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The problem of domestic violence is quite relevant in different states and requires proper discussion by experts to analyze possible causes of the issue and its solutions. In this context, specific attention should be paid to the problem of violence victim treatment at the stage of the learned helplessness. The presented paper aims to summarize the available information about the causes and significance of the domestic violence issue and its impact on the stage of learned helplessness among the victims and assess the significance of the issue. To obtain the final result the literary analysis method had been applied here. According to the outcomes of performed analysis, it was possible to state that the issue of learned helplessness is widely present, and different factors like race, gender, and social and economic status affect the risk of its development.

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Capstone Project


The analysis of the psychological impacts of domestic violence helps to understand the relevance of the issue of learned helplessness among the victims. This state can have a serious negative influence on victim’s health and well-being. The experts should be capable to diagnose this state and provide an adequate treatment strategy to prevent long-term negative impacts for the victim. In this way, the presented capstone project aims to solve the existing problem of adequate support for the people who experienced the learned helplessness as a result of domestic violence. It discusses the arguments for the choice of concrete target population, aims of the study, and its significance.

Choice of Target Population

The capstone project that will be discussed in the presented paper will aim to contribute to the resolution of the issue of learned helplessness among the victim-survivors of domestic violence. Therefore, a victim-survivor is a definition that is used to characterize a status and social role of the individual who faces a threat of domestic violence. In this context, the problem of domestic violence and caused physical and psychological problems is quite relevant in the wide range of countries, including the developed ones. For example, in the US about 60 % of women were killed by their male cohabitants who have practiced domestic violence in the past (Rakovec-Felser, 2014). In this situation, about 90 % of victims of domestic violence are females (Hayes, 2013). As a result, domestic violence is a serious problem, and its victims definitely require serious support.

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In this case, the main object of the study in the context of the presented capstone project will be the impaired autonomy issue, mainly the victim’s state who experiences the learned helplessness. Ciurria (2018) defined five main steps in the development of psychological issue of impaired autonomy: low self-efficacy, learned helplessness, obedience to the authority of the aggressor, social-role conformity, and reward-seeking behavior (p.3). The discussion of this list makes it possible for the experts to define the logic of psychological issue development. At the first stage of problem development in the context of the domestic violence, a victim demonstrates a slight reduction of motivation for defending his/her interests, while when the issue escalates he/she becomes weaker and weaker. In the final stage, the victim transforms actually to the toy in the hands of violent cohabitant, without a will for confrontation and desire to struggle. While for the aggressing side, such an outcome can be quite desired; in fact, it leads to the high risk of victim’s death (Rakovec-Felser, 2014). Consequently, the presented capstone project discusses the opportunities for effective prevention of domestic violence at the stage of the learned helplessness. According to the provided logic of issue development, at this stage, the victim is already under significant psychological pressure, but still obtains some resources for the struggle. Thus, the experts and psychology practitioners should be able to capture the victim in this vital stage and lead him/her to the way of issue resolution and restoration of normal psychological conditions of living. Otherwise, the most effective interventions at the later stages can be senseless or unproductive due to the situation when critical level had been passed. Like with the physical diseases, when a certain level of issue development makes a treatment ineffective, the problem of impaired autonomy as a result of domestic violence should be treated in timely manner. Due to the variety of problems and conditions in the treatment of this psychological issue, the selected capstone project was concentrated on this theme.

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The Aims of the Project

In the context of the presented capstone project, the aim of the project is to research the development of learned helplessness, the main causes of impaired autonomy development among the victims of the domestic violence, the possible negative impacts of this psychological issue, and provide possible solutions to the stated issue from the point of early support of victims of domestic violence. All these questions should be analyzed in details since the stated arguments connected with the issue of domestic violence are usually found to be quite ineffective for the understanding and description of the menyioned problem.

According to the results of recent researches, the main reason of the domestic violence risk development is a specific psychological condition of one of the couple’s representatives, which leads him/her to the realization of the behavior model characterized as domestic violence. Here, it is important to mention that the aggressive side in this issue is mostly typical for male representatives, but the domestic violence caused by females is also a common phenomenon (Rakovec-Felser, 2014). Nevertheless, while the male violence model is usually connected with physical influence on the victim, the females mainly realize the model of psychological pressure. This issue is especially urgent to the relations between the females and children (Rakovec-Felser, 2014). As a result, the domestic violence should not be understood as only the relations between the cohabitants, but also as a problem between the parents and their children.

The following psychological conditions of the aggressive side should be considered as the main causes of domestic violence: “high rates of suspicion and jealousy, sudden and drastic mood swings, poor self-control, and higher than average rates of approval of violence and aggression” (Rakovec-Felser, 2014). All these conditions are more usually found among males, but they can also be found among females.

Another aspect of the issue is connected with the discussion of possible solutions to the issue of impaired autonomy, and the definition of treatment practices that lead to the effective restoration of victim’s psychological health. As follows, the recent research demonstrated that the main condition for the domestic violence prevention is an existence of non-coercive relationship model inside the couple (Ciurria, 2018, p.5). This behavior model is characterized by equal and democratic relations, which are characterized by mutual support and respect between the partners. In the conditions of domestic violence, an impact of permanent aggression against the victim causes a situation when during the treatment process a victim requires a permanent psychological support from the others (Ciurria, 2018, p.5). The role of effective support for the victim of impaired autonomy is usually underestimated; the presented project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role of this treatment option. Hence, the importance of psychological support should be considered as an argument for people who suffer from the learned helplessness and seek for possible solutions. They should understand that the main factor of successful prevention of negative psychological conditions presupposes a search of possible support and protection in the community.

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The Significance of the Issue

The significance and relevance of the discussed project as per mentioned issue is enormous due to the variety of questions covered, and due to the provision a most complex assessment of different conditions, impacts, and outcomes of the domestic violence issue and the state of learned helplessness. Meanwhile, the significance of the issue of learned helplessness is related with the possible negative impacts that this condition can cause, and the importance of their early prevention. The main outcome of the condition of learned helplessness for victim is associated with the state of depression and psychological oppression. Moreover, one of the most dangerous impacts of learned helplessness on the victim’s psychological state is not the risk of depression and psychological oppression but the distortion of the personal perception of risk by the victim. According to the recent study, people were found to demonstrate a higher level of support for a risky decision-making in the conditions of the learned helplessness (Pittiglio, 2017). The conditions mentioned above can be considered as a factor that encourages a person to perform such actions that are risky for his/her health and life. Thus, the demonstrated level of protection against risky decisions among victims is reduced. This outcome is a significant problem, and it also defines the importance of the selected theme for discussion.

Another factor of the stated issue’s significance is that many aspects of the problem are quite contradictory, and the lack of issue’s understanding is relevant for the society in general. Here, it is usually believed that only people with a calm character and without strong will can become the victims of domestic violence (Hayes, 2013). However, the results of research demonstrate that people with strong character also can become such victims (Hayes, 2013). Moreover, among the variety of factors that were found to affect the risk of domestic violence, the following are the most important: victim’s “race, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and/or nationality” (Hayes, 2013). At the same time, the factor of culture was not considered to have a direct impact on the risk of domestic violence (Hayes, 2013). In this situation, the role of nationality as a factor of domestic violence is used to describe the conditions of immigrants, who arrive to a foreign state and face domestic violence from local citizens and their cohabitants due to the lack of knowledge about local legal system and low level of integration into local society. In this situation, personal traits and psychological characteristics of both sides – a victim and an aggressor played a more significant role compared to cultural factors connected with education. The demonstration of variety of factors that contribute to the development of the issue of domestic violence also raises a question about the relevance and significance of the project. The variety of risks and factors should be adequately assessed and responded by the experts for the benefit of victims and society as a whole.


The results of the performed analysis demonstrated that the issue of domestic violence and caused learned helplessness state is quite relevant and urgent for people in different countries, without a connection to particular cultural factors or regions. In this way, the significant negative physical and psychological impacts of such state had been defined. Thus, the results of the study demonstrated the relevance of the theme of the chosen capstone project and the importance of its practical realization. In this way, it should contribute to the risk reduction of further psychological issues development connected with the stated problem.

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