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Impact of Family Violence

  • Mental health disorders
  • Major public health concern, contributing to high levels of illness and death
  • Emotional numbness
  • Self-guilt and self Harm
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety, mood disorder, substance use disorder
  • Long-term unemployment

Types of Family Violence

  • Forced marriage
  • Honour Based Violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Reproductive abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Disownment

Forced Marriage

We define forced marriage as a marriage without the free and/or full consent of one or both persons involved in the marriage; or a marriage agreed based on pressured and/or any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, physiological, social, financial or any other means), confinement, fraud, kidnapping, danger to life, deceit, manipulation, taking advantage of one’s incapability or a marriage used to control a person’s sexuality. It also includes a marriage in which one or both persons are forced to remain in against their will (Love and Care for People, 2014).

In Ireland, there are children, girls, young people, and women who are affected by forced marriage; however, very little is known about it. There is currently no legislation to protect victims and/or survivors of forced marriage. As such, we approach the issue of forced marriage as a form of violence against women and girls, and we seek to address it along with other forms of cruelty to women and girls who are victims of domestic abuse.

We are currently advocating for legislation in Ireland to protect those at risk and we are seeking for adequate service provision for victims and survivors. We organized the very 1st seminar about Forced Marriage in Ireland in other to raise awareness about the issue and continue to do so.

Honour Based Violence

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS, 2010) in the UK, Honour Based Violence (HBV) is a term used to describe a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the honour of a family or community. It is often used to justify controlling behaviours/activities within families, communities, or other social groups to protect their cultural beliefs and practices. HBV is also often used when practitioners consider that a relation has shamed their family and/or community by breaking the honour code. HBV is a human rights violation. It may occur for reasons such as a woman seeking a divorce, refusing an arranged marriage, loss of virginity, reporting domestic violence, having a boyfriend or getting pregnant outside of marriage.

HBV exists mainly in male-dominated communities. This is not to say men are exempt, but it is mostly a crime against women and children. HBV is practised in communities in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, South and Eastern European countries, and the traveling community. Effects of HBV can be devastating on women and children as they may find themselves experiencing isolation, depression, self-harm, neglect, mental, physical, emotional, and physiological abuse and in some cases death, either by murder or suicide. More awareness is needed in the area of HBV in Ireland.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence can happen within a marriage or in a dating relationship, while it is breaking down, or after it has ended. If not addressed immediately, it can get worse over time and can lead to severe health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, among others health outcomes.

Intimate partner violence may come from one or both partners. In some cases, one partner may want power and complete control over their partner and will use different ways, including physical or psychological abuse, to obtain it.

Disownment

To disown someone is to reject them, cast them off and/or refuse to have anything to do with them. If parent disown a child, they are saying they do not want to have anything to do with that child. Inherently, they are saying that child is no longer theirs.

If a family disowns another member of that family, they are rejecting that person, and refusing to have anything to do with them. Disownment can happen due to conflict, argument, not abiding to rules among other causes.

Being disowned by a parent can be a traumatic experience for a child. You do not have to go through this experience on your own as support is available. Please contact us if you need support.

Reproductive Abuse

Reproductive abuse (also known as coerced reproduction) is an act of violence against a partner’s reproductive decision-making. It is a collection of behaviours intended to maintain control, power and domination within a relationship and over a partner into becoming pregnant or ending a pregnancy.

Reproductive abuse is considered a serious public health issue in some parts of the world like the USA. It mostly affects women and adolescent girls, and if they refuse to comply with their partner’s requests, the partner may become violent toward them, which is a common reaction. The most common forms of reproductive coercion include pregnancy coercion, sabotage of contraceptive methods and pregnancy pressure.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse, also called domestic violence, describes harmful or aggressive behaviour used by one partner or spouse on the other in a marriage or relationship. Domestic abuse can take any form, such as isolation, threats, put-downs, power and control.

Forms of Domestic Abuse

  • Emotional abuse/coercive control: frequently making someone feel bad or scared, blackmailing, stalking, manipulating or playing mind games.
  • Sexual abuse: forceful sexual relationships, inappropriate touching, groping someone or making them watch pornography without their will.
  • Physical abuse: punching, kicking, pushing, choking, hitting, and using objects to cause harm.
  • Financial abuse: controlling finances, not allowing someone work.
  • Digital/online abuse: using technology to further isolate, humiliate or control someone.
  • Forced marriage, reproductive abuse and honour-based violence

Why Victims Stay in an Abusive Relationship

Victims choose to stay in an abusive relationship for many reasons including but not limited to:

  • Financial dependence
  • Unsupportive friends and family
  • Belief the partner will change after they apologise
  • A victim’s lack of access to, or knowledge of, safety and support services
  • Fear of losing custody of a child/children
  • Not wanting to parent alone and belief that two parent households are better for a child’s development, despite the abusive environment
  • Religious, cultural or traditional beliefs and practices may not support divorce or separation
  • Intimidation and domination from the abuser
  • Fear of the abuser
  • Lack of general support such as access to accommodation, feeding, etc.

Listed Below are Some Red Flags and Warning Signs of an Abuser

  • Possessiveness
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Verbal abuse
  • Controlling behavior
  • Unpredictability
  • Forced sex
  • A bad temper
  • Blaming and stalking
  • Control of all finances
  • Interfere with birth control methods
  • Extreme anger
  • Cruelty to animals
  • False beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships
  • Embarrassing or humiliating their partner before their friends and other people Please note this list is not exhaustive