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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Domestic Violence in America Introduction: Today in American society we have many social ills. Perhaps one of the most upsetting, at least to me personally, is domestic violence. Domestic violence can come in many shapes and forms and affects many different people. Reasons vary for spousal/child abuse, but none are justified. Police/community programs have recently had a more pro-active role in domestic violence, but that is not a solution to our problem at large.

On the micro level, the ultimate responsibility of elimination of violence rests on the victim. On the macro level, we must look at our society critically and analyze why we have such an immense problem and how we can help correct it. In the following sections I will discuss domestic violence issues and attempt to offer some solutions. I will frequently use anecdotal evidence, as well as statistical figures. I assign genders to the abuser and victim using he and she or husband and wife frequentlythis is for simplification.

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Although most victimization is male against female, I am generalizing for simplicity. Discussion: Domestic violence is a prevalent issue in the United States. There is much controversy as too how much violence actually exists in America (much of it takes place behind closed doors and is difficult to identify), but assuredly we have a problem with the issue as it is reported that almost 4% of American families experienced severe physical violence of a degree that had the probability of inflicting injury or death upon the victim (stabbed, gun used, beat up, punched) (www.silcom.com/paladin/madv/faq-dv.html). This 4% may seem like a small figure, but it equates to four million victims (and that only includes the major injury-inflicting violence). Another source states that 1 in 3 women will be assaulted by a domestic partner in her lifetime (www.npcts.edu/uo/handson/domviol/statfact.html). Another source indicates that 63% of parents have engaged in violent acts towards their children (Assaults Against Women and Children, p.

219). Truly this issue is unacceptable in a civil society such as ours. Domestic violence, when most people hear that term, think of husbands assaulting wives. This is an unfair generalization. Violence is more likely against women than men but nevertheless women are sometimes the perpetrators. Another fact left in the corner when discussing domestic violence is how much occurs between high school boyfriends/girlfriends.

Figures indicate that 1 in 10 high school students has experienced physical violence in dating. The figure rises to 22% for college students (www.npcts.edu/uo/handson/domviol/statfact.html). Perhaps most importantly and tragically, children can be affected by domestic violence in both direct and indirect ways. A clear estimate of abuse is difficult to determine due to data collection methods and a precise definition of violence against children, but statistics indicate that up to 3 million children are abused/neglected each year Of this number, a mere 150,000 cases are reported. (Dont Call it Child Abuse, Its Really Poverty, p. 260).

This number is astronomical and totally unacceptable. Even if children are not directly abused, many witness their parents abuse each other. As a child I witnessed domestic violence (fortunately mostly verbal) nightly when I was young. I didnt understand why they fought so much and so often. I couldnt imagine the way I would have felt had my parents truly injured each other.

Most of the time they broke stuff and yelled and screamed. I remember the only way I could interpret the situation (like many other kids) was to blame myself. The emotional stress violence places on kids (even if not directed at them) is a very serious issue. There are many reasons that spouses choose to beat their wives/children. One explanation that is popular is that of frustration.

The (often) male authoritarian figure in the household in todays society is often threatened by a burden of responsibilities. Even if the wife does work, often the male feels responsible to be the breadwinner. If he is unable to fulfill his role, or if he feels that the role is threatened, (job problems or wife earning more), he is likely to become disgruntled. This stressful situation leaves the person feeling powerless and without control. The one place where he (again, most of the time it is a male) can have total power and control is at home.

When he does arrive home and the household is not to his liking, violence may erupt due to his perception of all control in his life lost and a possible build-up of work related stress. You could call it a sort of catharsis. Another factor which could increase the likeliness of violence is the use of alcohol/drugs. My parents used to drink quite heavily. Only then would violence erupt. Surprisingly, most people elect to stay with their spouse after being abused (even if it is regular).

Some, often like children, blame themselves. One woman states, I blamed me, and I still feel sometimes like it was my fault. . . (Battered Women: Strategies for Survival, p.

245). Others find that they have no choice but to stay with their spouse. A traditional one-income family leaves a woman homemaker (or unskilled woman laborer) little option to leave financially. Others stay because they think it is best for the kids to maintain the marriage. Still others, no matter how severe the violence is, think that it will go away.

Most of the time, the violence never goes away completely in a repeatedly abusive family. Often police are called by a victim or a concerned person that has suspected violence. In the past, police have more readily dismissed domestic violence calls and let the involved persons sort their issues out themselves. Upon impetus from interest groups and community-task forces, many advances have been made to allow victims opportunities to relieve their situation (at least temporarily). An increasing number of police forces have pro-arrest policies for domestic violence.

Some are implementing the technology based intervention of electronic monitoring to help control abusers (Police Responses to Battered Women: Past, Present and Future, p. 92). Still, other communities have allocated many funds to battered women shelters, counseling programs, victim-assistance programs, and other solutions. Ultimately, it is not the polices responsibility to deal with the abuser, it is the victim. The victim needs to escape the situation through separation.

Once a wife-beater, always a wife-beater is what I say (generally). Conclusion: In the above, I have discussed a few issues surrounding the domestic violence issue. Volumes could be written about the prevalence, seriousness, demographics, intervention systems, implications, and many other topics about the issue. No matter which way you want to look at the issue, we have a very serious problem. There is no excuse for this social injustice–especially when you see domestic violence rates on the rise. It downright appalls me. We must look at our social/political/economic institutions critically, because assuredly they are the major contributors to our social problems, including domestic violence.

Traditionally in American society, we have had a patriarchal system. This social construction is a major underlying mechanism in provoking domestic violence. The patriarchal system relies on the presumption that the male is the head of the household; assertive and always right, unconditionally. The woman is the second-in-command; to take the place of the husband while he is awaybut only when he is away. The woman is expected to fulfill the mans needs and to support him in whatever he believes and does, unconditionally. Children are also to be submissive and obey elders without questionespecially their father (I always remember my mother saying, Dont you make me get your father!.

To see the manifestation of this early 20th century phenomena, we need look no farther than our grandparents. My grandmother (on either side of the family) never questions my grandfather. She supports him in every way; seeing to his every need without question or hesitation (I might add that my grandfather on my mothers side is college educated and my grandmother is not even high school educatedepitomizing the clash of expectations for women/men in that era. Today in modern America, however, we can see this system changing. Womens rights are increasing constantly. Slowly America is becoming egalitarian.

I still dont see our domestic violence problem decreasing because of this social change; obviously since it is on the rise according to statisticians. I think that the egalitarian (dual-earner) state we are evolving in is creating more stress than ever for couples. Another major player in the problem of domestic violence is our fascination with violence in America. Today, to see death, all you need do is flip on a TV set. Cartoons, that used to depict comical stories, now depict violent acts (often with blood) with the intent on competition and winning.

Our kids are taught at an early age that violence is the answer. Boys especially are influenced by our machismo masculine culture. Girls are taught to be passive and feminine. As an anecdotal example: throughout my socialization as a child, it took me a long time to figure out that males dont have to be aggressive and domineering to be cool. Constantly I was bombarded with TV shows depicting the male masculine hero that shoots up the bad guys and treats the women with utmost assertiveness. Only now can I see the implications of things like that.

The prevalence of domestic violence in America is out-of-hand. Reasons are many for our problem, but above all, I conceptualize our socialization of competition/violence and our traditional male patriarchal philosophies at the root of the problem. On the macro-level, we need to teach our kids better values and beliefs. If truly we are going to have an egalitarian system, we need to dispel the notion that females should be fundamentally different from males in their socialization. Males, to this day, are still brought up with the implication of a patriarchal system and increasingly are exposed to violence. With this formula, we can expect to see much more violence in the future. Looking down on the micro level, the answer is simple: leave the relationship.

Your life is more precious than a relationship.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence I have read a lot of statistics and personal testimonies about Domestic Violence situations. Most of us know the patterns. Most of us are familiar with the statistics. Oftentimes statistics are only numbers unless you or someone you know have become one and have lived that hell personally. Many of us have, including myself. While we can, and should, do our part as individuals, and as groups, to lobby for protection, for support, and for awareness, we also need to realize that, as difficult as it may seem, each of us has been given free will.

While it may seem the most difficult thing to accept that we maintain some control of our destiny in most cases- especially after years of being told otherwise- it is ultimately the most empowering realization. I know it was for me. As a victim of the most extreme forms of physical and verbal domestic abuse for six years- having been beaten bloody on a regular basis; having been raped and inhumanly tortured almost daily- I came to a point where I knew that while I had support from friends and family, it was ultimately me alone who would make the final decision to walk away from something that wasn’t right and could no longer continue. That was probably the most difficult thing for me to do in my whole life. I always believed that marriage is something you do not take lightly.

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I took the words ..till death do us part literally up to that point. My children- whom I loved and cherished more than anything in the world- were the product of this marriage. Up until I made this difficult decision, I thought it was my duty to God, and to my family to continue things as they were. Until I realized that .till death do us part took on a whole new meaning. If I had stayed this man would have killed me.

Each beating escalated to the point that I was convinced this man will end my life at some point had I stayed. Imagine how I felt the day I decided that I needed to walk away for my own safety and for the safety of my children. I didn’t sneak out of the house. I waited for the father of my children to come home. I looked him in the face and told him I was leaving, and with escorts, I did so with my children and ran for three years in fear.

Today, I have attained the financial stability to provide for my family after a long and hard road, and that far exceeds the money my ex husband did not allow me to have in our marriage. Today, I am in a wonderful, healthy relationship that made me realize that I wasn’t the problem all along as my ex husband told me every time I was beaten bloody for offenses that were only unacceptable to him. I cannot promise you financial success after you leave a marriage, nor will I tell you that leaving a marriage or a relationship is the right thing to do in a particular case. But I will tell you that the cycle of violence can end with you and with those whom you allow to help you should you find yourself trapped in an abusive relationship. From the time I said I do, I fell under the umbrella of statistics that show that a woman is battered every 15 seconds in this country.

In the time it took you to read this, 6 women were battered in one form or another by an intimate. What happens behind closed doors doesn’t make this issue none of anyone’s business, because behind those closed doors could be your sister, your mother, your daughter, your friend..even you.. This is how I envision a stop in the cycle. I envision a candle that lights the way for others. I have a candle and perhaps others do as well.

And that is a start, but imagine what happens when the flames of two or more candles join. Those flames shine with greater brightness and strength, yet suffer none in their individuality. So, I have a flame and perhaps you, or someone you know has a flame. What do you want to do with them? They could mean the difference between life and death to those who cannot yet make their voices heard. Sociology Issues.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Domestic violence is a serious issue in todays society that is often overlooked. It affects people of all ages, races, and sexes, yet still not many people know anything about it. There are many different types of Domestic violence in families. They include: child abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse. All of which are very traumatic for the victims involved. Child abuse is one of the top types of violence that is often left unknown. The reason it is never reported is because often, the child being abused is scared to tell an authority. In many cases the abuser would threaten the child.

In other cases the abuser would tell the child that it was their fault they were being beaten. After being told something like this the child is scared for their own safety if anyone were to find out their secret, so they do not tell anyone about what is going on in their lives. Some cases of child abuse are taken to the extreme and a young person ends up dead. Of all the child murder cases 61% of the time the mother is the murderer. The statistics are scary, but until the kids who are being abused are brave enough to tell someone about their problem it will never change.

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Sexual abuse is the second highest type of violence that is left untold. In this case the victim is often too embarrassed to tell someone, or in many cases they feel that they may have somehow lead the person on and that is why the incident or incidents occurred. Sexual abuse is described as any kind of sexual contact or communication that leaves the person feeling violated, hurt, or violated. You may ask what provokes violator to do such a thing? Many studies show that 33% of the offenders had been sexually abused as a child. This means that they learned of the abuse when they were younger and maybe thought that was the only way to do it. This can be a real problem and lead to very dangerous outcomes.

The third type of domestic violence in families is emotional abuse. This is where one person in the family verbally abuses someone else. They would say things that would lead the person to believe they are worthless or are not good enough for anyone. This type of abuse causes no physical harm but is very damaging to the victims self-conscience. There are not a lot of people that report these types of abuse cases, but there are more reported than with the child abuse cases and the sexual abuse cases. When people do not report in this case they are usually not for sure that what they are receiving is an actual form of violence or abuse. The forth and final type of domestic violence is physical abuse in the family.

It is where one person, usually a spouse, is physically beating their partner. Child abuse also falls into this category. It is important to remember in these cases that women are not the only victims of physical abuse. Men are also often victims. This may seem unlikely because men are usually the taller and stronger of the spouses.

In one survey 18.6% of the men interviewed reported being abused by their spouse, while only 12% of the women interviewed reported being abused by their spouse. This proves the statement that it does not matter what sex, age, or race you are to be a victim of domestic violence. In conclusion, there are different kinds of domestic violence, but all kinds are very hurtful and damaging to a family and its members. To stop the violence you must make sure facts and information about violence in homes are well publicized. If they are not the statistics will never change and the amount of domestic violence cases we are seeing today will never drop. There are, however, several ways to get help if you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is.

You can either tell a school authority, police, or call a hotline specially made to help people in distress. Hopefully soon we can decrease or eliminate the domestic violence occurring in families all around the world. Bibliography Bringar, Jerry L. Breaking Free from Domestic Violence. Atlanta: Hazelden Information Education, July 1992. Cook, Philip W. Abused Men.

Boston: Praeger Publishing Trade, October 1997. Pryke, Julie and Thomas, Martin. Domestic Violence and Social Work. USA: Ashgate Publishing company, September 1998. http://mypage.goplay.com/TADV/ http://www.famvi.com/factstat.htm http://www.vix.com/pub/men/battery/stats/smiller-c ollex.html Social Issues.

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