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Causes Of Domestic Violence

QUESTION: What are the causes of domestic violence?


The single most influential factor of domestic violence in society is the continuation of a generational cycle of abuse and/or a history of abuse in the family of origin. Children who grow up in an environment where control is maintained through verbal threats and intimidation and conflicts escalate into physical violence, are more likely to resort to the same methods of abuse as adults. There are, however, a number of predictors that may lead to domestic violence.

  • An environment where violence is either taught, by example, or accepted as "normal" will imprint upon a child's psyche. A young boy may see his father come home from work drunk and angry, screaming at his mother. He watches his mother attempt to please and placate his father's drunken behavior. The young boy is being taught that violence gets results. He is developing his own ideas about what makes a man.

  • Domestic violence is often linked to poor self-esteem. A child growing up in a violent home is likely to have very little self-worth. He may be engaged in a pattern of negative self-talk. “If I were any good, my father wouldn’t beat me. I’ll never amount to anything.” As a young man, his frustration and isolation may grow and, along with it, a hidden anger due to his feelings of helplessness. Anger is a major source of fuel that will fan the flames of domestic violence.

  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse may be a precursor to domestic violence. Substance abuse leads to out-of-control behavior. The number one commonality within the dynamics of most alcoholic families is poor emotional health. This leads to secondary anger, which is an ineffective substitute for dealing honestly with emotions.

  • Domestic violence is more frequent where individuals experience loss of physical health and/or wage-earning power. It peaks during the Christmas season as husbands, fathers, and single parents face the pressures of paying bill collectors and buying Christmas gifts. The frustration of the inability to "make ends meet" increases conflicts in the home. Feelings of helpless mount. Anger flares. In the face of inadequate coping mechanisms, violence erupts in the home and everyone loses.

  • Simply put, domestic violence is the absence of what the Bible refers to as living peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18b, KJV). The first act of domestic violence recorded in the Bible is that of Cain, who killed his brother Abel, out of jealousy. The answer to this cycle of violence is found in a surrendered life to God, which results in a transformation of the heart and mind (Romans 12:1-2).
Learn More About Spouse Abuse.

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