Is There a Connection between Mental Health & Domestic Violence?

Does Mental Illness lead to Domestic Violence?

It depends.

Domestic violence is an extremely disturbing act. It’s also quite common, so it’s safe to say that mental health is contributor.

Regardless, mental health is not the sole cause of domestic abuse.

How So?

Domestic violence usually involves loss of control and outbursts by the perpetrator.

That loss of control must be caused by a mental health problem, right?

That’s partially true. But honestly, it’s usually a mix of mental health problems, and a dulled sense of conscience.

Legally – What is Domestic Violence?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, domestic violence includes behaviors that are coercive and/or assaultive.

The intention of domestic violence is to control someone else in a relationship. That’ll involve emotional sexual, and even physical abuse.

Most domestic violence victims are women, and the risks of being one are high – reaching up to 25%.

Even worse, domestic violence is independent of ethnicity or social status. It may occur among rich and educated individuals.

How Domestic Violence Really Manifests

First, domestic violence always dehumanizes the victim – totally breaking their self-worth is done on a constant basis.

So it’s a selfish act. It’s also an act of intolerance, which is a sign that the abuser isn’t willing to think or consider the other’s well-being.

Thus, domestic violence is an outlet for abusers to vent their life frustrations.

Another trait to note is a split between the abuser’s personalities. They’ll treat their external life one way, and their intimate life in another.

Often, the abuser will not show the same behavior towards their friends, coworkers, or distant family members.

It’s only something that’s manifest at-home, around their intimate partner.

In essence, an abuser uses their partner as a way to express their sense of life frustration, and always in an unhealthy manner.

So Mental Health Doesn’t Factor In?

It does, but it’s not the sole determining factor.

Referencing the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders), mental health is never the only cause for relationship abuse.

However, there are a few serious diagnosis that make individuals more likely to commit such acts.

In those situations, the mental disturbances would be detectable. They’d manifest in the abuser’s work life, social interactions, and the way they deal with family.

Speaking of detection though, you’re probably interested in how to protect yourself from such individuals.

We’ll discuss that below, in addition to some tips on how to get out of a relationship with one, and how to get compensation for yourself.

Detecting Domestic Abuse

First signs of domestic abuse appear gradually – usually in the form of minor shocks.

For starters, you’ll begin to see behavioral changes in your partner that don’t match the personality you got to know.

Little needs for control will manifest here and there. Long-term domestic abuse usually starts off verbally, slowly increasing in intensity over time.

Something else to watch out for is your sense of isolation.

Domestic abusers thrive on control. So do take care if you see your partner restricting your activities beyond reason.

Speaking of isolation, difficulty of self-expression is always a problem in domestic abuse situations.

This first starts as being unable to open up to your partner. It may then extend to suppressing yourself around others you know, such as friends and family.

How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship?

Unfortunately, getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t as easy as you think.

Many domestic violence victims still carry emotional attachments to their abusive partners. Others have life commitments that make escape difficult.

For example, children or pregnancies may be involved in the situation.

While they may be victims of domestic violence, getting away may lead to a variety of life obstacles, such as financing, accommodation, and lack of support circles.

This leads us to the first getaway tip. Find a safe-zone before attempting to break off your relationship.

That safe-zone can be your family, friends whom you can confide in, or even a sheltering organization.

Speaking of sheltering organizations, you’ll usually be researching those via internet. Make sure your partner doesn’t have access to your search attempts.

That is, don’t use your home computer or laptop/mobile if your abusive partner likes to check on your search history.

Thirdly, make sure you know your rights. Have a lawyer back you up at all times, and understand how you can get compensated for the abuse.

And on the topic of compensation…

Prosecuting Domestic Abusers in California

Here are some facts you should know.

Before 1982, the California legal system allowed a form of defense (to abusers) called “diminished capacity.”

Basically, domestic abusers could use that to claim serious mental health issues – if they were to be charged with domestic battery.

That form of defense has been banned in California since 1982. It’s been restructured as a “diminished actuality” defense in our legal system.

What that change does is, it assumes that the perpetrator had the intent for domestic violence as a default.

This is relevant to know if you’re a victim of domestic violence. After all, you might be anxious about going to court, fearing you’d lose a case there.

Why is This Important to Know?

We understand that you might be afraid of suing your abusive partner, and then failing to get compensated. But in light of the previous facts, we have faith that your story will be heard in court.

The US justice system has changed over the years to accommodate the injustice done to domestic abuse survivors.

So it’s a safe option for you to head to court. You can find a reliable method of keeping your partner away, and yourself (and/or children safe), whether it be via a restraining order, or even jail time.

All that remains is to find a lawyer. Our law firm provides the advisory services you need, in addition to safety networks that’ll safeguard you from further problems.

There’s nothing more to wait for. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you change your life for the better.

Posted on May 19, 2021 in Domestic Violence

Share the Story

About the Author