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Crimes in Intimate Relationships

Use of term abuse

The term violence refers to the intentional and improper handling of other persons which results in harming them and many of the times the person who is being abused is injured. The use of the term abuse to refer to the violence in intimate relationships for instance physical abuse rather than domestic violence has the following merits. Violence in families depicts that the person who is committing the offence has the power over the subject and thus they are in position to inflict pain to them.

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On the other hand, abuse refers to improper usage of something with or without the consent of the rightful owner. Abuse in intimate relationships results in taking advantage of one’s loved ones. Another advantage in the usage of this term over violence is the offender’s main intention is controlling their subjects. I would prefer the use of the term “abuse” in reference to crime that is propagated in intimate relationships over violence. This is because in most cases when abuse happens in the families, its main cause is because someone wants others to do whatever he or she wants to be done. Intimate abuse is therefore a concept of dominance and power struggles within the family. It can also be caused by poor inferiority complex in one (Wilson, 2005).

Most serious type of abuse

The most serious type of abuse is child abuse. This type of abuse is more capital than the others because the children who are abused do not have the capacity to defend themselves. They are powerless in the hands of the abusers. Statistics have proven that in all the cases that were reported and recorded regarding child abuse, above 50 % of the cases were caused by people who were known to the children, they were either relatives or people they knew for example their neighbors. This proves the vulnerability of the kids and therefore reflecting the seriousness of the offence. Kaye & Tolmie, (2003) asserts that people should take care of kids and not be the source of their misery.

Victim-offender relationship

This study examines the relation between the victim and offender and what motives the perpetrators of these crimes especially to persons who are close to the offender. Most homicides in intimate relationships are known to emanate from domestic violence rather than other known causes like addiction and depression which may lead to a person committing suicide. From the study we realize that violence takes two different forms in a relationship, one being primary which constitutes family, friends and spouses.

The other relationship consists of acquaintances, strangers and some times enemies. These two forms of relationship are characterized by the same factor, which is, these homicides do occur in private residence. It is important to note from the study that male victims were mainly killed by friends and acquaintances mostly when they were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. These are the same reasons that propagate crime in families and marriages (Roberts, 2002).

Common elements in intimate crimes

There are common elements in all forms of crime that are committed in intimate relations. This is because in all the cases the perpetrators of abuse and violence have caused harm to their victims. These elements include physical aggression that is mixed with the urge to dominate other people and control their lives and they do not want to relent on this maniac behavior. Another element of these forms of abuse or violence is that it can happen to anyone at any time. This is because they take the form of being either physical or psychological. There is no single theory that can satisfactorily explain whether there is a common denominator that influences all these forms of abuse or violence in intimate relations.

Theories that explain intimate crime

Socio economic theories base much of their argument from the perspective that the family is fundamentally a social institution. The creation of a family and the way of living in these families is determined by already set standards.

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However, these theories do not explain what falls on the larger society outside the family setting. They propose a number of factors that influence the violence and argue that if these factors are addressed this problem could be eradicated. On the other hand, we have the individualistic theorists who argue that violence and abuse in families at times is self sought. The theorists argue that at times, woman insinuate the beating consciously and they are happy when it occurs. This practice is rampant among some African and Asian cultures. The proponents of this theory view it as being a very barbaric act, which is motivated by sheer madness (Bagshaw & Chang, 2000).

Feminist theories stress that domestic violence and abuse is subjected more to women than men. Feminists who believe in this theory and sought to have a reverse of this unfair treatment adopted various initiatives like Battered Woman Syndrome to stress the psychological torture that these women are subjected to when they are abused. However, the real intentions of these feminists are often misinterpreted and the effects of this violence are not addressed. This theory contrasts other theories that are gender neutral in stressing that all these forms of violence affect all people regardless of sex (Bagshaw & Chang, 2000).

Preventive measures of intimate crime

Violence at homes cannot be prevented by putting in place such issues like improving the street lighting because domestic violence comes as a result of power imbalance at homes. Therefore, these situational crime preventive measures cannot handle the issue of power imbalance. The most effective method that has been used to deal with this menace of home crime is legislation. The laws that apply to crimes such as homicide or other forms violence should also apply to the home crimes. These laws will help in preventing home crimes (Richardson & Bacon, 2003).

Police and court orders on intimate crime

Court and police orders are effective in providing home crime restrictive orders. The two arms of criminal justice system have orders that incorporate even the same sex relationships under their umbrella and as a result, they are more comprehensive on preventing the crimes. These orders, however, are not effective because they depend on criminal law and protection orders that are provided in the country’s statutes. For physical abuse cannot be prosecuted in a court of law if, the accuser has sustained any form of injury (Bagshaw & chang, 2000).

Reasons why abuse rampant in “homes”

Abuse in residential care units is rampant. It is caused by factors like vulnerability of the victims of abuse. The people seek refuge in these homes because they feel safe there. They believe these homes will give them the family relationship that they desire. Another reason why abuse in these residential care homes is rampant is because physical abuse is only prosecuted if it is of serious magnitude, that is, the extent of the injuries sustained by the victims is gross. Abuse in residential care for instance, in Australia is managed through preventive measures like withdraw of funds that run homes, but these measures have not been effective.


Bagshaw, D & Chang, D. (2000). Women, men and domestic violence. Canberra: Common Wealth of Australia.

Kaye, M., S. & Tolmie, J. (2003). Domestic Violence, Separation and Parenting: Negotiating Safety Using The Legal Process. Current Issues In Criminal Justice.15 (2) Pp 73-79.

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Wilson, K., J. (2005). When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse. New York: Hunter House.

Richardson, S. & Bacon, H. (2003). Creative responses to child sexual abuse: challenges and dilemmas. New York: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Roberts, A., R. (2002). Handbook of domestic violence intervention strategies: policies, programs, and legal remedies. New York: Oxford University Press.

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