DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 1
This paper will explore the prevalence, symptoms, causes,consequences, and remedies for domestic violence. The issue of theintimate partner violence is one of the most prevalent socialproblems facing all people irrespective of their religion, race,sexual orientation or economic status. Research shows thatapproximately 20 people are victimized by their intimate partnersacross America per minute. Books and scholarly articles published onthe issue of domestic violence will be the source of information forthis paper. This paper identifies the socialization of both males andfemales as the primary cause of domestic violence. Apart fromsocialization, there is the issue of reinforcement and learning ofaggressive behavior, particularly from one`s parents and the massmedia. Thirdly, peer pressure and drug abuse play a pivotal role inworsening the cases of domestic violence. The effects of domesticviolence are severe as they include physical injuries, psychologicaltrauma, and economic constraints that affects the victims and thecountry. Not only does domestic violence affects its primary target,but also has devastating effects on the children who hail fromabusive relationships, the victim’s friends, pets, and familymembers. On the part of children, domestic violence predisposes theminto developing delinquent behavior when they grow up. This paperadvocates for more legislations, empowerment, and education toameliorate the suffering the victims of domestic violence are goingthrough.
Keywords: , intimate partner violence, prevalence,consequence, causes, remedies.
refers to the willful intimidation, sexual assault,physical assault, battery, and any other abusive behavior thatfollows a systematic pattern of power and domination perpetrated byone intimate partner against the other. According to the NationalCoalition Against Domestic Violence (2016), approximately 20individuals are physically abused by their intimate partner inAmerica every minute. Intimate partner violence has numerousdetrimental effects not only on the victims, but also to theirchildren, family members, friends as well as the government. Effortsgeared toward curbing the social problem are being thwarted by thelack of knowledge among victims on what comprises domestic violence.A large proportion perceives acts of violence perpetrated againstthem by their lovers as petty for them to inform the authorities.Besides, the various institutions of the society, ranging fromhealth, education, family, and court systems provide a good breedingground for intimate partner violence to thrive. This paper willexplore the prevalence, symptoms, causes, consequences, and theremedies for domestic violence.
also known as intimate partner violence affectsindividuals from all communities irrespective of their sexualorientation, nationality, age, economic status, race or religion. However, in most cases, victims of domestic violence arepredominately women. According to the National Coalition AgainstDomestic Violence (2016), approximately 20 individuals are physicallyabused by their intimate partners in America every minute. When thisdata is extrapolated, 10 million men and women are victims ofdomestic violence annually in the United States. In terms of gender,one in every three women and one in every four men will becomevictims of physical abuse perpetrated by their partner within theirlifetime (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016). On theother hand, one in every seven women and one in every eighteen menhave been a victim of stalking perpetrated by an intimate partnerduring their life (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,2016).Stalking leaves the victims afraid for their lives as well asthat of their family members, friends, and pets. On the other hand,one in every five women and one every seven men have been severelyinjured by an intimate partner in their lifetime. On a common day inthe United States of America, approximately 20,000 phone calls aremade to the various agencies that address the issue of domesticviolence nationwide (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,2016)
encompasses a wide range of behavior and involvesboth current and former intimate partners. It is usually hard todetect that a partner will become an abuser on the onset of arelationship. Abusive behaviors start slowly and intensify over time.Initially, the victim may confuse abusive behavior with his or herpartner’s way of showing that he or she loves him or her. Forexample, a person may require that his/her partner only spend timewith him or her (Kenney, 2012). During the initial stages, the abusermay apologize for his or her action.
Signs of emotional torture include telling the victim that he or shecan never do something right. The abuser may also constantly accusethe victim of being promiscuous even without any reason or evidence.The abuser may also take it upon him/herself to see that the victimloses his/her friends. The perpetrator of domestic violence may dothis by shaming or embarrassing the victim in the presence of thelatter’s friends. The ultimate goal the abuser hopes to achieve isto see that the victim is lonely and that he/she is the only sourceof happiness for him/ her (National Coalition Against DomesticViolence, 2016). Economically, signs of domestic abuse include theabuser controlling every penny the victims spend in the household. Itmay also occur if one of the partners takes money belonging to theother or refuse to give him/her money meant for his/her personal aswell as household expenses. Sometimes the abuser goes to an extent ofdictating how the victim dresses as well as whom he/she sees, wherehe/she goes and what he/she does (National Coalition Against DomesticViolence 2016). is also characterized by constantthreats. For example, the abuser may threaten to harm or kill thevictim, his/her friends, pet or even loved ones. The perpetrator mayeven threaten the victim that he/she will take away their children. Sexually, domestic violence is deemed to have occurred if one partnerforces the other into having sex with him/her (Kenney, 2012).Besides, a man may sabotage the victim’s birth control program, forexample, by refusing to use protection or throwing away his wife’spregnancy prevention pills. A perpetrator of domestic violence mayeven go to the extent of pressuring his/her partner into abusingdrugs and alcohol (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence2016).
The causes of domestic violence
Intimate partner violence is a behavior acquired throughreinforcement and observation. As such, it is neither related togenetics nor any known illness. is covertly andovertly reinforced by society’s primary institutions such asreligion, mental health, medical, familiar, social, legal,educational, and entertainment (Kenney, 2012). These institutionslegitimize the use of violence in relationships by depicting it as aneffective way of maintaining the family unit. For example, in mostreligious doctrines, men are perceived as the head of the familywhile women are mandated to submit to their husbands. This means thata man is empowered by the religion to go to whichever extent toensure that he dominates over his girlfriend or wife. Some legalsystems also promote intimate partner violence by constantly termingit as an integral part of relationships (Kenney, 2012). As such, inmost cases of domestic violence, the perpetrator walks scot free, andthis provides him/her with the impetus he/she needs to continue tomentally, physically, economically abuse his/her partner. One way aperson learns about how to exalt control over his/her partner isthrough seeing one of his/her parents do so.hasdevastating effects on children born out of abusive relationships.One dire consequence is that children who witness one of theirparents being battered are likely to be abusers when they grow up(Bartol & Bartol, 2013). This is because suchchildren internalize not on the ways of using physical force andaggression to cause the other partner to submit but also the relevantjustification for doing the same. Apart from learning from one’sparents, a person can acquire aggressive behavior through mass media.The proliferation of images that reinforces domestic violence againsta certain gender tends to encourage the audience to practice the vice(Kenney, 2012). Perpetrators may also be pressured into exhibitingaggressive behavior towards their current or former partners by theirpeers. Apart from being encouraged by peers to engage in any of theforms of domestic violence, a perpetrator of such acts usuallydevelops a mechanism for justifying his/her action. For example, anabuser may convince him/herself that his/her aggressive behaviortowards his/her partner is the right way of preserving his/herrelationship or marriage (Kenney, 2012).
Both males and females differ in the nature of violence theyperpetrate toward their partners.The intimate partner violence isa gender-specific behavior (Kenney, 2012). This is the reason alarge proportion of domestic violence victims are women. During thesocialization process, men are socialized to exalt dominance overwomen. As such, the violence towards women perpetrated by their malepartners is a social problem that has been tolerated and supported bythe society. The nature of violence most likely to be perpetrated bymale abuse involve some elements of aggression, verbal abuse,physical abuse, and intimidation (Morgan & Chadwick, 2011).Morgan & Chadwick (2011) adds that although women use physicalforce against their male partners, they usually have different goalscompared to when men use it. In heterosexual relationships, whilewomen use physical force against their partners as a self-defensemechanism, men use it as a means of showcasing their power andcontrol. For example, most of the cases of murder where the man is avictim occur in the process of the women trying to save herself. Onthe other hand, most cases where a woman is a victim involve the menstalking the victim and killing her (Morgan & Chadwick, 2011).
For many years, there has been a belief that alcohol and drug abusecauses domestic violence. Instead, alcohol and other drugs are usedas excuses by the perpetrators to continue abusing their intimatepartners. Even if cases of domestic violence are usually morepronounced in families where one partner abuse drugs, research showsthat violent people remain so whether sober or drunk (Kenney, 2012). Besides, many people consume alcohol and abuse drugs such asdepressants and marijuana but do not batter their partners.Researchers have found that people who batter their partners afterusing certain drugs usually plan on doing so before theirintoxication (Kenney, 2012). The only correlation between alcohol anddrug abuse and domestic violence is that addiction result in theperpetrator absconding his/her responsibilities towards his/herfamily and this provokes the other partner into being abuse towardsthe addict.
Consequences of domestic violence
has a wide range of consequences. It can result inphysical injuries, psychological trauma, and even death. Examples ofphysical injuries as a result of intimate partner violence includesvaginal injuries, back injuries, knife or gun wounds, burns, brokenbones, and head injuries. On the other hand, domestic violence isthe leading cause of suicides where the victim decides to terminatehis/her life. According to National Coalition Against DomesticViolence (2016), 72% of all cases of murder-suicides usually have anelement of domestic violence as the motive behind the death. Womencomprise the largest proportion of all murder-suicides that culminatefrom domestic violence. Besides, between 200 and 2008, 142 womenwere killed in their place of work by their abusers (NationalCoalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016). A study of intimatepartner suicide revealed that 20% of all victims were family members,bystanders, first-respondents, neighbors and friends of to a personwho was targeted to be killed by his/her intimate partner (NationalCoalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016). notonly affects the immediate victim, but also has devastating effectson their children. According to the National Coalition AgainstDomestic Violence (2016), one in every 15 children in American comesfrom families where one of their parents is physically abused. Ifnothing is done to such children, in terms of therapy and counseling,they are likely to exhibit violent behaviors towards their partnerswhen they grow up.
Besides, such children are predisposed to becoming delinquents andcriminals when they grow up. There is a close correlation betweenchildren that comes from families with domestic violence and crime(Bartol &Bartol, 2013). The family is the most important social unit, and assuch, it has a profound impact on the behaviors of all individualmembers. Growing up in a violent family hampers children from makingrational decisions when they grow up. Besides, children whoexperience one of their parents being abused come to internalize theuse of force and aggression as crucial for establishing dominanceover other people. Consequently, children who witness either theirfather or mother being battered physically, economically oremotionally are more likely to be criminals when they grow upcompared to their counterparts who do not come from abusive families(Bartol & Bartol, 2013).
Apart from emotional and physical repercussions, domestic violencehas severe economic consequences for the victims, their families, andthe country. According to National Coalition Against DomesticViolence (2016), victims of domestic violence lose approximately 8million working days every year. For example, after being physicallyinjured by his/her partner, a person needs to seek medical attention.Probably, depending on the severity of the physical and emotionalabuse, a person may be prompted to seek for a leave. In monetaryterms, the overall cost of domestic violence surpasses $8.3 billionevery year. Between 21 and 60% of all victims of domestic violencelose their jobs as a result of reasons directly related to theintimate partner abuse (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,2016). For examples, some of the physical and psychological injuriessome victims of intimate partner violence sustain render themunproductive which prompt their bosses to terminate their employment. According to Morgan & Chadwick (2011), in Australia, between2008 and 2009, the total cost of domestic violence against women andtheir children were approximately $13.6b. If nothing is done Morgan &Chadwick (2011) project that the problem will cost approximately$15.5 b between 2021 and 2022. This money is spent in the provisionof healthcare services, victim financial support and compensationprograms, and child protections services, among others.
Across the globe, domestic violence is the number one contributingfactor to homelessness among women and children. According to theAmerican Civil Liberties Union (2014), in Sandiego, approximately 50%of homeless women are victims of domestic violence. American CivilLiberties Union (2014) adds that according to a 1999 report, 47% ofschool-aged homeless children had witnessed domestic violence intheir families.
Rape is one of the most prevalent acts of domestic violence.Approximately half of all females (46.7%) and 44.9% of all men havebeen raped by a person they were acquainted with (National CoalitionAgainst Domestic Violence, 2016). Out of these rape cases, 45.5%women and 29% of men were perpetrated by persons the victims wereintimate with (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016). Women going through domestic are more gullible to getting infectedwith HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as a result offorced intercourse (United Nation Children’s Fund, 2011). Apartfrom contracting STDs, forced intercourses are closely related tovarious social issues such as adolescent and unintended pregnancies.Besides, victims of intimate partner violence who also happens to bepregnant are more likely to experience miscarriage, abdominal pain,intrauterine hemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, miscarriages, andstillbirths (Morgan & Chadwick, 2011). Following long periods ofbeing exposed to stress, individuals who are either physically,emotionally or psychologically battered by their partners have higherchances of developing neurological disorders such as post-traumaticstress disorder, disability, anxiety, depression, and chronic pains.Such individuals are also predisposed to developing noncommunicablediseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and hypertension(United Nation Children’s Fund, 2011). This occurs following longperiods of exposure to stress that weakens the victim’s body immunesystem.
Reason for staying a violent relationship
It is to be noted that while some victims leave their abusiverelationship, others choose to stay. There are several reasons thatprompt individuals to stay in abusive relationships despite beingaware the suffering they are exposing themselves to. First, somevictim chose to stay for fear of their lives and that of theirfriends and family members who may accommodate them. Some victimssimply lack any other alternative after being immobilized by physicaland psychological trauma sustained following prolonged periods ofexposure to intimate partner violence (United Nation Children’sFund, 2011). Besides, some victims, particularly women lack a way ofsupporting themselves and their children if they cut ties with theirabuser. On the other hand, some of the victims feel connected to theperpetrator through the children they bore together. There are alsocertain religious, family and cultural beliefs that encourage themaintenance of a family unit at the cost of one of the partner’smental and physical health. Some victims possess hope and belief thatthe perpetrator will cease being violent. In other cases, the victimsare made to believe that there is something wrong with their behaviorthat is encouraging their partners to abuse them (Morgan &Chadwick, 2011).
What can be done to address the problem?
Currently, the federal and state governments have enacted laws aimedat taming the spread of domestic violence (American Civil RightsLiberties, 2014). Such laws, particularly address the issue ofdiscrimination against people freeing abusive relationships. Forexample, in 2005 the federal government adopted a law that statesthat being a victim of intimate partner violence should not be usedas a reason to deny a person access to public housing programs(American Civil Rights Liberties, 2014). Besides, there are severalorganizations that help victims of domestic violence. American CivilRights Liberties and other organizations have a toll- free telephonelines that individuals can use to report incidents of domesticviolence. Besides, several organizations provide assistance tovictims of domestic violence. An example of assistance offered tovictims of domestic violence is legal aid. The efforts being taken tocurb the prevalent nature of intimate partner violence areinadequate hence much more need to be done.
For instance, cultural justifications should not be applied todismiss the prevalence of domestic violence. In most cases ofintimate partner violence, the perpetrator is likely to justifyhis/her actions as a way of showing his/her love for his/her partner(United Nation Children’s Fund, 2011). Besides, in some cultures,men are expected to regularly punish their wives as a way of exaltingtheir influence as the heads of the family. As such, some men fearthat their wives will topple them if they fail to be aggressivetowards them. Not only are the cultural justifications used at anindividual level to justify a person`s action, but they also findtheir way into the corridor of justice. When victims of domesticviolence report these incidents to the law enforcement authorities,they are dismissed as normal wrangles expected in relationships(United Nation Children’s Fund, 2011). Particularly, culturalfactors tend to worsen cases of domestic violence where the victim isthe man. According to Morgan & Chadwick (2011), while researchshows that the number of women going through domestic violencesurpasses their male counterparts by far, the situations may bedifferent on the ground. The society has socialized men to be incontrol over their wives and families. As such, battered men are lesslikely to report these incidents to the police or even talk aboutthem to their friends as this welcomes embarrassment and loss ofself-esteem (Morgan & Chadwick, 2011) .
Research shows that much empowerment is needed to tame the problem ofdomestic violence. Despite the prevalent nature of domestic violence,victims hardly report these incidences to the police. According toMorgan & Chadwick (2011), victimization reports show that onlybetween 14 and 36% of victims of domestic violence notifies thepolice about their abusive relationships. The major factor that hasbeen attributed to the low reporting rate of incidents of domesticviolence is that most victims are less likely to view these acts as acrime compared to when the abuse is perpetrated by a stranger. Theother reason is the belief that the incident was petty to report aswell as the fear of embarrassment and shame. Some victims fear theconsequences of reporting the incident, the reaction of theperpetrator, cultural beliefs, and the concerns over having tonarrate their ordeal to multiple parties (Morgan & Chadwick,2011). . As such, the victim needs to be educated on how to identifyincidences of domestic violence and reports them to the police.Besides, more protection needs to be provided to survivors ofdomestic violence to encourage them to seek assistance from thegovernment and nongovernmental organizations.
Although domestic violence affects people of all economicbackgrounds, research shows that poor women are more likely to bevictims compared to their wealthy counterparts. For example, AmericanCivil Rights Liberties (2014) reports that women who come fromfamilies with household incomes of less than $7,500 are seven timesmore likely to experience domestic violence compared to theircounterparts with a household income of over $75,000 . This meansthat poverty is the major contributing factor to domestic violence.As such, there should be strategies for alleviating poverty as wellas helping the victims of domestic violence become independentfinancially (United Nation Children’s Fund, 2011). .
In conclusion, domestic violence is one of the most prevalent socialproblems affecting both men and women from all social class, ages,sexual orientation, and races. It is characterized by one of theindividuals in intimate relationships emotionally, physically, oreconomically subjugating their partners. Research shows thatapproximately 20 people are victimized by their partners every minutein America. Intimate partner has adverse effects such as physicalinjuries, psychological torture, and loss of job to the victim andthe country. It is also the leading cause of homelessness in America.In addressing the issue, there is a need for more legislations,empowerment and education to fight the cultural factors,discrimination, and poverty that predispose individuals to domesticviolence.
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