Domestic violence is an acute and prevalent problem in society which requires research and effective solutions. The incidence of domestic violence is increasing exponentially on a global scale. Some of the causes have been identified as cultural and legal standards that encourage or perpetuate abuse. The primary focus of the research on the topic is to provide information and educate the public, as well as encourage victims of domestic violence to seek help. Domestic violence is a prevalent and complex issue which results in abuse within intimate relationship settings, which is caused by socio-cultural parameters and requires appropriate awareness and prevention.
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Domestic violence is defined as the willful act of physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse or behavior that is meant to establish a systematic pattern of control and power of one partner against another in an intimate relationship (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, n.d.). The abuse often occurs within home settings where the public cannot easily witness or identify such patterns of behavior. Furthermore, this type of behavior is dangerous for the victim since the intimate or familial relationship creates psychological pressure that prevents seeking help or interfering in the patter of dominance which leads to violence or abuse.
Prevalence and Statistics
Domestic violence is a prevalent issue in the United States. It can occur to any person, regardless of age, race, socio-economic status, or gender. However, it is more common for females to be faced with abuse rather than men. Also, some communities may experience significantly higher rates of domestic violence which suggests that socio-economic status may play a role to some extent. Overall, more than 10 million people are faced with domestic violence abuse each year. Approximately 25% of women and 1 in 9 men face physical abuse of some form, including sexual violence (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, n.d.). Research shows that communities where any percentage of residents living below the federal level of poverty have higher rates of police-reported domestic violence. In these neighborhoods, violence rates against Hispanic and African-American women are also higher than white females (Reina, Lohman, & Maldonado, 2013). This can be explained that certain households face more isolation due to cultural or economic factors, thus allowing for abusive environments to form.
There is a number of approaches in the analysis of domestic abuse. Some scholars view it from a psychological perspective, such as the dispositional argument which suggests that personality disorders may perpetrate violence. Situational components may play a role as self-regulatory functions are inhibited due to various reasons. There is the evolutionary perspective which suggests that the violence is part of the gender-based species competition for control. While these may play a role, one of the most accepted and contrasting arguments is the sociocultural perspective. It states that domestic violence is based on cultural, patriarchal ideology that serves as a motivator to exert control over women, in the form of violence if necessary. While this approach does not necessary discredit the psychological explanations, it suggests that the cultural values and belief system creates an environment where violence against women is possible (or even accepted) in the first place (Brown, Baughman, & Carvallo, 2017). Therefore, instead of an individual analysis, it is critical to examine the collective approach to the issue.
Domestic violence has occurred historically but has only recently become a topic of discussion. As socially and physically weaker and more vulnerable then men, women have been in a position to be exploited. Cultural and religious practices, as well as socio-economic conditions, have created a precedence that domestic abuse as almost a natural occurrence. The patriarchal standards of most societies globally have established gender roles for women. Through such patterns and disparities, women have few tools to protect against partner violence, due to strong dependence and fear of men (Susmitha, 2016). Therefore, it can be argued that domestic violence is an entrenched social concept that is also dependent on a variety of situational contexts such as alcoholism that justify negligent behavior.
As evident, the case for domestic violence is complex and requires further investigation of possible solutions and preventive measures. It is critical to focus on the issue to help the many women who are entrapped in abusive situations or prevent anyone from becoming a victim. The purpose of such research and social interventions is to protect basic rights, promote methods to exit abusive relationships, and demand enforcement of justice from law enforcement and other public organizations.
Brown, R. P., Baughman, K., & Carvallo, M. (2017). Culture, masculine honor, and violence toward women. Perspectives & Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(4), 538-549.
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National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Domestic violence. Web.
Reina, A. S., Lohman, B. J., & Maldonado, M. M. (2013). “He said they’d deport me”: Factors influencing domestic violence help-seeking practices among Latina immigrants. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(4), 593-615.
Susmitha, B. (2016). Domestic violence: Causes, impact, and remedial measures. Social Change, 46(4), 602-610.