Pop culture, Children, & Pets
TV, Movies, and music do not always accurately portray domestic violence or intimate partner violence. It is usually portrayed as over the top and with many stereotypes (for both the abuser and the victim). When abuse is not portrayed accurately, it is difficult for us (regular people in society) to recognize domestic violence and causes more victim blaming.
An example from the videos that really stood out to me was the idea of "Stalking in Love." It shows how in Hollywood, male characters who are overly persistent with female characters, are just in love. This is stalking. When a woman says she's not interested, it should signal to the male to move on. Instead, he doesn't give up and pursues her throughout the whole movie. There is spying, coercion, following her around, etc. Then, there is usually a grand (somewhat embarrassing) gesture of his love, and she gives in to this "true love."
The problem with this portrayal of stalking for love shows young ladies that is how a guy woos her. All these behaviors are "normal". The grand gesture is how to show true love. (Some girls end of feeling there is no true love because the grand gesture doesn't happen). Others are coerced into relationships they don't want to be in. Real life isn't Hollyword or a movie that ends after two hours, so sometimes there is no love. When these behaviors occur in real life, it's stalking. It does not result in love and "happily ever after." It can lead to deadly behaviors.
Impacts of IPV on Children
Children who are exposed to IPV are at increased risk for psychological, behavioral, and social issues. It can lead to them growing up to be in abusive relationships or to becoming abusers. Children who witness IPV, grow up in fear. They fear suffering the same harm and/or what will happen to their caregiver/parent. One video explained that parents often underestimate what their children have witnessed or overheard, but most children are absorbing everything around them. Some children blame themselves and get depressed when growing up in a house with IPV. Others act out, sometime with fighting. One video described some children treat the abused parent (victim) the same way the abuser treats them.
When talking about IPV, we don't normally consider pets in the equation. In IPV situations, the abuser can use the pet to control the person who loves the pet. They can threaten harm to the pet. Another thing is that pet owners do not want to leave home if they can't take their pets with them. This causes women (or men) to stay in abusive situations (or return to them) because their pet is important to them. Twenty-five percent of people go back to an abusive situation because they couldn't take their pet.
Since I have a background in teaching and working with children and their families, I was familiar with the impact IPV (or any kind of abuse) can have on children in the home. Children learn from the "more knowledgeable others" (Vygotsky) in their lives. It is all about social interactions. Who are their first teachers? Their parents and those in their homes. Being exposed to violence on a regular basis can cause children to act out or withdraw. I tell my students, who are future teachers, they need to create a safe classroom environment because they do not know what their students experience at home. My background in education (sixteen years in the classroom) showed me that children deal with a lot. Watching the videos in this module showed me that the damage done to a child who grows up in an abusive home is extensive.
This was an interesting module. It brought up things that usually aren't talked about when we are learning or talking about IPV. It was good to look at IPV from different angles. I enjoyed the activities and the videos. The video that was a Zoom recording of a presentation was annoying to me. It was long and boring. I loved seeing the other video about having space for pets for the people in shelter. I know my dog is important to me, and I would not want to go anywhere long term if I couldn't have her.