Domestic violence is a complex issue, which affects the whole of society. Thirty years ago, there was an incredible silence across most criminal justice and social welfare agencies. Today the issue of domestic violence has become more prominent within the public arena. Public interest in the issue has grown significantly, as indicated by its increasing presence within the media and in soap operas such as east Enders.This essay attempts to offer an evaluation of the explanations of violence against women. It explains how the issue of violence, particularly within the family was brought to the public’s attention, and how women are no longer willing to accept the subordinate roles such a patriarchal society offers. This essay looks at the process of change and the innovations to change because of the activity of organisations such as women’s aid.Domestic violence according to the women’s aid federation is defined as,”Physical, emotional, sexual and other abuse by someone (usually, but not always a man) of a person (usually but not always a woman) with whom they have had or have some form of intimate relationship, such as marriage, in order to maintain power and control over that person. It may include threats to kill or harm the woman and/or her children or other family members.”www.womensaid.org.uk/stats/statwhat.htmDomestic violence is an issue that until the 1970’s lay outside the public domain. It was regarded as a private matter that was no-one else’s business. Even the law in the 18th century agreed that it was ok for a man to beat his man with a stick so long as the stick that he used was no thicker than his thumb. During the 18th and 19th centuries, men had almost all rights over all his family members. Wives did not share equality with their husbands, and it was quite acceptable for men of this time to control their wives by force and violence. Women were seen in terms of a dichotomy of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ in relation to domestic violence.Women whose behaviour was seen as uncontrollable because they had had an affair, did not keep a good home or got drunk were seen as deserving of the violence they suffered. Many believe that if women were caring, nurturing and sensitive to the needs of their men then violence would not occur. Dallos ; McLaughlin (1994) argued that this ideology was all well and good, for the middle classes however working class women were often faced with poverty, squalor and drunkenness from their husbands, which under circumstances made it impossible to keep the good home, this often resulted in violence from the husband, blaming women for such situations. It appears that no matter what behaviour women displayed, violence did not matter because the women was to blame anyway. Even the law of this time gave no protection for women who had been attacked.Women of this time were not equal to men nor were they suppose to be, society kept women in subordinate roles to men which endorsed men to believe that it was their right to control women by whatever means. The only way women could gain some sort of equality was to be in control and civilised within the family. As times changed society took on a new discourse Dominelli (1990) argues that feminist activity started to redefine social problems such as domestic violence form the personal problem between men and women to the social matter involving all men and women because such behaviour has been legitimised by the subordinate position women hold within society. As times changed so to have views but not enough, and society took on a new discourse where men and women were suppose to be equal but different because women were best suited to the home. All this did was disguise the fact that men and women are different but unequal in a patriarchal society. Dominelli (1990) describes an example of this”In December 1989, a man walked into a university in Montreal and committed femmicide. Fourteen women who were engineering students were gunned down by the man, he claimed to hate feminists, because these women had dared to enter a mans world of waged work. He was making the point that womens place was not at work in the community but at home ministering the needs of men”Dominelli, L, (1990) pg. 40In contemporary society, views of society have changed, for both men and women. We no longer believe that men should dominate their wives or use violence as a means of control. However, though views have changed, many men still believe that they are superior to women because of the patriarchal view that still prevails within society today. Some men still believe that they can control women by means of violence.Dallos ;McLaughlin (1994) argue that the privacy that surrounds domestic violence may do so to cover up the abuse that exits within a family and unfortunately, this is a culturally shared belief still. Women in today’s society still do not have the same power as men have and even if they did, in regards to domestic violence physical differences in terms of size and strength would give women a disadvantage. This is not to say that women don’t fight back because the majority do, it is just if you put a man and women in a boxing ring the man will almost always win, it is the biological differences that women don’t have that give men this advantage.Definitions of domestic violence have changed over the years and what one person would regard as being domestic violence another would not. Domestic violence may include a wide range of abusive behaviours not all of which are of a violent nature. Women’s aid argues that violence can mean many things some being threats, intimidation, manipulation, isolation, being kept without money, locked up and deprived of food or using children as a threat in order to gain compliance, it can also include systematic criticism and belittling comments. Domestic violence destroys many areas of a victim’s life including the freedom to live their life without fear. It is controlling behaviour that wrecks thousands of lives every year. So, is enough really being done to end the cycle of abuse?Groups such as women’s aid believe not. Although progress has been made, it is still not enough. Before the 60’s and 70’s, there was very little help for women who had been abused. Now because of feminist activity such as women’s aid, help exists throughout the world in the form of self- help groups, telephone care lines, refuges etc. the emergence of this activity came about quite by accident. It started with a group of 500 women and children and a cow protesting about the end of free school milk, although the protest was not a direct success it did bring solidarity among women.This spurred women to meet on a regular basis within local communities. It was at some meetings that women began to talk to one another about the brutality many suffered at the hands of their partners. It was because of this that the first woman’s refuge was opened in Chiswick and where violence against women became publicly defined as a problem, where inspiration for change started to become the publics concern instead of leaving it within the private sphere of the home. Dobash ; Dobash (1992)We can never be certain what causes some men to be violent and others not. Dobash and Dobash (1992) argue that domestic violence seems to be rooted in a mans obsession to obtain control over women, using force if necessary. Women do not choose a violent partner or violence. Quite often violence does not begin until the relationship is well established, often the first pregnancy. The governments report on an enquiry into maternal deaths showed that 30% of domestic violence cases occurred when the woman was pregnant the report believed that this was because women were at their most vulnerable in relation to the man. www.bbc.co.uk
Domestic Violence The Cycle of Abuse Eng135 Advance Composition Raquel Brantley December 3, 2010 Domestic Violence; The cycle of physical abuse In many abusive relationships, violence is not a onetime incident. The abuse usually happens again and again. While every relationship is different, many abusive relationships follow a repeating pattern called the Cycle of Abuse. 1. Introduction
Abuse is not limited to nationality, age, income bracket, gender, or location; in fact, it is a growing problem that is often times unknown to society due to a victim’s fear of the consequences that he or she may face if the incidents are spoken about. Abuse can happen in many forms; however the three main focuses in this essay will be on physical, financial, and verbal abuse. The laws with domestic violence though enforced are not as strong as one would hope due to the fine print that will also be reviewed in the research included in this report.
Domestic Violence According to the Domestic Violence Hotline, “a woman in the United States is beaten every 15 seconds, 22 to 35 percent of emergency room visits from women are because of ongoing partner abuse, 1 in 4 pregnant women have a history of partner violence, and 63 percent of young men between the ages of 11 and 20 are in jail for murdering their mothers abuser” (Domestic Violence Hotline, 2010). Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women within the ages of 16-46.
These facts show that society should clearly be giving this issue a serious look and reaching out to more people to greater their awareness to this problem. There are several warning signs that parents and friend and family can pick up on in order to help someone they care about in this situation. Some of the early warning signs of abuse that can help people identify loved ones in an abusive relationship are: if their partner behaves in a way that is extremely jealous or possessive, such as checking in on them too often. Hearing verbal abuse, such as name-calling and demeaning comments.
Also, another sign is if your loved one gives up things that were important to them, such as time with friends and family, activities, or other interests. The last signs are them having unexplained injuries and seeing the person abuse other people or animals (Break the cycle, 2008). Domestic Violence; The cycle of physical abuse The cycle of domestic violence is continual in most cases and does not necessarily begin with physical abuse but may begin with verbal abuse. This is a warning to leave the relationship and the residence.
There are many facilities that can help a victim going through abuse such as the Woman’s Center, the police, and local shelters that offer a safe haven for those who call. The term ‘domestic abuse’ doesn’t only include physical violence – it describes any abusive behavior repeatedly used by one person to control and/or dominate another person with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. It also includes the exertion of control and/ or domination of one family member over another (Welsh Women’s Aid, 2006). The cycle of violence in domestic abuse
In many abusive relationships, violence is not a onetime incident. The abuse usually happens over and over again. While every relationship is different, almost all abusive relationships follow a repeating pattern called the Cycle of Abuse. The Cycle of Abuse has three phases: honeymoon, tension building, and explosion phase. Each phase can be as short as a few seconds, or as long as several years. Over time, however, the honeymoon phase usually gets smaller and shorter and the explosions become more violent and dangerous. Relationships often start in the honeymoon phase.
This can be very confusing and scary when the explosion phase happens for the first time. Honeymoon During this stage, the abuser will try and make you forgive and forget anything that just happened in the Explosion phase. They might do this by: Saying those famous words “I love you. ” Apologizing and promising that it will never happen again. Most abusers are aware that their partners are in-love with them and use the promises as a way to keep the victim from leaving the relationship. Buying you flowers or other gifts is often used to persuade the victims to stay.
Using this technique can be confusing. Showering you with these things, the abuser anticipates this will help you forget the abuse and concentrate on the new “bling, bling” they just got for you. Saying that you did something to cause the abuse is another one of the manipulative ways the abuser can shift the focus off of them. “If you hadn’t have done this, I wouldn’t have had to hit you”. The abuser may also blame the explosion on other things, like being drunk, because the use drugs or they’re stressed out. Tension Building Things start to get tense in the relationship.
You may feel like you have to do some or all of these to avoid confrontation: You have to tip-toe around your boyfriend or girlfriend so you don’t make them mad. Or you are being absolutely sure not to say anything that might set off the abuse. You may feel that you can’t do anything right or you’re getting blamed for things that have nothing to do with you. The person you’re with is always trying to start arguments or fights with you thus giving them a reason to resort to verbal and or physical abuse. Explosion There is an outburst of abuse that can include physical, sexual, verbal and/or emotional abuse.
The abuser may: Physically abuse you by hitting, kicking, pushing, choking, etc. Scream and yell in a way that scares or humiliates you. Rape or force you to go further sexually than you want to. Threaten to hurt you. Physical Abuse When people think about abuse normally physical abuse is the first thing that comes to mind. Though this is the one most talked about it doesn’t leave as many emotional scars as the others do. But physical abuse is normally accompanied by another form of abuse like verbal/emotional or financial. Physical abuse describes many different types of physical violence, assault and harm.
Domestic abuse may increase when a person experiencing abuse tries to end the relationship, on separation or divorce or, during pregnancy and following the birth of a child. Domestic abuse has a harmful, sometimes even life threatening, impact on the mental wellbeing of those affected (Welsh Women’s Aid, 2006). Financial Abuse This type of abuse is the least talked about out of all the types of abuse. But, it is one of the most common. Financial abuse can take many forms, from denying all access to funds, to making the them solely responsible for all finances while handling money irresponsibly themselves.
Money becomes a tool by which the abuser can further control the victim, ensuring either her financial dependence on him, or shifting the responsibility of keeping a roof over the family’s head onto the victim while simultaneously denying your ability to do so or obstructing you. Financial abuse can have serious and long term effects on women and children experiencing it. Women and children can become trapped in a cycle of poverty because of their experience and become physically and/or psychological ill, isolation and have feeling that they won’t be able to escape from the abusive relationship (Welsh Women’s Aid, 2006).
Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse is the last one the list but reflects a lot of the physiological issues that develop because of it. Sexual abuse is any sexual act where a person is forced to do something they don’t want to. It can be forced with threats of physical violence or fear to make their abuser do what they wish. Sexual abuse with adults covers a range of inappropriate sexual behaviors that cause distress or harm to an individual. Sexual abuse can be actual or threatened and causes physical and emotional damage (Welsh Women’s Aid, 2006). Sexual abuse can happen within a marriage.
Marital rape is often unreported and unrecognized within a marriage even by those experiencing the abuse. Culturally, there is an assumption by many women that they have a ‘duty’ to satisfy their husband’s or partner’s sexual desires and demands even if they do not want to. But, rape is a crime, even if you know the person. Sexual abuse within marriage may also cause the person experiencing the abuse to feel that it is their fault, or the attacker may act as if the abuse took place with the consent of the person being attacked, leading to confusion and guilt (Welsh Women’s Aid, 2006). Seeking Help
The most important thing you can do is tell someone you trust. You may quite easily and quickly decide to ask for help. Or, you may find the process long and painful as you try to make the relationship work and stop the violence, while struggling against the practical and emotional reasons for staying. Most people try to find help a number of times before getting what they need. And even after leaving the relationship, there may still be a risk. The point of separation is sometimes the most dangerous time. Never be afraid to ask for help again and remember, in an emergency, always call the police.
Police officers have the power to arrest if they have good reason for believing that an arrest is needed to prevent the offender from physically injuring you or your child. Most police forces now have either a specialist domestic violence unit or domestic violence coordinators who are experienced in dealing with these cases. Stopping Domestic Violence The best way to stop domestic violence is by awareness and training. Training our young to recognize the behavior and to react in a way that will remove them from it is the most important objective. A community approach must be taken for this matter.
All must get involved parents, teachers, policy makers and teenagers. Next, the people who are being abused must come forth and stand up for themselves and others as an example to the youth and everyone around them. If there is a high level of visibility of these actions more people will come forth because they will see that they don’t have to deal with these issues or do it alone. Inform them that there is help out, people who have experienced the same things and have moved on to live productive lives outside of stress and domestic bondage. How to deal with after affects once the relationship is ended?
Since the relationship has probably been a large part of your loved ones life. Know that they may feel lonely after the break up, talk to them and try to help by getting friends together or find new activities to help fill in some of their time. Because of the significance of the relationship in people’s lives, tell them it is normal to miss their old partner after the break-up. Don’t let them forget that leaving was very important and done for the right reasons. Breaking up with an abusive partner can be a dangerous time. If you don’t feel safe, break up with your partner over the phone or with a friend waiting nearby.
Let your family and friends know you’re planning on breaking up so they can support you and help keep you safe during this time. And if you are ever in immediate danger, call the police (How Can I Get Out of My Abusive Relationship? , 2009) Conclusion Domestic Violence has many effects on the people who have to experience being abused. It also had has negative effects on the people around it who witness the acts and have to deal with it on a day to day basis. The ways to help limit some of this ongoing behavior is awareness and training of youth and adults.
When we reach the days when people aren’t afraid to ask for help and accept help when it is offered. Annotated Bibliography Welsh Women’s Aid. (2006). Retrieved December 3, 2010, from Facts of Domestic Violence: http://www. welshwomensaid. org/whatis/facts. html The authors of this website used important information found in studies done by researchers in the United Kingdom. Welsh Women’s Aid define domestic abuse as “the actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a woman by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship.
This abuse also relates to the perpetrator allowing or causing a child to witness, or be at risk of witnessing, domestic abuse. ” Statistics show that 97% of reported incidences of domestic abuse are perpetrated by men against women. However, Welsh Women’s Aid recognizes that domestic abuse can occur within same sex relationships and that, in a very small number of cases, women are the perpetrators of abuse. Break the cycle. (2008, July ). Retrieved December 2, 2010, from http://www. thesafespace. org/pdf/handout-what-parents-need-to-know-about-teen-dv. df Breaking the cycle focuses on domestic abuse in reference to teenagers. Watching your teen experience abuse can be both frustrating and frightening. But parents are critical in helping their teens develop healthy relationships, and can provide life-saving support if their teen is experiencing abuse. Remember, dating violence occurs in both same-sex and opposite-sex couples and that girl can abuse boys, just as boys can abuse girls. How Can I Get Out of My Abusive Relationship? . (2009). Retrieved December 3, 2010, from thesafespace. org: http://www. thesafespace. org/stay-safe/need-help/how-can-i-get-out-of-my-abusi