Every family needs a shelter. A house provides this shelter. There are differences between a house and a home. Certain factors are necessary to convert a house into a home. In some homes domestic violence occurs. It is necessary that you understand these issues and how to handle them.


Difference between a house and a home

A House is just a building. Housing includes the many different types of shelter in which people can live. Housing can fulfill important needs of individuals and families. A house that offers opportunities to meet the needs of a family becomes a home.

A Home is a house in which a family lives. A home is therefore an abode or dwelling place for a family. It is more than a house. A home is the place where the family members can do many things together, such as:

  • share their interests, activities, joys, love and troubles.
  • can relax, and be at ease
  • live and work together for the benefit of each other and the whole family.
  • Prepare food and eat together.


The following family needs are met in the home:

  1. Physical needs: The physical needs of the family are those for survival, such as shelter, air, sunlight, rest, sleep, food, safety, etc. Housing should offer safety for the family and their belongings.
  2. Emotional needs: The emotional needs include, comfort, privacy, a place of recreation and relaxation.
  3. Social needs: These needs include love and sense of belonging. The home should be such a place where family members long to go back to.


There other issues that relate to home, for instance

  1. A home normally belongs to a family which owns it.
  2. It is a dwelling place for a family.
  3. It meets the shelter needs of the family.
  4. It must provide comfort and security for the family.
  5. It should be furnished to meet family needs and taste.
  6. It is a base where family members can return to even when they are adults living on their own.
  7. There must be communication among family members in the home.
  8. Families often share the same cooking utensils and eat together in the home.
  9. Family members share love, companionship and intimacies in the home.
  10. Families sometimes experience different types of violence in the home.


Meaning of violence

Violence is physical force used to harm someone or something. Violent actions may result in damage to property or in injury to people. Violence can even result in death.


Domestic violence

This is the type of violence that occurs in the home. It can be between husband and wife or among siblings or from parents to children, or other persons living in the home. Domestic violence is a very serious problem in homes. There are some issues that relate to violence:

  1. Violence hurts people.
  2. It occurs in many families.
  3. Violent behaviour is often learnt. When people grow up with violence, they begin to copy the same actions.
  4. Violent behaviour often comes from people who have no regard for their victim.
  5. Children and teens learn violence from adults or see it on television, home video and internet, etc.
  6. The more violence people see, the more willing they are to act violently.
  7. Violent behaviour can also be unlearned.


Types of domestic violence

There are different types of domestic violence. These include:

A) Partner abuse: This is the violence between marriage partners, that is, husband and wife. The more common occurrence is violence directed by men against their wives. Some women also abuse their husbands physically.


Possible effects of partner abuse

Partner abuse can result in any of the following:

  1. Injuries and health problems.
  2. Poor family relationships.
  3. Poor behaviours like excessive drinking, eating or even taking of drugs by the abused.
  4. Children may suffer in different ways, like, lack of care and neglect, irregular attendance to school.
  5. Suffering for parents.
  6. Breakup of marriage.
  7. Death of a family member.


B) Child abuse: Child abuse is very common in families. A Child can be abused in different ways, including:

  1. Neglect: This occurs when a people fail to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education for children. Young children should not be left alone to care for themselves.
  2. Emotional abuse: This occurs when there is a regular pattern of verbal attacks on a child. For instance, when a parent or adult keeps using statements such as these on children, “You are not good”, or “Your are an idiot”, or “You are a fool”, or “I wish you had never been born”. Such verb attacks give a child emotional scars that can last a lifetime.
  3. Physical abuse: This occurs when children are deliberately beaten, wounded, bruised, cut, burnt or given any other form of physical injury. Such physical abuse often leaves an injury or scar.
  4. Sexual abuse: This occurs when someone lures or entices a child to be part of some sexual activity. It also occurs when someone subjects a child, male or female, to fondling, incest or rape.
  5. Incest: This is sexual activity between people who are closely related. For instance, a child may be sexually abused by a parent, step-parent, a sibling, or some other person present in the home. Child abuse of any kind is dangerous and has many bad effects such as:


  • The child is left in a state of daily fear.
  • The child may become emotionally unstable.
  • It can breakup the family.
  • It can lead to the death of the child.
  • If a child grows up with abuse, he/ she may repeat the pattern with his/ her own children or other children.


Handling domestic violence

All the different kinds of domestic violence are wrong. No excuse can make them right for anyone. In order to handle it, it is necessary that:

  1. An abused person must find someone who will listen and provide help if possible.
  2. Parents should listen to their children’s complaints.
  3. Parents should not ignore the children’s complaints especially those relating to abuse.
  4. Parent should know and respect the rights of their children.
  5. Parents should settle their difference as soon as possible and live in peace.
  6. The home should be made conducive for all family members.
  7. Family members should communicate properly with each other.

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