Definition of Domestic Violence Essay

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Domestic violence is a way of behavior that includes threatening and intimidating a marriage partner for the purpose of controlling and having power over the partner. It is a way f abusing the rights/feelings of a partner. It can come as an emotional abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse.

Emotional abuse can be done through different means and below are examples:

– Ridiculing one’s valued beliefs and/or religion.

– Embracing someone in public

– Dictating to someone how they spent their money or asking for someone earnings by force

– Insulting or ill treating the relatives of ones partner

– Dictating or interfering in the choice of social life a partner is leading

– Ignoring the partner’s feelings

– Mistreating the partner by may be hiding the keys to the bedroom or to the car to just make someone suffer

– Keeping important information from the partner

– Ransacking the bags or pockets and mobile phone of a partner(spying on them)

– A partner who keeps lying or giving contradicting information to his spouse

Physical abuse includes the following:

-Threatening with a weapon

– Slapping

– pushing or shoving the partner

– Kicking or strangling

– Abandoning the partner in a dangerous place (may be the two had driven far from the town and once outside there the partner forces another out of the car and leaves her there)

– Hitting or punching the partner

– locking the partner out of the house or inside the house to restrict the partner from going where she pleases

Sexual abuse may include the following:

– Sharing jokes that are gender based

– Treating a partner as though she were a sex object

– Criticizing someone sexually

– Forcing someone into sex or to force someone to watch others having sex

– Assuming and condemning the partner of having sexual intercourse with other people

– Cheating in a relationship even after agreeing to remain faithful

– Insulting using sexual words like whore

– Forcing someone into sex after physically abusing them

– Taking advantage of when the partner is weak and having sex with her

Evolution of Domestic Violence

During the early 1970’s a movement in the United States began for battered women, the theory why women were battered was based on a psychopathology. It was understood that men who battered their wives were mentally ill and could be medically or psychiatrically treated. Research found out that the behavior of perpetrators of domestic violence didn’t match those of mental illnesses. Batterers only abused their intimate partners. People suffering from mental illnesses abuse anyone without limit. Initial research had shown women who were victims of domestic violence as those with mental illnesses. After some time these results were contradicted by the fact that women who were battered were not necessarily mentally ill but were judged this way because there was a failure in understanding their physical and psychological effects of the violence.

Then research came up with a theory that violence was learned. There was an argument that men battered women because they had learned violence in their families as children. It was believed that women went for and even married violent men since they(women) as they were growing up they learnt that it is supposed to be like that since they witnessed their mothers being battered.

Another research was undertaken and its theory stated that boys who witnessed violence in their homes were seven times violent in their own marriages. It was said that these boys had learnt violence and therefore couldn’t unlearn it, they had to practice what they had learnt.

Then there was the theory of alcohol and loss of control. Those men became violent after they drank alcohol, and they lose control. It was argued that since the society expected men not to show their feelings of frustrations and anger as women do; then they had to do it in some way. After these feelings build up for so long then the man would lose control of himself and get violent. (However this theory got contradictions when violence was only limited to intimate partners) no man was said to have lost control and got violent towards his friends, his workmates or even his boss.

After this came the theory of ‘the learned helplessness’ this stated that women stayed in abusive relationships because repeated abuse stripped them of the will to leave. Those women sometimes stayed in these abusive relationships because of financial support. Sometimes it was because of worry in what the society would say or think of the victim woman. There are women who left their relationships but with a hope of creating a dialogue to address their dissatisfaction in the violence. They would go in the hope of returning when the situation betters and not intending of terminating the relationship completely.

Then there was a theory of ‘circle of violence’, this belief was that men did not show their frustration and anger because they had been taught not to show their feelings of anger. It was believed that both man and woman contributed to the violence; maybe be a wife provoked her husband into getting violent. Maybe she didn’t meet his sexual need and therefore this raised violence.

Then lastly the theory of ‘power and control wheel’. This describes the different tactics an abuser uses to maintain power and control his partner. Violence is not an isolated instance of a loss of control, or even a way of expressing feelings of anger or frustration. This theory doesn’t capture the idea of violence fully. This is because some batterers who were in treatment groups have been said to have had not power or control as their reason to violence. Violence has to be looked largely from the societal perspective; an outcome of relationships of dominance and in equality shaped not simply by the personal choices but through how we, the society build relationships between men and women, and within the marriages and families. The society should contribute mainly in understanding how to respond to violence. It should not create a climate of intolerance or acceptable to the force used in marriage relationships.

The laws implemented

Full faith and credit – it means abused person who has been granted court orders of protection can call upon law enforcement to protect them and to take all appropriate action against abusers nationwide

– order of protection – this means that any injunction or any other order issued to the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts of harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to, another person, an abuser is prohibited from possessing any firearms and/or ammunition.

There has been promotion of training especially in the policemen in how to handle cases of violence.

There has also been set up homes that shelter those who face the danger of abuse especially after leaving the relationship.

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