Domestic Violence In Society Essay

1246 words - 5 pages

The Women's Aid federation defines domestic violence as the physical,
psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within a
family type or an intimate relationship, and forms a pattern of
coercive and controlling behaviour. It may involve partners,
ex-partners or other relatives. Though the more
common view of domestic violence is that it is the behaviour of some
disturbed 'sick' individuals.

However sociologists have questioned this, saying that it's far too
widespread to be the work of just a few individuals. Domestic violence
accounts for almost a quarter of all violent crimes and is estimated
that 6.6 million domestic assaults occur every year.

Domestic Violence follows certain social patterns and these patterns
have social causes. Most shocking of these patterns is that it is
mainly violence by men against women. Catriona Mirrlees-Blacks survey
in 1999 found that most victims of violent domestic crimes are women,
99% of all incidents against women are committed by men, nearly 1 in 4
women have been assaulted by a partner at some in her life and 1 in 8
have been repeatedly assaulted. Dobash and Dobash believe a reason for
this was that violent incidents could be triggered off by what men saw
as a challenge to there authority, such as his wife asking why he was
late home for dinner. They argued that marriage legitimates violence
against women by conferring power and authority on husbands and
dependency on wives. Official statistics on domestic violence actually
understate the true extent of the problem this is for two main

Firstly many victims maybe unwilling to report the incident to the
police, In 1997 Stephanie Yearnshire found that on average a woman may
suffer around 35 assaults before making a report. Secondly police and
prosecutors maybe somewhat reluctant to investigate, record or
prosecute those cases that are reported to them. According to David
Cheal this reluctance is due the fact that the police make 3
assumptions that cause them to be unwilling to become involved in the
family. The first assumption is that the family is private so access
to it should be limited, secondly they see the family as a good thing
and so they tend to neglect the 'darker side' of it and thirdly its
assumed that the women is able to leave if she is suffering abuse and
is unhappy, though this is not technically true many women that suffer
abuse are often financially dependant on their husbands and are
actually unable to leave.

Radical Feminists believe that all societies have been founded in
patriarchy and that the key division in society is not between social
classes but between men and women. Radical Feminists see men as the
enemy, the source of women's oppression and exploitation and they see
the family and marriage as the key institutions in...

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