does not have the confidence in them to speak on specific issues or express themselves well enough (Infante, p63). Other people end up internalizing these types of abuse, primarily if it originates from the parent. This is because at a certain age, a child’s mind is fragile, and it can barely handle complicated feelings such as what comes out of physical abuse.
In my observation, a child usually is a victim of their upbringing, and this is a very factual and accurate statement. In my view, there is a family of twelve, but they are all adults, and how they were brought up is indicative of how things have turned out to be in the present — the last born child who is a man physically and verbally abused the wife for several years. In the family of twelve, he had been pampered a lot, and this is because he was the last born, and therefore, he was loved by everyone. However, this child was not prepared as he should have for life because even as a young adult, he was still being treated as a child, and this affected his own family.
His father, who is a well-off farmer, did not respect his wife, and this resulted in him being hostile and mean to his wife. This is because his father did not guide him on how he is supposed to treat women. Therefore, the son adopted this as how women are typically prescribed. The lack of communication and domination of marriage by one-person shows that that marriage has failed. The union would have failed despite the two spouses being together. The spouses may still be together due to other factors such as family cohesion, lack of choice, finances, and other reasons.
This often leads to one of the spouses feeling depressed and feeling left out because they do not have a choice. This became the same issue with the last son because he was not well prepared to handle marriage in the best way possible. In this case, the wife did not want to follow the same path as the husband’s mother, and she eventually ran away to pursue a better life. The children have been left without a mother and a father who can barely be a parent. Since being moved by the wife, he has become more aggressive and has even begun drinking daily.
The occurrence of being impacted by this scenario in the children is also high, and it affects the daughter and the son differently. The son will view that the physical and verbal abuse that the mother was subjected to is something that generally happens to women. On the other hand, the daughter when seeing what has happened to her mother she may think that, that is how women are supposed to be treated and they may end up choosing spouses that are violent because they are unable to know what they are supposed to expect in a relationship.
Communication is vital for any marriage and any family because this will enable the family to be functional and much more cohesive. It is essential also to be aware of the fact that many families rarely go to marriage counselors. This ends up in either the man or the woman dominating the marriage, and this becomes a problem. The wedding could be governed by the person who makes the most money at their job, which could either be the male or the female (Lapidus). It is proper that people should be able to look at marriage as an equal entity. Once this is achieved, the family massively benefits from this because of the relationship that comes out of the same union.
Domestic violence continues to be an issue in American society, and there is still a long way to go before it can be removed entirely. Once this has been done, many families could be protected and be shielded from such incidents. However, arguments are standard in marriages, but this is also something that could be handled confidently by ensuring that these arguments are healthy and the parents can explain to their children how to go about them. This would ensure that children can understand these situations, and they can comprehend these situations once they experience these arguments.
Domestic violence affects family communication in a significant way as highlighted and there are several ways in which these struggles could be averted, but it all starts at home and how one can treat their children and their spouses. Not everyone is a victim of their upbringing because one can be able to remove themselves from that environment, and this will enable them to become better people in the future. Many people can change once they surround themselves with positive people and people who can eventually help them to grow holistically. The issue of communication in the family is also a way in which one can enable their children to grow and have better experiences in life which will inevitably lead them to make better decisions and to be able to guide their children once they get to a certain age. Communication challenges in the family are as a result of many issues, and as one grows, the more they can experiences different things in their lives, which could make them better or worse.
Cahn, D & Lloyd, S. Family violence from a communication perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 1996.
Infante D.A & Wigley C.J III. Verbal aggressiveness: An interpersonal model and measure, Communication Monographs, 53:1, 1986, 61-69.
Lapidus G, Cooke M, and Gelven E. et al. A statewide survey of domestic violence screening behaviors among pediatricians and family physicians. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002
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