They barely knew each other. She moved in with him until she got pregnant. They were married before the first child was born. Three more followed after the firstborn. All pregnancies were unplanned. They lived with the husband’s parents for many years. They were provided by the parents for all their needs including the education of their children. He was an alcoholic, heavy smoker and occasionally uses the cannabis plant, also known as marijuana. When conflicts arose, the husband resorted to domestic violence when under the influence of alcohol. Children witnessed the upturning and breaking of furniture, wife beating and verbal abuse directed at the wife. Sometimes violent acts were directed to the children. She sought help from friends. They urged her to walk away. She left for a while, but fear enveloped her. She was scared that she would not be able to fend for her children. Upon her return, the husband sought psychiatric help. He was sober for a while until he slid back to his old habits. The violence from the time children were young continued until they reached their teenage years. The wife sought spiritual comfort to overcome challenges and reached out to her friends for comfort. These were her only sources of coping. She believed that she could still “fix” the husband. However, the change in behavior was short-lived.The incidence of violence and abuse still pervade. What can push her to take further action?
Tremblay et.al. (2004) noted that violence is a precursor of health and mental problems such as alcohol abuse, suicide attempts, and depression among many others. In addition, the functioning of the child had negative impacts in a home where they witness and experience domestic violence. As a result of early exposure to adversities, some of their children turned alcoholic and drug users (English, et.al, 2003). Lack of intervention has harmed the development of these children. If their mother does not have the courage to seek help for her children, who will? Her situation does not provide support from the government. Will this be a cycle of domestic violence and child abuse when these children turn to adults and have their children in the future? It is time to seek help for herself so she can be there for her children.
A deeply rooted source of stressor seems hard to overcome. Systems of support are needed to help victims of abuse redirect the distorted path of development. However, in a society and culture where this form of stress is not a priority for close attention, coping and overcoming adversities still remain far-fetched.
Tremblay, R. E., Nagin, D. S., Séguin, J. R., Zoccolillo, M., Zelazo, P. D., Boivin, M., … & Japel, C. (2004). Physical aggression during early childhood: Trajectories and predictors. Pediatrics, 114(1), e43-e50. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/1/e43.full.pdf+html
English, D. J., Marshall, D. B., & Stewart, A. J. (2003). Effects of family violence on child behavior and health during early childhood. Journal of Family violence,18(1), 43-57. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1021453431252#page-1