Domestic violence is an act that affects both men and women worldwide, but in Puerto Rico it is amazing the impact it has. There are different types of domestic violence, many people are touched by this not only the person being abused, but also the family involved in this situation.
First, domestic violence is defined as all acts of violence in a home. Thereare three types of domestic violence; physical abuse, mental abuse and sexual abuse. Physical abuse is when a person is pulled or hit, being one of the most common. Mental abuse is when the victim is threatened, scorned by her partner constantly and the deprivation of liberty. Sexual abuse is when sex is forced.
Domestic violence in Puerto Rico according to statistics is growing, but it onlygrows because people are now more aware and are reporting domestic violence. Some realize that they are not responsible for what is happening to them and some people no longer summit to this abuse and decide to leave the cycle of violence.
Domestic Violence Theories
Ortega (2005) presents in his book several theories through the years of why there is domestic violence in Puerto Rico. Thetheories she presents are psychiatric disorders, society and patriarchy (Ortega, 2005 as translated by author). Ortega (2005) says that according to the theory of patriarchy is the most contributing to domestic violence, because according to this the males can restrict the women because they fear the violence and that reinforces dependency of women and then men take control and authority. The theory ofpsychopathology, describes that violence is an aberration, disability or mental illness (Ortega, 2005 as translated by author). Thus putting the attacker as a person with a child's personality, immature, with little control over their impulses, emotionally dependent and have low self esteem. In the theory of society, especially in Western society promotes aggression and domination of man as themethod of subordinate women (Ortega, 2005 as translated by author). Also includes parenting style, the kind of discipline that was given to children. Ortega (2005) states that in Puerto Rico there is no specific reason for the violence manifested in the home even though daily media reports are escalating on abused and battered victims, especially in the more populated areas.
Victims of DomesticViolence in Puerto Rico
In Puerto Rico, the statistics on domestic violence have been increasing considerably in recent years in every aspect. From 2004 until January 2009, 113 women have died of crimes committed by ex-spouses or partners (Oficina de la Procuradora de las Mujeres). But women are not the only victims of domestic violence; men too are victims of this crime. They are ashamed of whatpeople would say about them so they decide to be silent about this. In 2007 only 2,115 men and 12,551 women applied for protection orders because of stalking (Oficina de la Procuradora de las Mujeres). But as such in 2007 30,620 protection orders were requested and 20,258 were adopted making 64% of orders approved (Oficina de la Procuradora de las Mujeres). These statistics demonstrate how thelaw is giving emphasis to the cases and not leave it abandoned. Although women form the majority of the cases of domestic violence there are other victims drawn in this circle of abuse.
People who are battered are not the only victims, so are the children of these relationships. If a child’s home is suffering because of domestic violence he or she can have some of these characteristics:“ - Develop low self esteem.
-Show feelings of fear, anxiety, insecurity and uncertainty.
-Develop difficulty concentrating.
-Living with the hope that the violent situation improves or stops.
-At the same time, are desperate because they don’t see a way out.
-In many cases they have a low achievement in school.
-They tend to be sexually active and often evade the home.