How to prevent family violence in quarantine time? The coronavirus has put unprecedented stress on families
In order to provide families with tools for healthy coexistence and contribute to reducing the risk of increasing intra-family violence in the midst of the COVID – 19.
What is intra-family violence?
It is any type of abuse of power committed by one family member over another; to dominate, subdue, control or attack physically, psychically, sexually, financially or economically. It can occur outside or inside the family home.
What are the main actions to prevent violence in the family environment?
- Establish clear rules with the family for coexistence. It is important to define rules that include rights and duties for those who live under the same roof, as these help to establish limits of behaviour. They must be easy to interpret and must be accepted by all members of the family.
- Strengthen communication channels within the family. Actively listen, try not to fall into judgment, avoid criticism, put yourself in the other’s shoes, show interest and respect for the feelings of others. In this way we create a key trust environment to improve communication at home. Remember that the word must be consistent with the action.
- Dialogue and mediation can be alternative strategies to resolve conflicts that arise. To establish the emotional cost that conflicts cause is to gain ground in their resolution. Through consensus, neutrality, and confidentiality, the family mediation method helps create environments for negotiation and cooperation. Look for a third party to mediate the situation and this will allow the conflict to not escalate.
- Look for emotional control techniques that would help manage any type of situation that may arise. Timely externalize emotions. Breathing techniques, physically getting out of the stress situation, thinking about the worst that can happen are distraction methodologies that will decrease the level of exaltation and manage to stay calm, allowing you to think twice before saying or acting in any situation.
- Express the affection you feel towards all family members. Putting pride and shyness aside makes it easier to express feelings, break the ice, smile, do joint activities showing interest in being kind and apologizing are the most recommended behaviours to communicate how important each member of the family is.
Don’t forget that non-verbal language also communicates, so using gestures that substitute phrases can be very useful to tell them how much they love each other.
Triggers for violence
- Communication difficulties in family.
- Consumption of liquor and / or psychoactive substances by a member of the family nucleus can trigger violent behaviour.
- Difficulties in the couple relationship; infidelity, economic and / or emotional dependence on the couple.
- Interference by third parties (parents-in-law, siblings or other people) in the relationship and / or parenting.
- That one of the members of the couple (or both) has been a victim of violence in their family of origin.
- Traumatic experiences lived by some of the members of the family nucleus.
- Economic, physical and / or psychological health difficulties of a member of the family nucleus.
- Inappropriate use in the management of authority and distribution of roles in the family.
- Lack of skills or lack of knowledge to exercise the role of parents.
- Lack of alternative strategies for conflict resolution.
- Difficulty recognizing and respecting points of view, opinions, tastes, decisions, among others.