VIEWS: 208 PAGES: 11 CATEGORY: Education POSTED ON: 7/19/2010
This is an essay (1500words) I did on domestic violence. It has statistics and explains why such events occur in our society today as we see it.
I would like to start by introducing a few interesting UK government statistics. Every year in the UK alone domestic violence costs society £6 billion. (Medical-News) Domestic violence comes in many shapes and forms, this ranges from; domestic violence, rape and sexual violence, sexual harassment, and can go on as far as trafficking and sexual exploitation. 3 million women across the UK will experience domestic violence each year. On average 1 in 4 women will encounter domestic violence in their lifetime and two women are killed every week as a result to their current or former partners. Statistics shows us that domestic violence accounts for 14% of all violent incidents with women and children being at high risk of repeat victimisation, regardless of age, gender, religion, sexuality, or wealth everyone is susceptible to domestic violence. (Women's Aid). The police receive a phone call every minute because of reports of domestic violence, that's 1,300 calls a day and 570,000 a year with 99% of all reports against women with men being the perpetrator.(Home office research study 191-the assailants) Even though it is impossible to know the full figures and statistics, these statistics alone is enough proof that domestic violence is a big concern in the UK. It will continue to be until there is adequate punishment and education for assailants that commit the offence and the persons that re-offend. Although domestic violence is represented as a 'taboo' subject to most women that experience it, we don't know how many people will go without reporting such crime. It is also known in the UK that repeat victimisation is very high, with 44% of women will be involved again in domestic violence. (Dodd et al, July 2004) And it’s important that support continues for victims and help remains at hand to stomp such a terrible crime out of the society and out of the lives of the people in the UK. Many people think domestic violence is just that -a domestic with punching, kicking, slapping etc- but it’s much deeper than that. When I first started this essay I thought the same as many people but after further research I now know it can be “physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship, ” (Women's Aid). A person that commits this sort of atrocity does this because they adopt and maintain behavioural patterns in which these patterns will then allow them to gain and maintain control over another person. From my research I've found many articles that state such things as an abuser does not play fair, this is true, they break down the women's self esteem, self confidence. Then what follows is women then start to believe what the man has told them to be true and where violence occurs the batterer will always insist the victim was to blame for the violence. (helpguide.org) (women's web,) Why does domestic violence occur? A man that commits domestic violence may well say they committed this offence because “I suffer from stress, I have financial difficulties, family dysfunction, or have poor communication skills” but this is not the cause it’s just casting blame on outside circumstances. Some abusers say they commit abuse because they have anger problems but this is just a front. This is because usually the only victim is the partner; you hardly would see the abuser assaulting another individual and this is most likely because he does not want to blow his cover that he is an abuser. Abusers have a cycle of behaviour; this is abuse, guilt, excuses, normal behaviour, fantasy and set up. (The Cycle of Violence in Domestic Abuse). Another Theory for domestic violence is the “Brain Damage Theory” Frank Elliot is a psychiatrist from the Pennsylvania hospital and believed that wife assaulters committed there violence because of an aberration in the limbic system of the brain which in turn causes explosive rage or episodic disscontrol. Frank also stated that the most common condition in domestic violence is lobe epilepsy which is where the brain uncontrollably commits electric discharges in the brain. Frank believes that the cause of this could be past trauma to the brain, such as interruption to the oxygen supply at birth or a past accident. Human development is the process of becoming biologically mature and the expansion of human capabilities, it could be said that a person’s well being can depend on how well their human growth and development has developed through them growing up. Over the decades women have had to adjust in lots of ways. There was a time when women had to stay at home cook, clean, look after the children etc. While men believed they were the bread winners and the masculine icon whilst around the house they were getting waited on hand and foot by the wife. This has changed considerably to this present day and women lead pretty much the same lives as men, they go to work and enjoy nights out and most of all they have a bigger say in the home and society in general. Though it is a good point to note that they often get overlooked in occupations and in certain work places and this will stop a women's chance of reaching their self actualization. This could be a possible reason why men use violence in a relationship as they may feel threatened that their role has been taken as the bread winner of the family and feel undermined. This would almost certainly be the case if the male has old fashioned anti-feminist views such as women should stay at home and look after the children and house chores. Human empowerment has a few interesting meanings, one being is ones individual strength to make decisions. Empowerment is all about taking and being in control and being in a position to influence others. Abusers use empowerment strategies to gain control of the victim, whilst this is happening it is also having the opposite effect on the victim by lowering their empowerment and self-esteem. This can lead to the victim being isolated and submerged under the power of the abuser and being left feeling there is no way out. Many people ask the question 'why do women stay in violent relationships?' And that if they wanted to leave why don't they? This in its self is casting blame on the victim by asking a question, when instead the real question should be, why do men commit battery? Women stay for many reasons as during a violent relationship they are often experiencing many emotions, one of which is being scared of their partner. The following main reasons for women to stay in a violent relationship are due to lack of resources available to the victim. Most victims have at least one dependent this can affect the way the victims mental state thinks because they normally think what's best for their child. Another reason is they may not have employment which then means they don't have access to money which they could then use to help them escape from the violence. If they are not in employment the chances are that they also do not socialise as much as those people in employment if not at all. This can leave them feeling worthless, isolated, trapped and insecure. The most common reason I would say from my research is that they stay because they fear their lives would go dramatically downhill or decline for themselves and their children and no parent wants this to happen. It is also a good point to note that many women from many ethnic backgrounds and religions have beliefs, beliefs that they should always be with the child's father or that it is unethical to not live with the person they are married to. I think it’s important to show victims there is a way out if they just stand up and find the courage and make that first move to be having a violent free life and see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We know very little on the experiences and lasting effects of domestic violence where children are concerned. In most cases where domestic violence is noticed, children go overlooked and do not receive the support they need and so deserve. (Gorin, Sarah, 2004) After all it is not the children's fault and nor is it the victims. What we do know is children are more aware of what’s going on than the parents think, but they don't understand why it is happening and can lead to the child often refusing to open up their emotions which in turn will affect their development and the way they see family life and development of future relationships. Children can and are used as a weapon in relationships. This can be done in a variety of ways, by keeping the children close to the abuser he knows the mother won’t be going anywhere in return she will not leave him and will watch what she says when other people are around. The children always being with him or in his grasp also gives him chance to emotionally groom the child or children by doing so the children will start to become more attached to the father than the mother. Another reason the children can be used like a weapon is by the abuser always putting down the mother to them and degrading her confidence, if this happens it could be impossible for the mother to regain and keep control over her children when needed. Over a third of victims who had children said their child was aware of the last assault they experienced. Children are emotionally and mentally and on occasions physically used in domestic violence and can also be the subject of abuse, of both physical and mental behaviour or both by the abuser. Children are used against the victim in situations by under-mining the victim/parent, a good example of this is the mother saying one thing to their child and the abuser saying the total opposite. Also this can be done by verbally abusing the victim in sight of the children and putting her down which lowers her self esteem. If this happens it is in most cases creates a bases for children to think this is acceptable behaviour and there for adopt and accept the mental and physical aspects of the abuser. Things are being done to help domestic violence victims, domestic violence injunctions are widely used across the UK. There are two types of injunction orders: a non molestation order which is “aimed at preventing your partner or ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you”, which if broken carries a maximum of 5 years in jail, the other is an occupation order which “regulates who can live in the family home, and can also restrict your abuser from entering the surrounding area” (women's aid-getting an injunction). Although a law change would be appropriate because I believe there are inadequate ways of enforcing this law. I say this because many victims report still being contacted by the abuser after an injunction has been enforced. And after all, if an abuser broke their injunction it could already be too late for the police to intervene. I'm a big believer that prevention is better than cure, if a cure is needed then it has already happened and is already too late and all that is left to do is pick up the pieces, but if prevention happens then it can be the first step to preventing domestic violence happening in the first place, surely this is the way forward. Things that can be done to help prevent domestic violence are educating people while they are young and to show them that violence is unacceptable. There is also therapy for abusers which may help them change their ways this is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which can help change how the person thinks about their self, the world and think about other people. Although this is not a quick solution it is very effective. (The Royal Collage of Psychiatrists) It is a shame that prevention only occurs after the incident has already happened but as long as support and help for abusers and victims remains readily available hopefully statistics in the future will show a sharp fall in domestic violence. BIBLIOGRAPHY Browne, A (1993). Violence against women by male partners: prevalence outcomes and policy implications’. American Psychologist, Vol. 48 No. 10, pp 1077-1087. DirectGov, (2009), Victims of crime – Domestic Violence, [online] Available at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CrimeJusticeAndTheLaw/VictimsOfCrime/DG_4003136 [27 Jan 2009]. Domestic Violence: Findings from a new British Crime Survey self-completion questionnaire/The assaults/ http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hors191.pdf End Violence Against Women, (2008), The facts-What is violence against women?, [online] Url Available at: http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/pages/the_facts.html [27 Jan 2010]. Family Violence Law Centre, (2003), Why do women stay in violent relationships?- Fact sheet, www.fvlc.org, Url, Available at: http://www.fvlc.org/pdf_fvlc/English_WhyWomenStay.pdf [27 Jan 2010]. Gorin, Sarah, (2004), Understanding what children say about living with domestic violence, parental substance misuse or parental health problems, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Url, Available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/understanding-what-children-say-about-living-with-domestic- violence-parental-substance- [29 Jan 2010]. GREAT BRITAIN. Home Office, (2010), Violent Crime-Domestic violence, [online] Url, Available at: http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/violentcrime/dv01.htm [27 Jan 2010]. Help Guide, (2009) Domestic violence- [online] Url, Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm [27 Jan 2010. HM Government, (2008-2009)National Domestic violence Delivery Plan- Annual Progress Report, Url, Available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/dom-violence-delivery-plan-08- 092835.pdf?view=Binary [21 Jan 2010]. Osofsky, joy D, (1999), The future of children- domestic violence and children, Vol. 9 No.3 – winter 1999. The Future of Children, Vol. 9, No. 3, Domestic Violence and Children (Winter, 1999), pp. 33-49 (article consists of 17 pages) The Royal Collage Of Psychiatrists, (2010), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy -(CBT), Url, Available at: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/therapies/cognitivebehaviouraltherapy.as px [29 Jan 2010]. Walby, S., (2004), The Cost of Domestic Violence 2004, [online] University Of Leeds: Women & Equality Unit. Available at: http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/Summ%20cost%20of%20domestic%20violence%20Sep%2004.p df [29 Jan 2010]. Wasik, Martin, (2009), Domestic Violence- The Panel's Advice To Sentencing Guidelines Council, Url, Available at: http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/advice-domestic-violence.pdf [28 Jan 2010]. Women's Aid,(2009), Domestic Violence FAQ (PDF) [online] Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220041&s ectionTitle=Domestic [29 Jan 2010]. Women's Aid, (2009), The Survivors Handbook- Getting An Injunction, Url, Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors- handbook.asp?section=000100010008000100330002 [27 Jan 2010]. Women's Aid, (2009), The Survivors Handbook- Police and the criminal prosecution process, Url, Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors- handbook.asp?section=000100010008000100330003 [27 Jan 2010]. Women's Aid, (2009), Topic Statistics, [online] Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220036§ionT itle=Statistics [29 Jan 2010] . Women's Web, (2009), Domestic Violence- Why does domestic violence happen?, [online] Url, Available at: http://www.womensweb.ca/violence/dv/index.php [27 Jan 2010].
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