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Family Violence: A Problem Further Explained

2549 words - 10 pages

Shuler (2010) admits while females are among the majority in regards to being victims of family violence, males are victims as well. Because so much emphasis has been placed on protecting and providing support services to women who are victims of family violence, male victims typically do not report their victimization due to the misinformation of not being able to be protected by police (Shuler, 2010). This was due in part to no one believing a male could be a victim of family violence, or the thought of not having any resources available to them for being a victim. Shuler (2010) indicates that while there is no way of knowing the actual amount of males who are victims of domestic violence due to underreporting, the male domestic violence victim is a rising number. Due to the stigma attached to males, male victims are more likely to face threats of incarceration, have their stories dismissed, or actually arrested than their female offenders (Shuler, 2010). One reason for this belief is due to women being considered the weaker sex and not believed to be capable of committing such a crime. Shuler (2010) notes that police officers also at times form the opinion that the female was just defending herself against an action of the male partner. Shuler (2010) indicates since this stigma is present, lawsuits have been filed against criminal justice agencies for failure to protect male victims, which in turn caused many agencies to make arrests in domestic violence situations mandatory. However, some police officers, rather than finding out the true offender or victim, simply arrest both parties. This type of action is possibly related to the rise in arrest rates of females in family violence cases (Shuler, 2010). However, the rise in arrests of females could also be due to a shift in public opinion on who is able to commit these crimes (Shuler, 2010). Studies in these situations also found the use of a weapon during a family violence case was more likely to be used by a female offender against a male victim (Shuler, 2010). Furthermore, female offenders were found to be more violent than male offenders were. In one court study, males were further re-victimized by the lack of resources made available to them. That being said, the lack of prosecution of female offenders was mainly due to the male victim not willing to cooperate with the prosecution. Because of the stereotypes associated with males being victims of family violence, the courts, prosecution teams, police agencies, and criminal justice agencies as a whole have begun to recognize the need for formal training on these situations (Shuler, 2010).
Overview of Prior Research
Auchter and Backes (2013) note that to understand domestic violence better, the criminal justice society must first understand its definition. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (1994) defines domestic violence as any felony or misdemeanor crime committed by one spouse against another, or by a person who...

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