The United States is a very diverse country and home to many different groups of people with differing ideas about domestic violence. It is important to understand how and in what ways culture shapes individuals, families, and communities to ensure that victims of domestic violence are able to make decisions for the best outcomes in their attempts to live violence-free.
Culture cannot and should not be used as an excuse for domestic violence. As is the case with most domestic violence cases, abused refugees and immigrants experience physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, destruction of important documents or possessions, and emotional, sexual or economic abuse.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Relationships
The signs and symptoms of abuse within LGBT relationships are similar to those seen in heterosexual relationships. They may include physical violence, sexual assault, financial abuse and emotional and/or psychological abuse. Some myths around violence and LGBT relationships include the thought that only men abuse women, so it can’t happen in same-sex relationships or that it’s really “mutual battering” and not domestic violence. But the truth is that interpersonal violence can happen regardless of gender, identity, or sexual orientation.
Religious teachings can serve as either a resource or a roadblock when addressing domestic violence - the outcome depends on how they are handled. It is the responsibility of the religious community to minimize any barriers facing abused members of their congregations and maximize the resources that exist within their religious traditions. Regardless of which religious doctrine guides the personal lives of individuals, one thing is clear: the religious and domestic violence communities must work together to raise awareness and educate society regarding domestic violence and its effects on individuals, families, and the community so that the cycle of violence can end.
There is nothing in Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu teachings that can be used to justify the abuse of one person over another person. However, there are teachings that can be misused and distorted to suggest that domestic violence may be acceptable or even God's will. When these teachings or interpretations of scripture are misused, they become obstacles to ending the abuse. (Source: Faith Trust Institute)
Violence Later in Life
Violence in later life occurs when older individuals are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, exploited, or neglected by someone with whom they have an ongoing relationship. Abusers frequently look for someone they can dominate, someone believed to be weak, or unlikely or unable to defend themselves. Abusers intentionally use coercive tactics such as isolation, threats, intimidation, manipulation, and violence to gain and maintain control over the victim. In later life, abusers can include spouses and former spouses, partners, adult children, extended family, and in some cases caregivers.
If you are experiencing this, protect yourself by telling others what is happening and asking for help, or call 9-1-1.