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Domestic Violence Questions Answered

Updated on January 14, 2015

A Failure in Society

Domestic violence is a leading cause of divorce, broken families, and development problems in children. To say it’s an important issue in the society is an understatement. Domestic violence is mostly against women and various researchers have brought forth various reasons for this. Usually, the consequences of domestic violence affect the victims and the children involved the most in the abusive family setting. One of the biggest problems with domestic violence is that it is difficult for an outside party to identify and most of the healthcare workers who should identify and report these issues do not have the right skills for it.

There are various remedies for domestic violence, which fall under two main categories: punitive and preventative. The best ones are the preventative since they stop the damage before it can occur whereas the punitive ones only punish the offenders.

Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a major issue in many countries. This is because it affects the victims physically, emotionally, and psychologically. The violence may cause severe injuries, mental health problems, reduced productivity, and sometimes death. On top of that, domestic violence affects the children involved. Domestic violence compromises their education, growth, and innocence. Domestic violence in the society is prevalent and it poses a big threat to the society because not many people talk about it and its consequences are vast. Sometimes domestic violence may continue for a long time and the victims may incur permanent and irreversible damage.In most cases, children are the most affected. Researchers have differed and agreed on the various issues surrounding domestic violence. Here are some of the various questions surrounding domestic violence:

  1. Why does domestic violence mostly occurs against women?
  2. What are the consequences of domestic violence?
  3. What happens when domestic violence spills to the workplace?
  4. What are the problems with identifying and dealing with domestic violence?
  5. What are the remedies of domestic violence?

Why does Domestic Violence Mostly occur against Women?

Going through any data from any country of your choice, you’ll discover that domestic violence mostly occurs against women. This conclusion surrounds two conflicting theories held by sociologists and feminists. This is where male spouses physically or emotionally abuse their female.Sociologists and feminists interpret domestic violence and an excessive expression of power.

In the hegemonic Second Wave of feminism, women sought to understand the theories of patriarchy that help them understand the relationships between men and women. The main characteristics of this relationship are subordination, exploitation, domination, and inequality. Even though there are biological differences between men and women, domestic violence is an extreme in which one sex exercises force on the other weaker gender. Therefore, societies should not accept it. Despite this, the differences between the sexes relate to the use of violence between the two genders.

Feminists argue that there are two main reasons why domestic violence in mainly perpetrated by men. One of them is that men have a greater capacity for violence resulting from their origin and nature of patriarchy. The other is that violence is a method that they use to maintain and control their domination. In the past social structure, men were the defenders and heads of the families. They were naturally stronger both physically and emotionally. Some feminists differ with the idea that men are violent because they are physically stronger than women are. This is because they argue that violence is not a by-product of their anatomy and not all men are stronger than all women are. They tend to distinguish anatomy from behavior.

A Case of Cultural Perceptions?

Some sociologists believe that the cause of domestic violence is cultural based. They differ with those that relate anatomy with violence in that they do not explain why some men are more violent than others are and women more submissive than others do. They maintain that all men are partially violent and all women are partly submissive. They also assume that women never use violence in any form. These researchers note that the reason why culture is the cause of domestic violence is that in different cultures, the role of men and women differ. They argue that the reason men are more violent than women is because women are not trained or socialized to use violence like the one they do men.

Feminists argue that men use various means to intimidate and scare women. This has existed since prehistoric times where rape was a conscious process of intimidation. Men used it to keep women in a state of fear. Criticizing it, with time and socioeconomic organization, rape is no longer a tool men use to intimidate and scare women. Other feminists agree that even though men use violence to intimidate and scare, they only use it during emergencies. They use it to dominate women; however, they do not use it frequently. Therefore, men are not necessarily violent and they only exercise violence on rare occasions to ensure that they show their dominion and to intimidate.

In the past, feminist movements arose to help counter domestic violence, which was prevalent. Some sociologists at the time, defined domestic violence as the illegitimate use of violence, however, feminists tried to ensure that even legitimate use of violence was included. There are many types of domestic violence. There are instances when it occurs as a form of self-expression as opposed to where men use it instrumentally to intimidate women. Sometimes, the victims provoke or even actively take part in the domestic violence. Sometimes, in some cultures, domestic violence is socially acceptable;therefore, the people of that society see it differently.

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Domestic Violence-Gender Difference or Marital Woes?

Sociologists and feminists differ on how they view domestic violence. Feminists view it as a gender issue but sociologists view it as a wife issue. Sociologists do not agree that domestic violence is only gender based and they prefer to view it as wife issues because not all women undergo domestic violence. They also consider other factors like provocation, illegitimate and legitimate violence, and the role of women in the domestic violence. However, despite the disparity in opinion, both of them agree that domestic violence is abuse in the family structure. This means that domestic violence is a form of abuse of power in the family that hinges on the relationship in which one person has more power and they take advantage of the person without as much power.

Consequences of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has both physical and psychological consequences on women and it is an important public health problem in many communities. Women who undergo domestic violence undergo different traumatic experiences and may get post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also undergo depression and other psychological symptoms such as neuroticism. Serious depression occurs in female victims of domestic violence and more often than not, they feel they are unworthy of many things. Their esteem lowers. They may also have sensitivity, paranoia, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The levels of these symptoms and psychological disorders differ depending on level of education, age, family incomes, and marital status.

Domestic violence has a vast effect on children involved. Their future development is dependent on the quality of the relationship of their parents. This is especially important when it comes to their mothers. Mothers of pre-school children who undergo domestic violence become more responsive and sensitive to their children when compared to other parents. The result of this responsiveness and sensitivity may cause the children exposed to domestic violence to develop more successfully. This is because those mothers compensate for the exposure to violence in their parenting. This is especially for children aged between 2-12 years.

And then Domestic Violence Spills to the Workplace

Domestic means personal matters. These things happen within the privacy of a person's home. In case this violence spills over to their place of work, people in the workplace are affected. They are also at risk of harm. According to surveys, the perpetrators of domestic violence and just as likely to harm the victims of domestic violence at work as their coworkers. The surveys also show that male perpetrators of domestic violence are likely to kill their female victims of domestic violence at work. This means that their workplace is not necessarily safe. Their abusive spouses are more likely to kill them than they people that they work with are. Domestic violence is therefore an act that affects all employees when it spills to their workplace.

Other employees become physically and emotionally affected. They become unlikely to perform their duties and work and eventually this affects the performance of the organization. Many organizations have Workplace Violence Prevention Policies to curb these issues. Their policies, programs, and procedures create and maintain constant awareness. This is done through a training program focuses on prevention of workplace violence and domestic violence that could spill into the workplace. Prevention is the focus of these programs, policies, and procedures because the consequences of workplace violence are often irreversible. They must be well thought out and structured to ensure that it is effective.

Problems when identifying and Dealing with cases Domestic Violence

When you look at it, domestic violence is an act of brutality towards a person within the same family. This is especially prevalent against women. The results of their study show that domestic violence has become epidemic in many societies. Other than that, it is very difficult to acquire information about domestic violence from the individuals involved. Most times, it remains unknown until various signs that it is occurring in a household show up. These include injuries on the women, some of which are severe. Psychiatric and obstetric clinics conduct studies to determine the prevalence of domestic violence on their various localities. Research into domestic violence is culturally sensitive and therefore special training is required to ensure that medical practitioners can extract information from patients.

Most healthcare practitioners do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to extract sensitive domestic violence information from their patients. In the U.S society, domestic violence is pervasive. It has lifelong effects on the communities, families, and individuals involved. These effects are devastating and for a long time, people did not recognize it as a healthcare issue. It was only three decades ago that researchers added it to the medical lexicon. People and institutions have made progress over the last thirty years in making domestic violence recognizable in the society. They offer domestic violence education to their trainees. Despite all the progress, there is still a lot more than people in the society and institutions need to do to ensure that there is increased community response and societal awareness.

During domestic violence enquiries in those Doctor-patient talks, the patient should disclose enough information to enable the physician to deal with the patient's problems. However, some of these conversations are awkward and sometimes demeaning. Most times, physicians fail to ask questions pertaining domestic violence altogether. This makes them miss the valuable opportunities to find out intervene, provide education and prevent domestic violence. Making the inquiries about domestic violence routine during the physician patient communication is beneficial because it makes the patient welcome, expect, accept, and even appreciate the questions. In the end, the best method is to ask about domestic violence instead of waiting for the subject to arise.

Physicians and resident physicians whose role is to acquire information from their patients about domestic violence are still not as effective as they should be. Their interviewing and communications are still poor. This is despite domestic violence education that they receive through domestic violence programs. Overall, the physicians and nurses involved in questioning and making deep inquiries about domestic violence from their patients are not doing as well as they should. Education alone is not sufficient;therefore, these medical practitioners should also receive advice on how to extract information from their patients.

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Remedies for Domestic Violence

It’s simple really-prevention of domestic violence is the best remedy for domestic violence. This is because it halts the vice before it can claim the physical and mental health of the victims. One of the preventative measures includes 'breaking the silence'. This means that the likely victims as well as the early victims come out with their fear of domestic violence. The public health sector would be the best contributor to this preventative measure by having methods to extract such information form the victims. The domestic violence problem can also be tackled from the dating stage where communities come together to support healthy teenage relationships.

Societies can train professionals on prevention of domestic violence. This means that they can be able to relay the information to young couples and married spouses. They should offer guidance and give other ways to deal with domestic issues that do not entail violence. They may also present this information to teenagers during the dating stages of their relationship to lower the chances of domestic violence in the relationships. Training young people on various leadership virtues may also help prevent domestic violence in the end. Young people are able to hold themselves responsible for their various behaviors and traits and as such, they can learn to have self-control.

Then again there are many other ways to go about stopping domestic violence. Many of them are legal; however, there are a few civil remedies. The legal remedies are consequences of domestic violence to the abusers and support systems for the victims, which may be monetary or otherwise. The civil remedies include orders of the protection of the survivors of domestic violence. Sometimes the civil remedies are part of the legal process that deals with domestic violence and sometimes it may not. The order of protection protects the victim from the abuser sometimes without the knowledge of the abuser. The authorities place them in a safe location while the abuser awaits arraignment in court. The police also hold the right to impose orders to protect the victims and survivors of domestic violence when asked to do so by the victims.

In the United States, domestic violence leads to a number of criminal charges. These include battery, sexual assault, assault, and rape. The criminal penalties include a jail sentence or monetary fines. Other legal consequences include rehabilitation courses such as anger management classes made mandatory by a court order. Further consequences follow in case of defiance. They may also receive restraining orders that demand that the abuser stays a certain distance away from the victim. The order sometimes requires them to keep off from any communication with the victim. The courts may ask the abusers to pay damages such as hospital bills and suffering and pain. Abusers may lose their rights to own firearms and drivers' licenses and they may lose their custodial rights to their children.

There are legal consequences for domestic violence perpetrators in other countries. There are severe consequences such as prison or jail time and a requirement to attend and complete a batterer treatment class. One may lose employment opportunities due to the stigma that people attach to these crimes. One may lose their business licenses, immigration status, and the right to collect their spouses support. They may also lose custody of their children, their rights to visit their children and in cases where they pay child support the amount may increase. One could lose their right to possess a firearm due to their increased risk status. Victims of domestic violence can file lawsuits to ensure that their abusers answer for them in a court of law. Other legal consequences of domestic violence include unequal sharing of marital property.

There are similar legal consequences to domestic violence in some countries. However, not all countries have the same consequences because of the various societal views of domestic violence. In some countries, domestic violence is an acceptable act. In many of these countries, many upcoming movements seek to protect victims of domestic violence; however, the legal systems may not support it. In these countries, the best methods to deal with domestic violence are the preventative remedies. These help to reduce the number of cases of domestic violence in societies where domestic violence is prevalent. One may argue that the remedies that come thereafter are preventative in that potential abusers may weigh the consequences of domestic violence and refrain from taking part in it because they cannot bare them.

In any case, preventing domestic violence is very important because it saves lives, marriages, and the innocence and development of children.

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