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What causes domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a reality for many people. They deal with it so often that it seems like a normal way of life. It's important for individuals struggling with violence to know there is help for them and that it can be stopped.

Domestic violence occurs for many reasons ranging from financial to personal matters. Most domestic violence occurs because of psychological issues, though. By addressing the psychological component of domestic abuse, it's possible to put an end to the cycle of abuse.

What kinds of thoughts lead to domestic violence?

One type of thought process that leads to abuse is the "critical inner voice." Everyone hears it now and again. It's the voice that tells you that you aren't in control or aren't good enough. People who commit violent acts may believe they're not strong without having control over their partners.

Others may have a fantasy bond, which is a sense that the other person is responsible for making you happy. When he or she fails, it creates the perfect storm for abuse to occur.

How can people stop the cycle of abuse?

It's important for individuals to take time to reflect. Many need to learn ways to handle stress and how to remove themselves from a path of criticism. Many people who commit abuse do so as a result of their own trauma. Once they realize that, they can learn that they have the ability to choose to take another path. They then may learn ways to adapt and handle stress to avoid lashing out toward others.

Both victims and the aggressors in these situations often needs mental health support. It's important to get out of a violent situation and to work toward stopping it from occurring again.

Source: Psychology Today, "Why Domestic Violence Occurs and How to Stop It," Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., accessed Feb. 09, 2018

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