Disclaimer: The following information is meant to give an overview of domestic violence and how it became a human rights violation. You shouldn’t consider this in any way as straight-up legal advice.
When you first fell in love with your partner, you thought the whole world of them. But almost everyone you know may have voiced their objections against the person who you chose to be with for the rest of your life. Nonetheless, you stood your ground, especially as your special someone had shown nothing but the utmost affection for you. So the two of you eventually agreed to stay under one roof. And then one day, your partner suddenly lashed out at you for reasons that you still can’t fathom to this day. The minute that your partner decided to abuse you is when you’ve become a victim of domestic violence, which is a human rights violation.
What Are the Two Main Forms of Domestic Violence?
The very first mental image that most people often start forming around the term “domestic violence” is that of a woman being physically beaten up by a man who happens to be her romantic partner. That’s only partially true for two reasons: one being that anyone can become a victim of domestic violence regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and the other being that there are two main forms of domestic violence that an abusive person can commit which are as follows:
1. Physical abuse
Stories and news reports about battered wives are unfortunately still one too many despite this day and age when feminism and gender equality have already penetrated public consciousness. Thus, physical abuse is undoubtedly the most common form of domestic violence that the average person is aware.
- Instead of talking with you whenever you disagree with them, your partner may have resorted to letting either their fists or some solid object within their reach do the talking instead, which leads them to hit and harm you physically.
- Your partner may also force you to have sex even if you’re not at all in the mood to do it. But while some classify sexual coercion as yet another distinct form of domestic violence, it can in fact conveniently fall under physical abuse instead.
- A few countries with slightly different social norms compared to Western ones even perform honor killings where perpetrators, including but not limited to someone’s partner, murder someone for various reasons which emphasizes how some people will go to extreme lengths in committing domestic violence.
2. Psychological abuse
Your partner may not be physically harming you at all, but any harsh words that may come out of their mouth, as well as other actions that don’t need them to be in full physical contact with you, can cause them to commit psychological abuse against you.
- Regardless of the specific method in which your partner has carried it out against you, psychological abuse makes them feel as if they need to take back whatever control they’ve seemingly lost when they entered into a long-term relationship with you.
- Victims of psychological abuse have it much worse compared to those physically abused as their mental and emotional well-being may become impaired for life.
What Are the Two Landmark Events That Pushed Domestic Violence to Get Recognized as a Human Rights Violation?
With the United Nations General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights already in place since 1948, you may have assumed that domestic violence was addressed, but this did not happen until rather recently. You’ll surely be surprised to find out that it was only during the early 1990’s that domestic violence finally started becoming recognized as a blatant violation of one’s human rights.
1. The passage of General Recommendation Number 19 by a committee composed of experts on women’s rights from all over the world.
While the UN General Assembly had already adopted an international treaty concerning women’s rights as early as 1979, it didn’t have any specific provision with regards to violence against women.
- It would take until 1992 before the committee mentioned above passed General Recommendation Number 19.
- Simply put, General Recommendation Number 19 emphasizes the point that violence against women is often performed against them merely because of their gender, which makes it a form of discrimination.
- An updated version of General Recommendation Number 19 known as General Recommendation Number 35 was passed last year in celebration of the original’s 25th anniversary.
2. Adoption without vote of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
In December 1993, the UN General Assembly passed the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which sought to further define gender-based violence via its first two articles.
If your romantic partner who you live with has inflicted traumatizing harm on you for whatever reason, you can turn into a victim of domestic violence. Regardless of how exactly your partner has abused you, it would help for you to know that domestic violence is regarded as a human rights violation even if it only got more explicitly addressed in international treaties concerning violence against women as late as the 1990’s. If it’s any consolation on your end, you can fight back with the help of a human rights lawyer against your partner who has committed an act of domestic violence against you.
Peggy Fleming is one of the most promising young law writers of year. She adds a modern take to her pieces on various law topics, which she writes for the common reader. She enjoys playing tennis with her siblings during her free time.