As it stands, there are very few, if any, mechanisms for preventive action against domestic violence. The official approach to both governmental, law enforcement, and medical institutions usually takes a retroactive approach to family violence, dealing with its effects and trying to mitigate the damage dealt with the victims (Usta, Antoun, Ambuel, & Khawaja, 2012), while simultaneously punishing the offenders. While this is a form of justice, it does not have any positive net value – in every case, a family is destroyed, a victim is suffering, and an offender is incarcerated. The intervention proposed for this problem will take an indirect approach that would aim at improving the situation in the community where domestic violence is prevalent and preventing it from happening in the first place. Such an approach will, thus, minimize the number of aggressors and victims, help to form healthy and strong families and ensure prosperity and peace not just for the adults, but also for the children.
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The idea proposed in this paper is the creation of a Community Center for Children and Parents, under the patronage of the local medical care facilities. This center will have a multitude of purposes, ranging from offering children from low-income families to grow and learn new skills in a safe and friendly environment to consulting young couples about domestic violence, anger and stress management, and offering families to connect by engaging in communal actions together.
Benefits of the Proposed Intervention
The creation of a community center geared towards offering affordable hobbies and recreation for children and working with adults will improve both the level of knowledge about domestic violence, increase the level of empathy among family members, and improve the situation in the community as a whole by taking homeless kids off the street (Usta et al.,2012). As a result, the number of criminal activity in the area is expected to go down (Meffert, McCulloch, Neylan, Gandhi, & Lund, 2015).
This promises numerous benefits to the community. Since human life is considered to have infinite value, according to the holistic contemporary medical philosophies, saving lives and preventing domestic violence has infinite value in itself. Other than that, however, numerous long-term benefits would eventually be felt in the community. There is a distinct correlation between the levels of violence in families, and in communities at large. The reduction of domestic violence will automatically cause a decrease in criminal activity within a community. Families will become stronger. Children will be cared for and supervised, the number of spontaneous and irresponsible sexual activity will decrease (Pallitto et al., 2013). All three will contribute to the social and economic stability within the community (Meffert et al., 2015).
Of course, such a project will require numerous materials and resources to be implemented. Depending on the size of the community, such a center can take either an office or an entire building. The format of the Community Center for Children and Parents would likely be that of a non-profit organization that is funded either by the government, through donations from members and businesses, or both. Government support will not be limited to money alone, but also with simplifying the formalities, paperwork, providing spaces, and medical personnel.
Naturally, the resources required for creating and maintaining the Community Center for Children and Parents could be split into four groups:
The latter is extremely important, as the community will not be able to utilize the newfound facility if they do not know about it. The initial funding required for opening one such Community Center will cost somewhere between 1 to 2 million dollars, which will be spent on setting up the place, buying equipment, attracting specialists, and advertising. After some time, the non-profit organization will be able to maintain itself to a certain degree through attracting donations and sponsors among the local charity and business communities.
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Domestic violence is widely common in our society, to the point that people view it as something that cannot be avoided and should be simply taken as due. That is wrong – many people around the country and the world suffer within their households, unable to protect themselves, and in some cases unable to restrain their violent impulses towards others. Lives are lost, homes are destroyed, children are left without parents, and put into orphanages. They are robbed of their childhoods, and often turn to crime once they come of age, and even before. Just because such tragedies are commonplace, it does not mean we should get used to them and ignore them. Punishing perpetrators is not enough – the jails are full of various criminals, yet the USA remains one of the most criminal countries in the world. Prevention is the answer, and the Community Center for Parents and Children can be a solution. Instead of directly interfering and splitting families apart, it will encourage community action, getting people together, and promoting love, friendship, and understanding. Where such exist, there is no need for violence.
Meffert, S., McCulloch, C., Neylan, T., Gandhi, M., & Lund, C. (2015). Increase of perceived frequency of neighborhood domestic violence is associated with increase of women’s depression symptoms in a nationally representative longitudinal study in South Africa. Social Science & Medicine, 1982(131), 86-97.
Pallitto, C. C., García-Moreno, C., Jansen, H. A., Heise, L., Ellsberg, M., & Watts, C. (2013). Intimate partner violence, abortion, and unintended pregnancy: Results from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 120(1), 3-9.
Usta, J., Antoun, J., Ambuel, B., & Khawaja, M. (2012). Involving the health care system in domestic violence: What women want. Annals of Family Medicine, 10(3), 213–220.