Abusive relationships are damaging to the victims. They

    Abusive Relationships and Social


            Abusive relationships refer to the
patterns of behaviors that individuals use to gain and maintain control and
power over other individuals with whom they share a form of relationship. This phenomenon
takes different forms and may include psychological/mental, physical, sexual, verbal/emotional,
financial/economic or social/cultural dimensions. This discussion intends to explore
the dynamics of abusive relationships with particular regards to how
individuals feel, react and cope with the situations in the face of diverse
social circumstances (Deaux & Snyder, 2012). This study occurs in the
background of the increase, of sense of denial among the victims, these
maltreatments coupled with challenges of identifying them. It is evident that
investigations into abusive relationships, in the context of social psychology,
reveal questions whose responses are critical to uncovering the dynamics of the
problem. Moreover, the use of different publications and research processes are
critical in researching and identifying these dynamics with a conclusion that
abuse victims tend to stay in the unhealthy relationships, although the
damaging outcomes.

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            Abusive relationships are damaging
to the victims. They can inflict physical and psychological suffering thereby
degenerating the victims’ quality of life and general well- being. An exploration
of the case in the context of social psychology addresses the possible unawareness
that these victims have over their suffering or worse still their refusal to
live in the face of such abuse. The fact that most of these individuals blame
themselves for the abuses, while fearing the kind of judgment, they would
attract by leaving the relationships features prominently in the plight of
these victims. These situations beg the questions of why people are trapped in
abusive relations and how they can escape the situation. These questions are
significant as the conduits by which to establish the nature of the problem in
the society and how to manage it with the view of reducing its appalling

            Although individuals are independent
humans capable of thinking to feel and acting by themselves, these situations
are influenced by others come not a surprise. Social psychology explores the
influence of imagined, actual or implied presences of others on our feelings,
thoughts and behaviors. These happening deals with the dynamics that cause individuals
to behave distinctly in the presence of others. It further considers the
conditions under which certain actions or behavior and feelings manifest. Deaux
& Snyder (2012) associate the phenomenon with the manner of constructions
of thoughts, feelings, intentions, behavior and goals. They portray how such
psychological facts, in turn, influence the interaction of and an individual
with others. The authors explore social psychology through the lenses of affect
involves feelings about oneself, others and relates to experiences that help us
function properly to survive. Social behavior exhibits in how an individual interacts
with others, especially to influence others.

            Diverse research studies on the
prevalence of women who stay in abusive relationships make efforts at
explaining the psychological factors that inform their actions. It emerges that
the kinds of responses abuse victims portray towards their situation all
reflect on the social psychology concept. The role of attribution in an
individual’s decision to stay in a relationship determines the response of
individuals towards an abusive situation and significantly relates to the situation
of social psychology. This relationship manifests in scenarios where the abused
feel that they are culpable for their pain while the abuser if free of blame. Moreover,
these individuals consider the cause of mistreatment as unintentional or
external to the abuser.

            Among the specific research, studies
conducted in this area include investigations of violence from intimate
partners and inquiries on how abuse victims perceive their situation and how
this governs their actions towards abuse. Case in point cover the year 2013 study
by Lefebvre, Fallon, Van Wert and Filippelli, (2017) titled “Examining the
Relationship between Econmic Hardship and Child Maltreatment” here, the
researchers explored the connection between maltreatment for children and
economic hardship in families. The research conducted in Ontario, Canada fell
under the parent/child abuse and surrounded an assessment of incident reports
in the city that coupled with the characteristics of children and families
documented in the reports. It concluded that children living in economically
disadvantaged situations were more vulnerable to experiencing abuse from the
parents or guardian. This outcome was confirmed by the extensive developmental
and learning challenges that children from such backgrounds exhibited. Another
type of research, Katherine Arenella’s research titled “Perceptions of Domestic
Violence: Leaving vs. Staying in Abusive Relationships” examined the factor of
blame and how it influenced the decision to leave or stay in abusive
relationships. Using different literary sources, the researcher analyzed
different dynamics of abuses including the perceptions that individuals have
and the theories associated with these perceptions. It concluded that victims
who blame themselves for their predicament excuse the behavior of their abusers
and therefore stayed in such relationships longer (Arenella,2014). This
research fell under the spouse abuse.

            According to Baholo et al., (2015)
abusive relationships are persistent problems globally transcending race, sex,
culture, age and socioeconomic status. This is besides taking diverse form,
including the psychological/mental, physical, sexual, verbal/emotional, financial/economic
or social/cultural dimensions. Abusive relationship is defined as the pattern
of behaviors that individuals use to gain and maintain control and power over
others and which occurs in a variety of contexts (Orzeck, Rokach & Chin,
2010). Among these settings, include intimate romantic relationships, parent/caregiver
to child relationship, siblings, workplace relationships and others.

As Baholo et al., (2015) points
out, there are diverse triggers of the phenomenon, including individual’s past,
substance abuse and psychological inclination just to name a few. According to Orzeck,
abuse affects victims physically and emotionally. It might result in long term
emotional problems like depression and low self-esteem. These impacts not only
manifest through the mental health issues faced by the victims, but also
encompass the physical injuries, increasing reliance on other forms of comfort,
social isolation and the adverse effect of children in case of any in the
relationship (Deaux & Snyder,2012).

a research aimed at investigating the experience of women leaving abusive
relationships, Baholo et al., established that victims find leaving their
abusers difficult thereby experience unwarranted long-term impacts of the
issues. Deaux & Snyder (2012), reiterated by pointing out that the longer
people stay in these relationships, the more serious the impact and thus the
increasing popularity towards intervention programs aimed at saving the
victims. Baholo points out that abused individuals stay trapped in these
relationships due to diverse reasons. These reasons range from the normalization
of unhealthy habits of the society and the consequent of low self-esteem. This is
besides the cycle of abuse, which ends up in the honeymoon phase and the
possible danger of opting out of such relationships among other reasons (Baholo
et al., 2015).

            Deaux and Snyder further mention the
existence of various phenomena used to explain the trend where victims of abuse
tend to remain trapped in the abusive relationship. The authors mention the
aspects of social psychology as among the common situation explaining the kind
of response abuse victims portrays the following maltreatment. The aspects of
social effect, which relates to feeling, behavior, which relate to interaction
and cognition, which relates to the process thought to emerge centrally in the
association (Baholo et al., 2015). Deaux & Snyder emphasized that human
beings rely on these attributes as a form of effective maintenance and enhancement
of their lives in the process of interacting with others. For a victim, these
qualities determined whether they view themselves as blameworthy for the abuse,
the perception they developed over the involvement and intention of the abuser
towards them and the action they take in the sense of leaving for staying
within the relationship (Orzeck et al., 2010).


Study Design

Topic: The relationship between response of abuse victims to abusive
relationship and the concept of social psychology.

existing trends in response among victims of abusive relationships indicates an
increasing tendency towards staying with them rather than leaving. The significance
of this research is to explore the reason why people choose to be trapped in
abusive relationships and to establish the relationship of these behaviors with
the concept of social psychology. The impact that these investigations would
have on the audience is to address the reason behind the challenges that abuse
victims face in leaving abusive relationships. The social psychology aspect of
the problem and the potential for using this approach in dealing with the
problem. The research process will apply both primary and secondary approaches
to data collection. The primary methods will cause surveys and a case study. Questionnaires
will be distributed and interviews will be conducted with the study sample. The
investigation will apply both descriptive design and the use of literature
review. Data analysis will be mixed and encompassing both the qualitative and
quantitative approaches.

            The problem of abusive relationships
is that it affects societies at all levels with the impacts it advances on the
victims and other entities being severe. What is more wanting is the tendency
that victims give off when it comes to the choice of leaving or staying in such
relationships. The liability of these individuals towards staying is more
familiar with the concept of social psychology, which is keen on exploring and
explaining behavior. The research that establishes the aspect of self-blame as
a common factor in the decision to stick with such relationships, not only
reveals the association between abusive relationships and social psychology,
but also uncovers the need for in- depth research into the topic. Among the
potential areas of investigating are the changing trends of the behavior of
abuse victims in the age of social media. This study plays a key role in
uncovering the dynamics of abusive relationships and the challenges that the
abused face and the role of social psychology in the situation while providing
avenues for managing the challenges.







Arenella, K.M., (2014). 
“Perceptions of Domestic Violence: Leaving vs. Staying in Abusive
Relationships” Scripps Senior Theses. Paper 408. Retrieved From, http://scholarship.claremont.edu/scripps_theses/408

Baholo, M., Christofides, N., Wright,
A., Sikweyiya, Y., & Shai, N. J. (2015). Women’s experiences leaving
abusive relationships: a shelter-based qualitative study. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17(5), 638-649. doi:10.1080/13691058.2014.979881

Deaux, K., & Snyder, M. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social
Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press

Hayes, S (March 2015), The Big Question: Why Women Stay in Abusive
Relationships, Retrieved From, https://www.rpiassn.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Hayes_Sharon_The-Big-Question_2.pdf

Lefebvre, R., Fallon, B., Van Wert,
M., & Filippelli, J. (2017). Examining the Relationship between Economic
Hardship and Child Maltreatment Using Data from the Ontario Incidence Study of
Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2013 (OIS-2013). Behavioral Sciences
(2076-328X), 7(1), bs7010006. doi:10.3390/bs7010006

Orzeck, T. L., Rokach, A., & Chin,
J. (2010). The Effects of Traumatic and Abusive Relationships. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 15(3), 167-192.