Paper Example on Crisis and Trauma Counseling on Domestic Violence

Paper Type:  Term paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1754 Words
Date:  2022-10-13


Surveys conducted over the years have indicated that domestic violence is a common occurrence in many people's daily life. Specifically, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is particularly associated with mental health and a range or trauma-related health effects. From the studies conducted, victimization by intimate partners makes many people more prone to depression, substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and sociality. Surprisingly, most of the people who experience IPV indicate that victimization by their adult romantic partners is their first experience of victimization in their life, making the traumatic aspect of the violence even more severe. However, most survivors experience a wide range of traumatic experiences in their life such as sexual assault or child abuse. These experiences make them more vulnerable to trauma related disorders. Generally, domestic violence contributes significantly to occurrence of trauma related disorders to many adults and children.

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Women and children are more susceptible to IPV as compared to males. A bout 20-64 % of violence experienced by women is from their romantic partners. Also, studies have also indicated that more than 50% of women experiencing these forma of violence are living with children below the age of twelve years (Walters, Jenkins, & Merrick, 2012). Mental health disorders related to domestic violence include PTSD, Low-self esteem, psychological distress, and depression. Domestic violence in this case may take many forms such as physical abuse, intimidation, and economic deprivation, threats of violence, emotional abuse, or rape ("October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month," 2018). Generally, any incidence where one of the partner yields the use of force or power over the other falls under this umbrella. The United States Office on Violence against Women (O.V.W.) views domestic violence as a pattern characterized by the use of abusive behavior by one partner in a relationship in a bid to control the other partner ("Recognising domestic violence in clinical practice using the diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and low self-esteem," 1). From the studies, at least one woman is abused in every nine seconds in the country and further, at least three women are killed by their partners daily.

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that domestic violence victims suffer long-term trauma and crisis. Current analysis of intimate partner violence often underreports matrimonial, social and familial costs related to domestic violence and its underlying effects of long-term trauma and crisis (Whitaker, Haileyesus, Swahn, & Saltzman, 2007). Australian Government statistics show that DV may end in homicide. According to the National Homicide Monitoring Program and the Australian Institute of Criminology, research shows that of 260 homicides committed in 2007-08, unsurprisingly the vast majority 52 % were classified domestic homicides involving one or more victims knew each other, were in a family relationship or domestic relationship with the offender. Of the 53% mentioned 31% per cent were intimate partner homicides (Coumarelos & Allen, 1998). From the studies, there are higher rates of depression and PTSD among victims of domestic violence. Studies conducted indicates that at least 80% of women reported to have experience cases such as rape, physical violence, or stalking by their intimate partners. The results of these forms of abuse made more them vulnerable to PTSD. Also, women who experience IPV were three times more likely to acquire major depressive disorder. Additionally, they were more susceptible to acquiring post-partum depression (Mouzos & Makkai, 2004). These disorders are more prevalent based on factors such as severity of the violence, duration of abuse and the chronic of the abuse.

There is evidence to suggest that DV can cause psychological and physical health issues. The Department of Health Victoria has stated that domestic violence is the primary factor that contributes to death, disability and illness in females 15 to 44. According to the Department of Victorian Health, The health costs of violence: measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence, (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2004). The Australian Longitudinal Study on female health issues found that women who are victims of Domestic Violence rate their overall health as poorer and use health service at a much higher interval rate than the general population. These facts infer ongoing trauma faced by domestic violence victims often continue even after the journey of intimate partner violence has long receded (Mouzos & Makkai, 2004). Moreover, females who have been victims of gender-based violence experienced more mental-health related dysfunction, more physical problems along with more attempts at suicide than the statistical norm (Rees, et al, 2011), indicating a possible lifetime prevalence of gender-based violence in women and relationship problems with a mental disorder and psychosocial function (Rees. et al, 2011).

The typical response to trauma is embodied by an acute stress reaction. This reaction is a short-lived condition after a traumatic experience (Dulmus & Hilarski, 2003). The symptoms of the reaction are evident within minutes and can disappear later within hours, days or even weeks. The situation induces strong emotional responses within the victim (Bride & MacMaster, 2005). This condition is characterized by some symptoms. First, the state is characterized by the individual avoidance of the remembrance of an aversive event. Secondly, the reaction could be evidence in the form of generalized hypervigilance: a condition that is characterized by an exaggerated response on detection of a particular situation - for example, avoidance of boarding a plane after a traumatic experience of a plane crash (Mouzos & Makkai, 2004). The condition is also characterized by dissociative symptoms. However, the condition develops into PSTD if the condition exceeds one month.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that results after a period of acute stress reaction. It does not develop immediately one has experienced the traumatic event. For one to be diagnosed with PTSD, all of the following symptoms must be evident for at least one month. First, one should experience an avoidance symptom. Secondly, one should have at least one re-experiencing symptom, at least two reactivity and arousal symptoms and at least two mood and cognitive symptoms (Bride & MacMaster, 2005). Generally, the condition is categorized into three types of symptoms.

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event through intrusive recollections of the flashbacks, events, and nightmares.
  • Avoidance of people places activities and emotional numbness.
  • Increased arousal symptoms such as the inability to sleep and concentrate.

Re-experiencing symptoms include bad dreams, frightening thoughts, and flashbacks. Flashbacks are characterized by reliving of the trauma several time which may be evident in physical symptoms such as racing heart or/and sweating. These symptoms disrupt a person's everyday routine. They can begin from a person's feeling and thoughts, objects, words and situations that act as a reminder to the traumatic experience.

Avoidance symptoms are evident as one tries to stay away from events, places, and objects that bring the memory of the traumatic experience. For example, if one witnesses a fatal accident in a construction site where probably many people lose their lives and others seriously injured, he/she may avoid going near any construction site. Avoidance symptom can also be evident through avoidance of feelings and thoughts that are related to the event (Bride & MacMaster, 2005). These symptoms change a person personal routine such as avoidance of driving, visiting some places, watching some television programs and even staying away from some people who probably were directly related to the event.

Arousal and reactivity symptoms include difficulties in sleeping, aggressiveness, tension and being easily startled (English, 2006). These symptoms are constant and may make the victim anxious and angry. This symptom also disrupts the daily routine of an individual as one will develop difficulties in sleeping, concentrating or even eating (Dulmus & Hilarski, 2003). On the other hand, mood and cognitive symptoms include poor memory of the event, negative self-image, and the negative thoughts about the world, distorted feelings like blame and guilt, and lack of interest in activities that are enjoyable.

Furthermore, there are a wide range of effects of domestic violence especially to women. The responses to these forms of violence include deliberate self-harm, suicidality, eating disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, substance use and abuse, and poor sleep.Women exposed to violence are three times more likely to harm themselves deliberately. Increased suicidal ideation is also associated with IPV violence. According to a study by the World Health Organization indicates that those women who women who reported violence from their partners at least once in their lifetime are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts. Also, victims of domestic disorder are found to be more likely to develop both sleeping and sleeping disorders. Finally, for both male and female survivors of domestic violence are more likely to develop binge drinking, substance abuse, and use of tobacco.

One of the primary tools for assessing domestic violence is the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT), which is commonly used in the mental health by government agencies and private agencies like as well as Bureau of police forces as well. The primary use is for intimate partner violence inter alia (Lewis & Roberts, 2001). The aim of DVSAT is to gain knowledge on the level of violence, the frequency of violence, any current or past AVO's/Police involvement, any current or previous assaults: partners or ex-partners, relationship history, including any previous separations, the meaning and context of the violence, worse case (or most recent incidents) in order to get a sequential nature of the violence.

Another important domestic violence assessment tool is called The DASH Risk Checklist which was created by Richards. Followed by a more specific domestic violence tool of the same genre called The Victim Dash of 2010 a more detailed checklist for victims of domestic abuse, also encompassing stalking and honour-based violence due to violence perpetrated towards women in the Muslim community in the UK. The Victim DASH (2010) tackles the difficulty of meagre risk identification, assessment and management, meagre data sharing, failure to manage the intelligence, the failure to link serial offending and public protection (Lewis & Roberts, 2001). The line of questioning in Victim Dash 2010 is intrusive and thorough and aims to give a definitive health risk assessment which identifies the standard, medium or high-risk profiles using the RARA model which means: Remove the risk, Avoid the risk, Reduce the risk, and Accept the risk. Again, focusing on psychological assessment tools here, would add to your paper ("Risk management," n.d.).

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT) could well be a useful tool in treating domestic violence victims and in particular children suffering trauma. TF-CBT model is summarised in using components of Psycho-education, Parenting skills, Relaxation skills, Affective modulation skills, Cognitive coping skills, Trauma narrative and cognitive processing of the traumatic events. The fusion parameters of TFCBT delineated here could well be a very versatile treatment model for pa...

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Paper Example on Crisis and Trauma Counseling on Domestic Violence. (2022, Oct 13). Retrieved from

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