Alcohol and domestic violence
A historical perspective on how alcohol and family violence have been impacted by legislative changes
There is a connection between alcohol abuse and domestic violence. In many cases, domestic violence is accompanied by excessive alcohol consumption for long periods of time. Drinking is not the cause of domestic violence, but it can lead to the situation becoming volatile and hence make the abusive episodes more frequent and severe. This is due to the fact that alcohol abuse increases stress on the entire family and hence leads to a reduction in common sense when it comes to behaviors that are socially acceptable. When one is under the influence of alcohol, they have increased violent feelings and hence end up acting violently.
There have been numerous legislative changes that have been going on throughout history. Legislatures have been passing statutes that authorize criminal justice officials to handle domestic violence offenders in a more aggressive way. The domestic violence laws are meant to reduce subsequent violence after it has occurred or prevent a new case of violence from occurring. For instance, changes in legislation have led to domestic violence cases to be changed from being misdemeanors to felonies (Bryfonski, 2013). There have also been numerous legislation changes on alcohol abuse such as increasing taxes on alcohol beverages. This is intended to limit people from purchasing alcohol due to the increased prices. There is also change in legislation when it comes to decreasing the legal blood alcohol content level when driving. This prevents people from excessive consumption of alcohol and hence they do not get to a level where they become violent.
There are recent new punch laws that have been put in place. These laws are against domestic violence that is fueled by alcohol consumption that applies both in the streets and in homes. The new law stipulates that anyone who is under the influence of alcohol and found guilty on inflicting one-punch and someone looses their life, they will have to face a minimum sentence of eight years or a maximum of 25 years. On the other hand, those people who are found guilty of alcohol fueled assault or sexual assault will face a minimum mandatory sentence of two to five years.
The changes in legislation have made alcohol and domestic violence serious offenses that attract heavy punishments. These changes have led to a significant change in alcohol and domestic violence cases throughout history.
Impact of alcohol abuse on the addicted individual and those around them
Alcohol abuse can impact different aspects of the addicted individual’s life. If an individual consumes alcohol for a long period of time, they can end up developing serious health related complications. The effects of alcohol abuse on the health of an individual can be manifested in as chronic diseases, injuries and accidents. Intoxication is associated with injuries, accidents, domestic violence and deaths. Long term alcohol consumption can also cause brain damage to the addicted individual. The individual might experience memory loss, blackouts and anxiety. An individual can also end up developing permanent brain damage and mental health problems. There are diseases such as alcohol dependence or alcoholism that can be mainly linked with alcohol abuse. An addicted individual is also at risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat. A disease such as liver cirrhosis is mainly caused by alcohol abuse (Bryfonski, 2013).
Alcohol abuse also has some social effects on an individual in terms of how they interact with other people. Alcohol affects the part of an individual’s brain that controls their judgement, coordination, concentration, emotions and behavior. This makes addicted individuals at risk of being victims of crime such as mugging, domestic violence and rape. They are also at risk of being involved in criminal or antisocial behavior such as domestic violence, fights and theft. An individual under the influence of alcohol is also at risk of having an accident such as accidental fires, road accident, accidents at work or falling down. An addicted individual can also be at risk of losing their job due to poor performance or being repeatedly absent. Alcohol abuse impacts the financial stability of an individual since they end up spending so much money to sustain their drinking behavior.
Alcohol abuse does not affect the addicted individual only it also affects those who are around them. Alcohol abuse leads to damaging of relationships between family members and friends. This is because the addicted individual ends up changing their behavior which affects their family and friends. The individual might end up being violent and hence those who are around them will be affected by their violent behavior. Alcohol abuse puts so much stress on people who are around the addicted person. Family members and friends are obliged to cover for the individual’s drinking problem. They are forced to take the burden of lying on your behalf and working so as to be able to provide for the addict and themselves. They often pretend that nothing is wrong and hide whatever fears they have. However, their resentment and fears can end up taking a toll on them. The addicted person’s children are quite vulnerable and sensitive to this issue. They end up facing emotional trauma which potentially lasts for a long time (Galanter, 2002).
The impact of family violence on both the perpetrator of family violence and those exposed to family violence
Domestic violence affects the perpetrator in various ways. First, the perpetrator might end up answering charges in court for their violence. If they are found guilty, they might face sentences in prison hence loose a lot of time of their life behind bars. Domestic violence can also lead to broken homes since the victims want to stay away from the perpetrator. The perpetrator ends up being lonely since his or her family no longer wants to be associated with them. The perpetrator of domestic violence can also be feared by his or her children. This is not good for the perpetrator as the children no longer want to be associated with him or her (Cleaver, & Unell, 2009). It aggravates the feeling of loneliness on the perpetrator.
There are also various effects of domestic violence to those who are exposed to it. Families or individuals who are exposed to domestic violence go through physical and emotional trauma. They often go through physical, spiritual or mental shifts that might end up becoming worse unless they are addressed. The emotional and psychological abuse that inflicted by the perpetrators of domestic violence is quite costly as compared to the physical injury that is sustained in the short-run. Most of the physical injuries that are sustained in domestic violence end up causing medical difficulties as the victims grow older. Some of the diseases that are affected by domestic violence include hypertension, arthritis and heart diseases. People exposed to domestic violence might end up loosing their jobs as a result of being absent because of being ill as a result of domestic violence. They can also be absent due to court appearances and hence jeopardize their means of livelihood. Those exposed to domestic violence might also be forced to move in order to avoid continued violence. This is quite costly and can also affect the continuity of employment. People exposed to domestic violence can also end up loosing their friends since the perpetrator ends up isolating the victim from their family and friends. The victims of domestic violence often become embarrassed due to the abuse they go through and withdraw from the support of family and friends so as to avoid the embarrassment.
Women who go through domestic violence might be abandoned by the church when they decide to separate themselves from the perpetrators. This is because some religions are against divorce or separation regardless of the extent of abuse. Victims of domestic violence end up forgoing their financial security through divorce so as to avoid further abuse. Victims of domestic violence are at a high risk of alcohol and other drug abuse as a way of dealing with what they are going through (Galanter, 2002).
It is unfortunate that whenever a child witnesses their mother being abused they end up being affected. Children are very close to their parents and whatever hurts them hurts the children too. When a child sees their mother being abused, they feel guilty because they feel like they could not protect them or they might be the reason for the strife. Children might also end up being neglected or abused in the process as the mother tries to deal with the trauma they are going through. A child gets hurt when they witness their parent being yelled at, pushed or being beaten. They feel stressed, confused, and ashamed. In many cases, they blame themselves for being the cause of the problem (Gerdes, 2012). They end up growing with the knowledge that it is okay to hurt people or to be hurt by others. Children who witness domestic violence develop emotional problems, become withdrawn or always cry excessively. They end up having a difficulty in making friends or develop a fear for adults. These children might end up being depressed and excessively absent from school. They solve problems violently either in school or at home. They are also at a risk of being suicidal, running away from home and committing criminal acts (Cleaver, & Unell, 2009).
Intervention methods, which could be applied to this family in crises
There are various intervention strategies that can be applied in domestic violence situations. This includes availability of a 24 hour response team available to respond to any case of domestic violence (Gerdes, 2012).The response centers normally respond to domestic violence immediately upon request by providing law enforcement and medical practitioners. It also advocates for provision of crisis intervention, an immediate assessment of the situation and safety planning for the victims. The other intervention strategy is emergency shelters. The victim sand their children gave access to shelters where they can run to as they flee from domestic violence. This offers emergency assistance, housing, advocacy and counselling for the victims. Another intervention strategy is support groups. Victims of domestic violence have access to confidential support groups where they freely share their experiences. This helps the victims in their path to recovery.
How the family rituals may affect the family member in crises
Family rituals are an important tool in preserving the family paradigm and also convey its identity. Family rituals can affect family members in crisis in various ways such as facilitating the transmission of beliefs and values. They might be of great importance in transmitting the beliefs and values of a particular family. This helps in bringing the family back together during the crisis and dealing with the situation at hand through fostering the family values. Family rituals also provide support and containment where there are strong emotions particularly in domestic violence situations. They help in bringing the family together after domestic violence incidence hence help in creation of safety and security in the family.
Bryfonski, D. (2013). Family violence. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Cleaver, H., & Unell, I. (2009). Children’s needs : Parenting capacity: The impact of parental mental illness, problem alcohol and drug use, and domestic violence on children’s development. London: The Stationery Office.
Galanter, M. (2002). Alcohol and violence epidemiology, neurobiology, psychology, family issues. New York: Kluwer Academic Pub.
Gerdes, L. (2012). Domestic violence. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.