The issue of domestic violence in the US affects many people every day, and public awareness about it can have a significant impact on its severity. While some may think that in 10 years the rate of domestic abuse has decreased, some statistics and studies show that the nation has seen the opposite happening as the occurrence of domestic violence has increased. The lack of recognition of this problem may come from the fact that victims of abuse often do not report their cases to the authorities because of fear and lack of support.
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- Thesis Statement: The occurrence of domestic violence has been on the rise in the last decade in the United States and most victims do not report such cases to the authorities.
- History: To assess the tendencies in reporting domestic violence, one has to investigate the history of domestic violence in the US.
The major part of the official statistics reveals female-specific data of reported violent incidents. According to Sumner et al. (2015), the rates of non-fatal violence against females dropped from 5.9 cases per 1000 people to 1.6 cases, stating that a substantial decrease has been documented. However, these rates ignore many groups, populations, and issues which makes these statistics unreliable.
Other Types of Data
Recent statistics have started to include all individuals in the rates of domestic abuse, showcasing examples from both male and female victims and changing the view of the problem significantly. In the course of analyzing these situations, some areas of abuse such as sexual violence did not see a decrease even in officially reported cases, stopping at more than 2 episodes per 1000 individuals (Sumner et al., 2015).
To develop possible ways of preventing domestic violence, one has to understand and evaluate its causes. Violence against women, for example, maybe connected to their perceived subordination and the limited scope of rights granted to females historically (Abraham & Tastsoglou, 2016). Some cultural and individual prejudiced views, traditional beliefs, and religious teachings along with possible unhealthy habits and addictions, outside influences, and learned behaviors may also lead to abuse in a domestic setting.
Many reports state that the official rates of violence have decreased over the last years failing, however, to report the growing hidden statistics of unreported cases (Sumner et al., 2015). The main problem behind unreported cases is the lack of realization from the abuser of his or her wrongdoings which may lead to repeating episodes, escalating behavior, and abuse that starts affecting other individuals. Another issue is a disparity between the official statistics and the actual number of cases as this difference leads to the underrepresentation of the problem in research and media, lowering victims’ ability to find necessary support and acknowledgment.
The problem of domestic violence is an issue that needs continuous attention from all levels, including government institutions and concerned individuals. Thus, every person’s (including victims, bystanders, health practitioners, and policymakers) participation and recognition of domestic abuse’s underlying causes and difficulties can help resolve the situation. The focus on primary prevention, education, and support can allow victims to come forward and report more cases, creating an informed outlook and understand that they are not alone in dealing with domestic abuse.
The fact that domestic abuse victims often do not report their cases to the authorities leads to a difference between the actual number of incidents and the official statistics. Historically, the rate of domestic violence cases has increased over the last 10 years due to the growing tendency of underreporting. Thus, the issue has to be addressed with the focus on victims and their understanding of the problem’s underlying causes that may encourage them to approach it with more confidence and less fear.
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Abraham, M., & Tastsoglou, E. (2016). Addressing domestic violence in Canada and the United States: The uneasy co-habitation of women and the state. Current Sociology, 64(4), 568-585.
Sumner, S. A., Mercy, J. A., Dahlberg, L. L., Hillis, S. D., Klevens, J., & Houry, D. (2015). Violence in the United States: Status, challenges, and opportunities. JAMA, 314(5), 478-488.