The Nature and Cause of Problems of Domestic Abuse
TheNature and Cause of Problems of Domestic Abuse
TheNature and Cause of Problems of Domestic Abuse
Domesticabuse, also referred to as domestic violence, is arguably one of thesocial challenges that the society must confront. Although thedefinitions of domestic abuse are varied, the problem is perceived asa repeated pattern of violent behaviors directed a member in afamily, a relationship, marriage, or people cohabiting (Johnson,2012).Domestic abuse spans different forms of violent behaviors, includingof physical aggression, assault, dominance, covert abuse and issuingthreats. However, it is worth noting that some jurisdictions havedefined domestic violence to include criminal coercion, harassment,trespassing, and endangerment and stalking, and even denial of basicrights. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and causeof the problems in domestic abuse.
Thestatistics on domestic abuse are documented and presented the problemas a rampant issue that warrants speedy attention. For instance,according to Waits(2012),as significant as 22 percent of the incidents of violentvictimization was domestic violence. The most notable incidents ofdomestic violence included rape and physical and verbal assault, andthese were perpetrated by one of the family members, relatives, orintimate partners. The violence involving the intimate partners wasthe most common, which accounted for well over 17 percent of thecases. The violence perpetrated by one member within the familysetting was also dominant, accounting for 4 percent of the domesticabuse, yet the abuse involving relatives accounted for 2 percent.However, the most startling statistics are evidenced by the casualacquaintances and strangers, accounting for 32 percent and 38percent, respectively (Waits,2012).
Sincedomestic violence has far-reaching social implications on thesociety, various jurisdictions across the world have beendeliberating on how to address the issue. However, to a certainextent, the efforts are constrained by lack of clear understanding ofthe cause of the problem. Indeed, while several interventions havebeen adopted, these have not yielded satisfactory results. In theUnited States, domestic abuse is treated as a serious issue withinthe justice systems. The court litigation process is oriented towardsfulfilling two elements: protecting the victims from further abuse,and ensuring justice is served against the perpetrators. Such actionsdisregard certain social needs of the family, making familiesvulnerable to divorce and disintegration (Troxel& Matthews, 2014).Criticshave discredited the United States justice systems by drawingcomparisons with judicial processes of countries such as SaudiArabia, in which the litigation processes prioritizes the familyunity and continuity.
Theperspectives regarding domestic violence tend to be varied bycountry. For instance, while certain behaviors of domestic abuse areconsidered criminal in the West, they are not treated withseriousness in the Middle East. This situation is exemplified by therecent ruling by the SupremeCourt of United Arab Emirates that legalized wife battering,considered it a justifiable means of punishing a wife. However, thatonly applies to the extent that the wife is not injured. Theperceptions on what amounts to domestic abuse are also varied. Forinstance, according to U.S. Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment (2013), about 90 percent of Jordanian women do notperceive wife battering as an act of domestic violence. Rather, it isa legitimate act of disciplining a wife for wrongdoing. The samescenario is experienced by countries in Africa such as Sierra Leone,Ethiopia, Guinea, Laos and Zambia.
Whicheverthe case, the consequences of domestic violence are profound.According to Taylor and Sharpe (2012), an incident of domestic abuseis has adverse psychological, as well as physical implications on thevictims. Domestic abuse could result in injuries or death, which canbe typically caused by shooting, beating, and other forms of physicaltorture. Besides, Gottmanand Jacobson (2013)note that, since many involve court litigation process, domesticviolence can also result in financial losses. Other social problemscould include break of family members through divorce, incarcerationsand placing children under custody.
Therehave been concerns that the minority communities are overrepresentedin domestic abuse. Nevertheless, the exact statistics of vulnerablegroups such as children facing domestic abuse are not known, althoughit is thought to correlate with the number of incidents of womenabuse. The study by Stewart, Steiman, Cauce, Cochran, Whitbeck andHoyt (2014) revealed that at least one in five women have experienceddomestic abuse at one moment in their life since the age of 16,including threatening and use of force. Waits(2012) hasfurther pointed out that well over 750,000 children are living inhomes characterized by domestic abuse. The presence of children inhouseholds is known to double the chances of domestic abuse forwomen, thereby increasing the susceptibility of children to the sameproblem. While the research on the prevalence of domestic abuse hasbeen increasing over time, the experiences of individuals from theminority populations is not well documented, implying that manysubstantive issues aimed at informing the practice are notunderstood.
FactorsResponsible for Rampant Domestic Abuse
Theresearch article by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(2013) acknowledges the rampant nature of domestic violence andpostulates various accounts for the problem. The author singles outthat the use of gun brandishing is perhaps the most common techniquesthat aggressors use to exert power to perpetrate forms of domesticabuse such as coercion and threatening. The author notes that certainforms of domestic violence are linked to irresponsible gun dealers,trade, and inadequate training in proper gun handling. These factorshave led to domestic violence, increased number of deaths fromdomestic arguments, increase in accidents involving guns andsuicide-related cases among homes. Authorities have failed atpreventing illegal gun trade across borders enabling youths to accessthem.
Toa certain extent, domestic violence, especially those perpetratedbetween children, has to do with the evolving nature of the Westernculture and exposure to the violent media. Taylor and Sharpe (2012)discuss that domestic violence among children and those involve groupgangs is rampant, linking it to violent media content. Transitions inthe behavior of teen can be noticeable when they are inclined intothese programs. Youths are driven into adopting different charactersin those and even play their role. By playing the" bad guys"role in these plays and video games, violent characters are nurtured.Poor temperament control blended with guns for youths can hence becatastrophes. It could be argued that the society should take fullresponsibility in ensuring parental guidelines are observed to shapethe mental growth of their children. Besides, video game programmersshould create the different forms of games that suit different agegroups, limiting violence in the media and monitoring childrenbehaviors. This point is relevant because it does not only identifythe media violence as a cause of domestic violence among the youth,but also provides some recommendations to address it. Yet it alsoinvites the discussion on whether it truly holds that media violenceis to blame for the problem.
Domesticabuse has also been associated with drug abuse among any of thefamily members. Bramlett,William and Mosher (2013)discussthe role of drug abuse in exacerbating domestic violence. The processof indulging in drugs cause people to lose self-control. The lack ofself-control could further lead to different consequences, such asresulting in neglect and escalating squabbles. Ideally, drug abuseimpairs victims` judgment capacity causing to lose their temper andcontrol. This way, they become so vulnerable to engaging in domesticviolence.
Someauthors have discussed the limited nature of the interventions.NationalCoalition Against Domestic Violence (2017) questionthe implementation of laws, asserting that they have done little inaverting domestic violence. The author recommends that practitionersin crime control, lawmakers, educators, criminologists, andcommunity-based organizations should be put up to sensitize thesociety on domestic violence and enact strict regulations. It alsoseems the public lacks education on what needs to be done to addressthe problem. Johnson(2012) discussesthe importance of public education in supporting and encouragingnon-violent behavior and attitudes among the families mainly due totheir narrow scope of understanding concerning domestic abuse. Theauthor acknowledges the intervention has proved to be effective infostering awareness. Long-term family and public education programsshould be included as part of the strategies of reducing domesticabuse. Children should be educated about their welfare and look forways to report domestic violence.
Partof the problem lies with the nature of the enforcement policy.Gilman,Ichiro Kawachi, Fitzmaurice and Buka (2013)stress on the lack of faith towards agencies mandated with the taskof enforcing the law, further recognizing that lapses in enforcingthe law have motivated significant growth of domestic violence. Thedelayed court cases have caused anxiety, frustration, and anger tovictims. In some cases, victims are triggered to acquire firearms andcarry out revenge missions that can result to continued violence. Theauthor encourages that the society should rethink current enforcementinterventions. Satisfactory moves by courts in the handling ofrelated cases ought to be concluded on time to earn trust from thecommunities. Another point of focus would develop policies thatreflect the needs of communities. Apparently, many incidences ofdomestic abuse go unreported to the policy because people fear theoutcomes of the intervention process. Indeed as earlier noted, theUnited States enforcement procedures disregard the priority ofcertain social issues such as family unity and are oriented towardspunishing the offenders, instead. The prevalence of domestic violencehas also been linked to social and economic status of individuals.Waits(2012) suggestthatlimited opportunities such as job vacancies, limited youth funding,massive corruption, non-involvement in decision-making and leadershiphas marginalized some communities. The limited educationalachievements, single parenting, and economic hopelessness have onlyescalated difficulties that families have to deal with. Indeed, thispoint is plausible because domestic violence is more pronounced infamilies with low socioeconomic status compare to other families.
Inconclusion, the purpose of this paper has been to explore the natureand cause of domestic violence. The discussion has revealed that theproblem is so rampant that it warrants attention. The problem is alsoresponsible for various adverse social and economic challenges thatface families such as break up, litigation costs, placing childrenunder custody and stress and depression.
Inlight of the multispectral nature of the cause of the problem, thereis the need to intensify the community and intelligence-basedpolicing in preventing domestic abuse. Intelligence-led policing andcommunity oriented policing are some the best policing strategiesthat have been applied in different scenarios in fighting andpreventing crime. The community-oriented policing can be implementedto eradicate and prevent crimes because the criminals live withincommunities and can easily be identified by members. Changes inbehavior and suspicious activities such as drug abuse, which havebeen among the factors that facilitate criminal activities, can beeasily noted. Embracing both policing strategies can ensure betterrelationship among the local, federal, and state leadership, as wellas the capabilities to respond to complex incidents usingintelligence-led policing.
Pre-existingrelationships between various security levels come to play whenimplementing both policies. For instance, community-based policingwill require security agents to create better relationships with thecommunities. Community leaders can only easily avail information whenthere is sufficient trust towards the security agencies. Some of themeasures that can be employed by security agents in establishing afriendly co-existence include empowering members of the community onthe need for sharing information relating to their security. Combinedwith the use of sophisticated technology that accompaniesintelligence-based policing, the community will be in a good positionto handle any form of a security threat. However, these changesshould also be implemented at the justice system level. The primaryfocus at this point should be making the process inclusive to thecommunity needs. This step would encourage cooperation between thecommunity and the government.
Bramlett,D.,William D., & Mosher, C. (2013)."FirstMarriage Dissolution, Divorce, and Remarriage: United State"(PDF).CDC National Center for Health Statistics Advance Data. 323.
Gilman,S., Ichiro Kawachi, G. Fitzmaurice, S.. Buka, E. (2013)."FamilyDisruption in Childhood and Risk of Adult Depression."American Journal of Psychiatry.160(5): 939–946.
Gottman,J & Jacobson, N. (2013). WhenMen are Battering Women: New Insights into Ending AbusiveRelationships.Simon & Schuster.
Johnson,M. (2012). "Conflict Control: Gender Symmetries and Asymmetriesin Domestic Violence". Violencedirected at Women12(11): 1003–1018.
NationalCoalition Against Domestic Violence (2017). NationalStatistics.Retrieved from http://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics
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Taylor,K. M. & Sharpe, L. (2012), “Trauma and post-traumatic stressdisorder among homeless adults in Sydney”, Australian& New Zealand Journal ofPsychiatry,Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 206-13.
Troxel,W. & Matthews K. (2014). "What are the costs of maritalconflict and dissolution to children`s physical health?” ClinChild Fam Psychol Rev.7(1): 29–57.
U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development (2013). AnnualHomeless Assessment Report to the Congress.U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of CommunityPlanning and Development,
Waits,K. (2012). "TheCriminal Justice System`s Response Domestic Violence: Understandingthe Problems and Forging Solutions".WashingtonReview60:267–330.
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