Domestic Violence Essay

2044 words - 8 pages

IntroductionDomestic Violence Against Women is a global issue reaching acrossnational boundaries as well as socio-economic, cultural, racial and classdistinctions. It is a problem without frontiers. Not only is the problemwidely dispersed geographically, but its incidence is also extensive, making ita typical and accepted behavior. Only recently, within the past twenty-fiveyears, has the issue been "brought into the open as a field of concern andstudy" (Violence Against Women in the Family, page 38).Domestic violence is not an isolated, individual event but rather apattern of repeated behaviors that the abuser uses to gain power and controlover the victim. Unlike stranger-to-stranger violence, in domestic violencesituations the same perpetrator repeatedly assaults the same victim. Theseassaults are often in the form of physical injury, but may also be in the formof sexual assault. However the abuse is not only physical and sexual, but alsopsychological. Psychological abuse means intense and repetitive humiliation,creating isolation, and controlling the actions of the victim throughintimidation or manipulation. Domestic violence tends to become more frequentand severe over time. Oftentimes the abuser is physically violent sporadically,but uses other controlling tactics on a daily basis. All tactics have profoundeffects on the victim.Perpetrators of domestic violence can be found in all age, racial,ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, linguistic, educational, occupational andreligious groups. Domestic violence is found in all types of intimaterelationships whether the individuals are of the same or opposite sex, aremarried or dating, or are in a current or past intimate relationship. There aretwo essential elements in every domestic violence situation: the victim andabuser have been intimately involved at some point in time, and the abuserconsciously chooses to use violence and other abusive tactics to gain controlover the victim. In some instances, the abuser may be female while the victim ismale; domestic violence also occurs in gay and lesbian relationships. However,95% of reported assaults on spouses or ex-spouses are committed by men againstwomen (MTCAWA e-mail interview)"It is a terrible and recognizable fact that for many people, home isthe least safe place" (Battered Dreams, 9). Domestic violence is real violence,often resulting in permanent injuries or death. Battering is a widespreadsocietal problem with consequences reaching far beyond individual families. Itis conduct that has devastating effects for individual victims, their childrenand their communities. In addition to these immediate effects, there is growingevidence that violence within the "family becomes the breeding ground for othersocial problems such as substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and violentcrimes of all types" (MTCAWA e-mail interview). Domestic violence againstwomen is not merely a domestic issue; but, rather a complex socio-economicalcrisis that threatens the...

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