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Causes and Consequences of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is an urgent and significant problem that is addressed not only by social workers but also by official state boards. The importance of this issue is explained by severe implications on the physical and mental health of people who have been abused by family members. In addition, it is essential to take into account the humiliation of individual rights and personal dignity of the victims of aggression by relatives as an acute social topic. This literature review aims to discuss the scope of the problem, mention previous findings from academic literature, and assess the available information on this issue critically to draw appropriate conclusions.

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Scope of the Problem

Domestic violence is aggression by individuals towards their family members, which entails the use of physical and moral harm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), different populations may be exposed to this type of violence, and there is a classification of threats, including sexual, physical, and psychological violence. The findings prove that every fourth woman and every tenth man has experienced sexual violence at least once (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, para. 5).

Regarding psychological aggression, which is the most common form of domestic violence, “over 43 million women and 38 million men” confirm precedents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, para. 5). Therefore, the degree of impact is significant, which explains the relevance of the problem in a social context.

As the variables of interest, the causes and consequences of domestic violence will be considered, and general trends will be analyzed based on relevant findings. The importance of addressing the issue in question is the need to protect vulnerable categories of the population since not only adults but also children are exposed to aggression due to some parents’ deviant behavior. Thus, the methodologies of studying this topic will be evaluated, and specific consequences and preventive measures will be discussed based on the findings from scholarly sources.

Previous Findings

Researchers studying the topic of domestic violence used different methodologies and practices to assess the significance and breadth of this social issue. Liu et al. (2018) focused on selecting a wide range of participants who were humiliated by family members, and the continuous sampling method was applied. The sampling algorithm was based on the involvement of individuals mentioning cases of domestic violence, and a survey was a method of collecting data. As dependent variables, depression and suicidal tendencies were considered without involving special theories.

The impact of domestic violence on the psychological state of victims was a hypothesis, and the findings proved a direct correlation between the declared variables. Maji (2018) applied an identical methodology, but as a sampling strategy, sixteen qualitative and quantitative studies were analyzed. The variables involved included physical and psychological disorders caused by aggression in families, as well as the consequences for newborns due to violence during maternal pregnancy. No special concepts were applied, and the proposed hypotheses about the impact of the declared threats were confirmed as dangerous consequences of violence.

Saha and Saha (2017) drew attention to women as a target audience, and data were randomly collected among university graduates. Five-point Likert scale was utilized as a method of analyzing information, and the key emphasis was on the causes of domestic violence. The findings proved the importance of socio-cultural characteristics as important prerequisites for domestic violence. In the descriptive cross-sectional study by Shrestha, Shrestha, and Shrestha (2016), the authors involved pregnant women attending local healthcare facilities and evaluated their responses regarding cases of domestic violence through interviews.

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Types of aggression were dependent variables, personal characteristics of family members were independent ones. According to the findings, sexual violence was the most common practice of aggression. Smith and Humphreys (2019) researched methods to prevent domestic violence by involving children and fathers as the target audience through purposeful sampling. Men’s attitude towards parental responsibilities was assessed during interviews, and the hypothesis of the importance of participation in psychological assistance programs for fathers who showed aggression towards children proved its relevance as the main finding.

In their cross-sectional study, Song, Wenzel, Kim, and Nam (2017) used a systematic sampling method and engaged a large number of married individuals who mentioned cases of domestic violence during a specially prepared survey. Aggression towards children and evidence of interparental violence were key independent variables, and the consequences for all individuals involved were evaluated on a special scale. According to the assessment, child abuse was a frequent consequence of interparental violence, and the hypothesis was that the knowledge of the laws on liability for domestic violence could reduce the risks of aggression.

Critique of Literature

All the studies reviewed had similar methodologies and used wide samples for analysis, which was a strength. Nevertheless, in some works, the authors used special assessment tools, for instance, Saha and Saha (2017) and Song et al. (2017), which made their findings more valid than those without special assessment mechanisms. A focus on specific vulnerable groups of the population, including pregnant women and children, provided deeper data than studies on domestic violence as a general phenomenon. However, the methodologies of all authors were justified, and the findings were logical and unbiased from both ethical and cultural perspectives.


According to the results of the studies reviewed, the findings confirm the relevance of addressing the topic of domestic violence and provide valuable data on its premises and consequences. Future research may focus on the narrower manifestations of this issue in the context of individual vulnerable groups. Subsequent work can aim to analyze the correlations between individual variables and the rationale for specific interventions. Addressing this problem is a crucial social prospect due to numerous incidents of aggression in families and physical and moral harm to victims.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Preventing intimate partner violence. Web.

Liu, M., Xue, J., Zhao, N., Wang, X., Jiao, D., & Zhu, T. (2018). Using social media to explore the consequences of domestic violence on mental health. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-21.

Maji, S. (2018). Health consequences of witnessing domestic violence among children: A review. Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, 9(1), 66-69.

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Saha, A. K., & Saha, A. (2017). Abuse of women: Causes, consequences & prevention – A survey of college going youth. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 52(4), 621-633.

Shrestha, M., Shrestha, S., & Shrestha, B. (2016). Domestic violence among antenatal attendees in a Kathmandu hospital and its associated factors: A cross-sectional study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16(1), 360.

Smith, J., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Child protection and fathering where there is domestic violence: Contradictions and consequences. Child & Family Social Work, 24(1), 156-163.

Song, A., Wenzel, S. L., Kim, J. Y., & Nam, B. (2017). Experience of domestic violence during childhood, intimate partner violence, and the deterrent effect of awareness of legal consequences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(3), 357-372.

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