A Person Who Admittedly Abuses His-Her Partner


Domestic abuse or domestic violence is a behavior pattern used to gain, maintain or control power over the other in an intimate relationship. Abuse has many forms, such as psychological, physical, economic, emotional, or sexual action that affects the other person. These forms of abuse are behaviors that humiliate, intimidate, manipulate, terrorize, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic abuse has no boundaries and can happen to anyone of any gender, race, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Its context varies as it can occur in various relationships such as dating, living together, and including married couples. Domestic violence is very punitive because it negatively affects people of all education levels and socioeconomic backgrounds. Its impact may culminate in severe outcomes such as death or lethal physical injuries.

Controversy Surrounding Abuse of Partner

The controversy surrounding the abuse of partners is violence motivation and self-defense, the utility of typologies, understanding bidirectional violent couples, and gender symmetry perpetration. Firstly, in fierce motivation and self-defense, there are various occurrences where women have been identified as violent and abusive, but all goes with the name self-defense (Winstok & Straus, 2016). They abuse their partners and claim that they are just protecting themselves from their partner’s harm. The violent abuse motivations include alcohol, self-defense, coercive communication, and retaliation. Secondly, in the utility of typologies, some men tend to be violent because of the nature of tradition and their society. In a patriarchal society, men act rashly toward women because they seem to dominate the community and are not emotionally based (Winstok & Straus, 2016). Other cases involve men who have violent personalities which have been nurtured during their childhood. They behave violently to their partners, not emotionally but just the way they are.

Thirdly, in understanding Bidirectional violent couples, it is difficult to identify who is the source of abusiveness in the relationship because all the partners are violent and non are ready to calm down. The partners seem to be violent in various areas, and each is directing their anger toward one another, leading to abusiveness in the relationship (Bates, 2016). Lastly, in gender symmetry perpetration, many feminists considered men to be more violent than females. Studies and interventions focused on handling cases of partner abuse consider men to be always abusive in relationships. However, with increased studies in the field, it has been noted that women can also be as violent as men. This issue provides a different turn of understanding of partner violence as abused men seem to be silent.

Views Regarding Abuse of Partner

The community serves a critical purpose in fighting against partner abuse. This is because there is always someone watching, hearing, or listening to the ongoing abuse whenever such activity happens. Their choice to respond to the matter depends on how partner abuse is viewed (Edwards et al., 2020). The community has people who can prevent or let the abuse happen repeatedly. The community’s attitude regarding the issue is crucial as it determines the action one may undertake whenever such occurrences occur (Borras-Guevara et al., 2017). There are two groups in this matter, those that view abuse as something awful and those that view abuse as a right for a partner over the other. Technology has enabled many people to learn about domestic violence through social media, television, radio, or newspapers (Edwards et al., 2020). Many people view partner abuse as something awful, and many tend to mock the abuser. However, in certain many dominated societies, domestic violence is perceived as something normal.

Relationship between Domestic Violence and Human Service Work

The role of the councilor in human service work is to identify the potential problems that arise within the community, in this case, the violence against a partner. A person who admittedly abuses his/her partner violates ethical standards and law since violence is considered illegal, leading to either psychological injury or physical injury (Corey et al., 2019). A counselor’s aim is to exchange information regarding domestic violence, identify various problems and provision services, and promote good practice through drawing guidelines (Corey et al., 2019). Furthermore, councilors carry out the community awareness program and prevention work which deter and reduce the onset of such cases. The social work profession’s main goal is to enhance people’s well-being and aid in meeting the basic needs of all groups of people (Turner et al., 2020). Much attention is given to the individual or group that is oppressed and vulnerable in a social setup.

Social workers have a crucial role and responsibility when addressing all aspects of intimate partner abuse, including advocacy, legislation, practice, and policies. Social workers’ commitment is to work with advocates and other professionals to prevent intimate partner abuse and fight for justice for the survivors (Trabold et al., 2020). The social workers have a role in lending of voice that will help mold certain policies and legislature that will aid in reducing cases of intimate partner abuse (Sapkota et al., 2019). Together with psychologists, physicians, and other mental health professionals, help fight for the rights of individuals affected by intimate partner abuse by mitigating the emotional and physical harm caused by domestic violence(Sapkota et al., 2019). The partners get exposed to various types of abuse, including emotional abuse, economic abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse evolves when one of the partners uses nonverbal actions that threaten another partner or symbolically hurt the other partner. This involves behavior that terrorizes another partner without using physical force (Potter et al., 2020). This form of abuse is considered the most crucial abuse because it significantly affects women. Most women report that mental abuse is worse than physical abuse because it creates endless pain (Perrin et al., 2019). Some of the actions that require attention from the social workers include withholding resources, preventing partners from accomplishing certain tasks, preventing partners’ socialization, restricting partners’ activities through limitation, etc.

Economic Abuse

It is considered a subgroup of emotional violence as it also involves emotional effects on victims. The partner is denied access to certain economic resources and made to rely on an abusive partner (Perrin et al., 2019). Some denials include shelter, food, and clothing with the desire to isolate the victim and make them vulnerable (Ogbe et al., 2020). Some actions include a partner refusing to share household responsibilities or a partner abusively monitoring the victim’s actions, such as the free will of someone participating in other activities.

Physical Abuse

With physical abuse, the partner is physically harmed by the other partner through violent acts such as slapping, hitting, etc. These actions lead to physical injury or pain to the victim that may be permanent or temporal (Corey et al., 2019). Severe physical abuse tends to be lethal as it leads to the partner’s death or chronic injury. Physical abuse is worse because people tend to escalate and become severe with time. Some of the actions include strangling, hair pulling, using a weapon to inflict pain on a partner, etc.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse categorizes rape through dating or marital rape, or partner cohabiting. Sexual abuse of a partner involves activities that lead to an assault of the partner’s sexual parts. It also involves making sexual demands that are uncomfortable to the other partner (Corey et al., 2019). Furthermore, it constitutes sexual manipulation and sex without the other partner’s consent. These activities cause emotional discomfort and physical degradation to the other partner (Corey et al., 2019). Some actions include a physical attack on a partner’s sexual parts, interference with birth control, etc.

Impact of Value and Beliefs on Social Work

Personal values and beliefs have controversies when handling social work cases, especially those that involve domestic violence. Ethical values in Christianity, such as marriage on the same gender is prohibited, tend to bring conflict of interest when handling partners of the same gender (Corey et al., 2019). A social worker from a religious institution that is anti-lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) has conflict when handling such partners, especially when one is abused. One tends to give directions that are not suitable because of the conflict between the two groups (Corey et al., 2019). An actual Christian views LGBT marriage, relationship, or courtship as illegal and handles the case without much consideration as it appears sexually immoral.

Another belief is that a man is responsible for the family’s welfare, and the family members have no opinion over such. When handling cases where a partner is abused emotionally or isolated, social workers tend to be biased because the beliefs guide the intervention even if the other person is suffering (Perrin et al., 2019). Such intervention may not be fruitful, and the outcomes may result in further problems because the relationship that could have been ended will still be active, resulting in cases such as fatal injuries or even death.

Other values like men cannot be abused by their partners, which also impact a social worker’s performance. Most of the people affected by domestic violence are usually female. This belief makes it difficult for social workers to handle cases where a man has been abused sexually, emotionally, or through isolation (Perrin et al., 2019). It appears as something awkward since men are considered stronger than women. One cannot believe whenever a man claims to be a victim of domestic violence (Perrin et al., 2019). In this situation, the value of women being weak beings and men being strong clouds the judgment of men being victims. One may end up criticizing such aspects as men are not supposed to be vulnerable, and therefore the best solution is to take hold of the problem and solve it like a grown-up. This changes the outcome of the intervention as one party was never given a chance to explain how they are the victim of domestic violence.

Ways of Avoiding Issues of Malpractices

There are various ways of avoiding malpractices, for example, setting up boundaries in-home therapies, cultural perspectives on boundaries, role blending, and physical contact.

Setting Up Boundaries in Home Therapies

Some clients have financial problems and may find it difficult to reach the social worker at the office. Others may have issues that may limit them from accessing the office. Practicing therapy at home is significant as it helps build the therapeutic relationship and provides an environment where a social worker can observe the client firsthand (Corey et al., 2019). However, some challenges come with visiting clients at their homes, work, or community. These challenges include role confusion, blurred boundaries, distracting environment, mental health issues, safety concerns, and isolation (Corey et al., 2019). These challenges can be avoided by setting meeting boundaries at home. Another problem that may arise in a home setup is that the social worker may be forced to attend to other duties such as running errands or attending to visitors. Furthermore, consent needs to be involved in maintaining the goal of the therapy.

Cultural Perspectives on Boundaries

Traditional perspectives need to be considered when creating boundaries between a social worker and the patient. For example, many African American clients prefer warm, friendly, and understanding therapists (Corey et al., 2019). This will prevent any risk of conflict when handling clients of African American origin. Solidarity is important when creating boundaries between the client and the therapist because a conducive environment is required, and understanding the cultures of the client help in attaining the required targets.

Role Blending

Some professionals have multiple roles, and combining the responsibilities and roles seems common in certain professions. A therapist may be an education instructor, teacher, supervisor, evaluator, or mentor (Corey et al., 2019). Role blending is not always unethical, but the therapist must be keen as it may lead to ethical dilemmas when a conflict of interest arises. Having more than one role may cause harm to the client, especially when the therapist and the client are interacting on several occasions (Corey et al., 2019). When there is potential for harm, the professionals are responsible for safeguarding measures to reduce the possible damage.

Physical Contact

Physical contact may be non-sexual, and it depends on culture. Using physical contact may be appropriate when ending a long-term session. However, physical contact may not be applicable; for example, a person whose partner has raped may find it hurting as it may bring back the haunting memories that the client is trying to forget. Physical contact should be avoided to elude the potential of harming the client.

The Case of Liddell

Liddell is a 27 years old woman of African American origin. She is catholic, married to Mr. Bush, a mechanic in a nearby paper factory. She presented herself to the family physician complaining of headaches and nausea. After a thorough examination, the physician identifies several bruises on her neck and thigh. She indicated that his husband has sexually mistreated her on several occasions. She recently recalled the husband pulling her by the neck for not putting the perfect salt on the meal. On further questioning, she claims that she is not safe in the marriage and stated that she has no other place because her parents divorced three years ago. She expresses optimism regarding her future as her husband has begun attending church masses.

Steps for solving Liddell’s case

I will begin by interviewing the patient about the partner’s abuse. Since the patient is vulnerable because of a lack of family support, I will intervene by giving information regarding the dangers of the situation. I will assist her in planning for her safety, including referral for shelter in women’s care. I will inquire about possession of any firearms in the house to prevent homicide or the occurrence of any severe injury. I will inquire about her decision to stay in the house and if the partner promises to change. I will inquire about the partner’s behavior so that the patient can understand an abusive marriage.


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