True love should not hurt. Unfortunately, for some Georgia residents, pain is intrinsically connected to love due to domestic violence. Some believe that public education has minimized the occurrence of abuse within the state, but this is not true.
Statistically, 1 out of 4 women will face the effects of domestic violence in their lives. It occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Though it most frequently affects women, men are also victims of domestic violence. A 2003 nationwide survey revealed that a little over 5 percent of pregnant women experience violence. Domestic violence happens in all socioeconomic levels and every culture.
One of the most difficult aspects of domestic violence is the effect that it has on children residing in the home. The American Bar Association conducted an investigation of children living in violent homes. There are between 3 and 10 million children that witness domestic violence in their home each year. Exposure to this type of violence leaves emotional and psychological problems that can last a lifetime.
All children are negatively affected regardless of the age. Infants often fail to thrive. Children express the stress of a violent home by bed wetting, violence towards other children and crying.
As children continue to live in this environment, depression, hopelessness and other types of emotional distress will often permeate the lives of teens. Over time, children who are exposed to abuse often become abusers. Children often identify with the aggressor, which can lead some to becoming abusers or choosing mates that abuse them.
There are legal options for the abused. The state of Georgia allows for protective orders against abusers when a pattern of abusive behavior can be established.
Source: Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Myths and Facts," Accessed Sept. 2015