Domestic violence commonly referred to as domestic abuse refers to physical and or psychological domination of a close member of the family thereby intimidating them. Domestic violence has remained a social problem for many years with efforts to reduce this vice not bearing much fruit. This discussion takes an in-depth look at domestic violence as a social problem that has been deeply rooted in the society and what can be done to reduce if not eliminate totally this problem.
History Domestic violence occurs in every part of the world and affects virtually every person irrespective of the race, color, creed or economic status of a person (Mc Cue, 2007). Although domestic violence has always been held mostly in regard to women, it is important to note domestic violence can and does occur even to men, children and the elderly. Despite the many efforts that have been put in place to fight domestic violence, it is still rampant in many parts of the world and as a matter of fact the incidents are on the rise.
One of the key factors that have hampered the fight on domestic violence is failure of victims to open up for fear of ridicule or even further threats from the abuser. Contrary to the belief of many people domestic abuse is not as a result of the abuser’s inability to control his behavior. As a matter of fact domestic violence has been cited as a deliberate action by the abuser which can be avoided. The argument is that if it were his inability to control his behavior, then he would batter everybody else who toed his line.
But this is not normally the case. Instead he batters only that one person whom he claims he loves and is close to him (Jenkins, 2001). Some of the tactics that abusers use for domestic abuse include humiliation of the victim. This is mainly through words that are likely to hurt the victim psychologically. Intimidation, threats and domination are other tactics that are used in domestic violence. The history of domestic violence dates back many centuries when the Common Law of England allowed a man to beat his wife.
However there was a condition that the stick that was to be used had to be of the same diameter as the diameter of the thumb and thus the infamous thumb rule (Reiss, 1993). Domestic Violence Cycle Domestic violence is actually a cycle which is in form of stages. The first stage is referred to as abuse which involves intimidating the victim by making him/her feel inferior. This may be physical, psychological or both. The second stage is known as guilt. This is the feeling that the abuser has after the abusive act to his victim.
However his guilt is more because of fear of being caught but not so much the anguish he caused to his victim. Rationalization is the next stage in this cycle and it involves justification by the abuser of his actions. Usually the abuser will blame the victim accusing him or her of provoking him into committing the abusive act. Normal behavior also known as honey moon phase is the next stage where the abuser makes all attempts to normalize life between him/her and the victim (Wilson, 2005).
When the victim forgives the abuser and their life resumes back to normal the abuser will start looking for ‘mistakes’ that can warrant him to abuse the victim yet again. The last stage in the cycle of domestic violence is known as set up and involves the abuser looking for conducive circumstances to abuse the victim. As already mentioned, domestic violence takes various forms. Although physical abuse is the most common there are other forms which include emotional, sexual and financial/economic abuse. Emotional abuse may be by use of words or non-verbal.
Whichever form it takes its main aim is to lower a person’s self esteem so that one’s independence and self worth diminishes. It is believed that emotional abuse is far much worse than physical abuse since the scars for the former can last for a long time (Mc Cue, 2007). Physical abuse involves battering or assault which causes physical injury to the victim. This is the most common among cases of domestic violence. Economic or financial abuse refers to controlling a person in terms of finances so that they suffer as a result of the control.
From the above discussion it is clear that domestic violence is an acute social problem that must be combated by all means. Just what can be done to do away with this menace in the society? Researchers have tried to come up with various proposals to help end this menace but none of them has been fully successful. We seek to look at some of the steps that can be taken to reduce domestic violence. Firstly people must be educated so that they are aware that domestic violence is not acceptable and is not a way of solving domestic problems.
It is also important that victims of domestic violence are encouraged to speak out. Silence only makes the situation worse. It is thus important to let somebody else know what you are going through. References. Jenkins P. (2001). Stopping Domestic Violence, London: Springer. Mc Cue M. L (2007). Domestic violence: New York: ABC-CLIO. Reiss A. J. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Violence, Washington: National Academies. Wilson, K. J (2005). When Violence Begins at Home. London: Hunter House.