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Amanda Martinez
Professor Olivas
English 2016
13 November 2016
Abuse Ends Here
To everyone around her, Barbara appears like any other loving mother and wife.
Underneath her clothing, a different story is told. As she removes her turtle neck and long khaki
pants, her bruises and cuts are exposed. She attempts to cover abrasions with scarfs, but fails at
hiding her black eyes. She does not come home to a kiss on the cheek by her husband, but a fist
to the face. Her young daughter, Alicia, hears her mothers screams and cries. Her father slams
her mother on the floor. She fears for her mothers life and safety. Like many abused women,
Barbara wants to leave but is unable to. She is helpless with nowhere to go. Her husband is her
only source of money and shelter, so she stays. Her husband apologizes time and time again, but
the abuse will continue. Not only is she in danger, but her daughters idea of healthy
relationships is altered, which puts her future at risk. Barbara is a glimpse into the lives of
domestically abused women. It is a serious, preventable public health concern. It is a vicious
cycle from the moment it begins that not only affects the victims, but anyone who witnesses the
abuse. Appropriate measures need to be made to protect possible victims and children. Therefore,
increased government involvement is necessary including prevention efforts and increased
support services. Prevention efforts would help decrease the problem among possible abusers
and victims before violence even takes place. Prevention efforts would include working with
schools to include curriculum that discusses healthy behaviors and relationships beginning at a

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young age through college. For those who remain exposed, increased funding will be put into
place to protect victims and treat abusers.
Domestic abuse is a major concern, especially when noting how common it is. One in
three women will be a victim of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (Krug
et al. 106). Every woman is at risk at being a potential victim. Women suffer from injuries such
as broken bones, concussions, and death in some cases. In 2007, there were 2,340 deaths related
to domestic violence (Bryfonski). Once abuse begins, it becomes a cycle unless it is broken.
Research has showed a relationship between children of domestic violence and becoming violent
in future relationships. The risk of being a victim or abuser increases if one has witnessed
domestic abuse in their household as a child (Doak 8). Barbara and her husband are prime
examples of the repetitive cycle of abuse. Barbara witnessed her mothers abuse during her
fathers drunken rages. Not having proper knowledge of healthy relationships, she became more
susceptible to becoming a victim of domestic violence herself. Barbaras husband was a victim
of child abuse. His mother was an alcoholic as well, and would throw pans at him after drinking
too much. Due to his abuse, he became more likely to become abusive in the future. The cycle of
abuse has a high chance of continuing with their daughter Alicia (Austin 4) . She has been
exposed her whole life to only violence and abuse. Preventative efforts are for children like
Alicia. It would give children the ability to learn personal safety and injury prevention. Children
who witness abuse are given specialized attention to further decrease the chance of an incident
(Jaffe, Wolfe 3).
Prevention measures are necessary in creating a generation that values respect in
relationships. Just like the world evolves, so should the outlook on relationships. Prevention
efforts are divided into two stages; one is primary and the other secondary. Primary prevention is

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aimed towards all. The main goal is to lower chances of violence among a population before it
begins. Skill sessions will promote healthy, non-violent relationships. Students will include
themselves in discussions on subjects such values and traits needed to sustain healthy
relationships (2). Relationships discussed will not be limited to intimate relationships, but to
friends and family as well. Opening up this discussion will provide students a safe place to feel
comfortable in discussing personal emotions on subjects like respect. Children and teens will
diminish attitudes that encourage domestic violence such as sexism. Gender equality will be
taught and stereotypes will not be tolerated. This is very important in decreasing cases of abuse.
Many theorists believe that domestic violence stems from gender based inequalities. Men who
have violated partners believed they were acting as a male role in the household. When women
did not live up to specific standards, violence was seen as a way of controlling them (Daok 4).
Primary prevention will target roots of domestic violence. In high school, primary prevention
will be aimed at ideas of personal responsibility and boundaries. There will be no blame on
victims. This type of atmosphere is more acceptable to teenagers than lectures. Presentations,
plays, and speeches will be given that promote nonviolence (Jaffe, Wolfe 4). Secondary
prevention is aimed at select individuals who have witnessed abuse. Individuals chosen for
secondary prevention have a history of domestic abuse, show risk factors or behaviors, or have
disclosed such information to teachers or counselors. Specialized efforts include meetings with
counselors, going to therapy, or attending peer groups (3). Individuals will be given specified
guidance to cope with the past and break the cycle of abuse.
Critics of preventative efforts in schools are against children learning tools against
domestic violence. Many feel that curriculum based on domestic violence abuse prevention will
expose their children to violence. They have a right to feel this way because it is a parents job to

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shield their child from potential harm. Some may argue that the discussion of relationships is a
personal family matter, but the world is changing. Each generation is growing, becoming more
enlightened than the last. Children need to be given the fundamentals to handle situations better
than their parents did during their time. How the curriculum is presented is imperative for this
prevention to work. Information will be given in a positive light that some may not even notice it
as domestic violence prevention, rather than children learning what healthy relationships are.
They will learn appropriate ways of showing love and affection. They will learn alternative
methods to release anger or frustration. The curriculum is essential into teaching children about
gender equality. Gender roles are popular in certain cultures. It is important children learn about
tolerance and respect towards these type of choices. No matter what, women and men are equal.
Regardless if someone is a stay at home mom or a business woman, both should be seen in a
light of the utmost respect. Themes of respect and equality are major themes for such a program
to work. The first documented effort of prevention curriculum was implemented by the
Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. It was very successful among students and parents.
Bulling decreased among students. Children had better communication skills among other
students and parents. Themes were surrounded by ideas such as hands are not for hitting and
students choice to refrain from violence (3). A majority of these ideas are taught in schools
already. School is a social learning experience for children. They should be able to fully learn
how to form adequate relationships and friendships in their lives. After learning of how common
domestic abuse is, it is important that children are shielded from potential harm in the future.
Children learning warning signs for domestic violence are better for their wellbeing than
growing older only to find themselves at the hands of an abuser or facing that they are the abuser.

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If prevention is not successful among individuals, support services will be provided. It is
important that the government plays a role in aiding and protecting these women because many
feel that they have nowhere to seek for help. Many are afraid to leave because there is a child
involved. Many are unemployed and have no support system. Women fear losing mutual friends
or losing their lives if they attempt to leave. Many have no property and lack access to cash
(Doak 11). Barbara fits this description and gives us reason as to why women feel they cannot
escape. She dropped out of high school to support her family. She relies on her husband for
money and shelter. This gives him power over her. When Barbara tried to leave, she grew guilty
knowing her daughter did not even have a place to use the restroom. She had nowhere to go. She
turned back putting her daughters well-being before her own (Austin 5). Outreach programs
should be accessible to women like Barbara. Governmental and nongovernment programs would
employ advocates who provide abused women with information and advice. Advocates would
assist in helping find a womans shelter. Advocates are able to work at police stations, and
follow-up in domestic abuse calls and cases (Krug et al. 107). These shelters assist many women
in counseling, job training, and services for legal matters. Some even are able to give referrals
for drug and alcohol programs. The government provides financial means to some facilities.
Others are a bit more unconventional and use safe houses. These community programs have
helped countless victims take back their lives. Community programs should continue to
collaborate with schools in an effort to raise awareness and prevent future domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence are able to share their story and use their voice to spread
awareness. Their story is able to touch many people who have witnessed abuse or have been
abused themselves. Outreach programs will be made known and available.

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Support systems should also be provided by court mandated treatment. If an abuser has
access to treatment, so should his family. Therapy and counseling should be available to entire
family by court access or health insurance. Court mandated treatment should be competed.
Abuser must fully participate in treatment enough to admit fault in actions and behavior. The
University of North London studies show that treatments work best if they continue for longer
periods rather than shorter, change mens attitudes enough for them to discuss behavior, sustain
participation in program, and work with criminal justice system (Krug et al. 106). These
programs discuss gender roles and teach skills, such as how to cope with stress and anger.
Abusers will have to accept responsibilities for their actions. Research has shown that 53-85%
of men who complete treatment programs remain physically nonviolent for up to two years. It is
imperative that each program is completed. One-half of all men who enroll in these programs fail
to complete them (106). Treatment should be ordered in every first offense with also giving
protection to the victim during this time. Treatment and therapy for the abuser is crucial in
ending abuse. This allows the abuser to recognize like an addiction, they have a problem that is
harming everyone else around them. Therapy for the victim gives them strength to move forward
and recover physically and emotionally. Many cope with the abuse using sex, drugs, and alcohol
as an escape (Bryfonski). It is crucial help is available for all victims so they may end being
repetitive victims.
Despite being preventable, one in three women will encounter some type of physical
abuse by an intimate partner in their life. A relative, friend, or classmate in our lives has likely
been affected first hand by domestic abuse. It is does not only affect the victim, but anyone who
witnesses the abuse. Domestic abuse can be stopped with involvement from the community,
courts, and government. Prevention efforts in schools would give knowledge not only to

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children, but to the parents as well. Children will be knowledgeable in what a healthy
relationship looks like. They will know the importance of respect in any relationship in their
lives. Potential victims will learn the power they have in the decisions of who they chose to be
with. Potential abusers will learn tools to help manage anger and frustration. Instead of using
fists, they will use words when level headed. Community programs will integrate with schools to
give a glimpse of abuse. With dedication to the wellbeing of future children, domestic abuse can
be stopped. Prevention is the first step on this journey.

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Works Cited
Austin, Audrey. Shattered and Beaten. Kindle Cloud Reader. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Understanding Intimate Partner Violence." Family
Violence, edited by Dedria Bryfonski, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Current Controversies.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Accessed 4 Nov. 2016. Originally published in
Doak, Melissa J. "Causes, Effects, and Prevention of Domestic Violence." Child Abuse and
Domestic Violence, 2011 ed., Gale, 2011. Information Plus Reference Series.

Viewpoints in Context. Accessed 2 Nov. 2016.

Krug, Etienne G., Linda L. Dahlberg, James A. Mercy, Anthony B. Zwi, and Rafael Lozano
Ascencio. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva: World Health
Organization, 2002. Print.
Wolfe, David A., and Peter G. Jaffe. "Educational Programs Aid in Preventing Domestic
Violence." How Can Domestic Violence Be Prevented?, edited by Lisa Yount,
Greenhaven Press, 2006. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context Accessed 2 Nov.
2016. Originally published as "Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault,"
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Jan. 2003