Domestic violence had great implications on the physical and mental health of the victim. Many attempts have been put in place to deal with domestic violence. Domestic violence is mainly characterized by aggression towards women even though there are few cases where men are assaulted by females. There have been some substantial gains that have been achieved through activism. However, the problem has remained prevalent.
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According to Hanmer and Itzin (2013), a change that will end domestic violence requires a framework that will holistically address the social issues that lead to domestic violence. In the existing studies about domestic violence, feminist contributions have been the definition of domestic violence as a fundamental tool used by men to socially control women. Also, domestic violence is associated with the structure and hierarchy that exist within the family.
In the patriarchal; society, men have benefited from the ascribed cultural status; hence, they have abused the privileges by domineering the women through violence. Therefore, there is the need for an in-depth examination of the societal set up to have a better understanding of why domestic violence has remained prevalent and the measures that can be used to address the problem.
Fundamental Issues of Domestic Violence
Even though researches have pointed to many causes of domestic violence that are mainly social issues, Hanmer and Itzin (2013) noted that the causes have one commonality, i.e., the problem has been normalized in the society. Most of the domestic abusers grew up in families and societies where they experienced violence (Howard & Oram, 2013). As a result, they were accustomed to the fact that emotional and physical violence can be used to solve disputes and cope with their fears.
The long-standing gender stereotypes that exist in society have contributed to the perpetrating the violence. The process has thus become generational as no one in the society has stood against the problem. This has contributed to the normalization of the problem. The other factor that has resulted in the problem being considered normal is the culture of violence that characterizes modern society. In the different attainment viewed from TV, many violent scenes make brutality against women appear normal, for example, sexual violence. The objectification and dominance of women become usual.
The problem with domestic violence is that sometimes the victims tend not to disclose their sufferings. This is because the people who are abused depend on the abusers financially. As a result, they feel subjugated, and hence, the common feeling of the inability in case they were separated from the abuser, while the oppressor is accustomed to the fact that authorities are not informed. The result is that domestic violence is left to continue.
As the problem continues within the family, a trend is set in which the children witness the violence. Their ability to trust others is undermined and they cannot control emotions due to the image of violence forded in their brains (Howard & Oram, 2013). Therefore, when they are adults, they are likely to continue to practice violence as a way of exerting authority in their families.
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Many theories have been used to explain domestic violence, for instance, a general systems theory approach to domestic violence views the problem as a system rather than the cause of an individual’s makeup. Therefore, it is within the systems of the society that violence has been perpetuated. For example, stereotypes which exist within the society that places men as superior to woman create images that reaffirm the practice (Krizsán & Paantjens, 2016). The gender learned roles are also passed through a societal setting that defines what each gender is supposed to do in the family (Hanmer and Itzin, 2013).
These roles are culturally ascribed and designed in a manner to ensure that men exert power and control over women. The result is that men use physical abuse to gain dominance in relationships. Therefore, Hanmer and Itzin (2013) noted that society has contributed to the processes that normalize gender violence. Also, society has neglected its role of redefining values and norms that discourage any kind of violence at the family level. Society has not established alternative
The factors that are associated with domestic violence are engrained within the society and very few relate to the individual. Therefore, the issue of domestic violence can only be solved through measures that address the root causes at a societal level. It is the mandate of the society to redefine the values and norms of the society and ensure that they are based on equality. This will create a platform for members of society to feel like lesser beings as they will all have equal opportunities. Therefore, there will be no need for violence to superiority. It is the mandate of society to change the situational and the individual factors that are responsible for domestic violence.
Hanmer, J., & Itzin, C. (2013). Home truths about domestic violence: Feminist influences on policy and practice—a reader. New York, NY: Routledge.
Howard, L. M., & Oram, S. (2013). Domestic violence and perinatal mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med, 10(5), 1-5.
Krizsán, A., & Paantjens, M. (2016). Domestic violence: Who’s problem? The Greek Review of Social Research, 117(117), 63-92.