Domestic violence happens when any act of violence occurs among family members. This comes in different forms of abuse. Willingness to achieve dominance, control, and power over one individual is one of the many causes of this social issue. It is also recognized as one great problems in the world today. Women, whoa re also known as the supposed weaker sex, are more prone to be victimized by such abuse. However, even though men are always stereotyped as the one who does the act of violence, they can also be victims of domestic abuse. Thus, anyone can be a victim of this.
Such abuse results in long lasting effects for both genders. “It is detrimental to the socialization of the victims and harms the physical and psychological state”. As the victims experience violence from family members or intimate partners, it may be inflicted physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even financially. Indeed, domestic violence is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately. It can lead to the victim’s death if not prevented or ceased. Domestic violence is a prevailing issue in the society. One of the causes of broken families is domestic violence. It has become one big issue in the society.
The sad reality is that the abuse is made by people who are closely related to the victims. The lifetime trauma in both physical and emotional is inculcated in the victims for life. Domestic violence should remain a private matter within the family. But then it should be brought up to a much higher level where legal grounds will rightfully punish the perpetrator and give victims the justice that they deserve. Domestic Violence and Abuse I. Frequency and General Details “Domestic violence is considered as one of the most serious issues the world has been fighting since ancient times”(Kimmel, 2001, p.
1332). “The worldwide estimate of the United Nations reports that approximately 20 to 50 percent women have been physically abused by a member of the family, most frequently by an intimate partner” (Kimmel, 2001, p. 1332). In the United States, domestic violence is also regarded as a significant problem of society that needs to be addressed. “The results of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2001 reported nearly 700,000 incidents of intimate partner violence, wherein approximately 85 percent of the victims are female”.
Meanwhile, there are “2. 3 to 10 million children who are exposed to domestic abuse annually, 70 percent of whom are maltreated as well” (Rossman, Hughes, and Rosenberg; Fantuzzo and Mohr; qtd in Summers 8). Defining Domestic Violence Domestic violence is defined as any act which happens within the family among any family members. This involves abuse to elderly, abuse to a child, battering and beating one’s wife, and other violence that may occur within the family. In some cases, domestic violence does not involve direct physical contact.
Domestic abuse may happen constantly while physical abuse may happen occasionally. It happens between men and women, between two males, and between two females, regardless of age. “It really has intense consequences for the lives of young children, communities, families and individuals” (Domestic Violence Policy, 2008). In the United Kingdom, the Domestic Violence Policy of 2008 was developed. It clearly defines domestic violence as: “patterns of behavior characterized by the misuse of power and control by one person over another who are or have been in an intimate relationship.
” “Abuse that results from domestic violence may be sexual, physical, emotional, economic or psychological” (Shipway, 2004; Domestic Violence Policy, 2008). Psychological form of domestic violence may involve “intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats, and financial abuse” (Domestic Violence Policy, 2008). Intimate partner violence (IPV) is also a similar term to domestic violence. It happens not only within the scope of family where marriage is considerably important. IPV happens to individuals who are under cohabitation or other living-in arrangements.
In IPV, acts of violence inflicted on the live-in partner occurs like battering, spanking, verbal abuse and other related abuses. National Domestic Violence (2007) also has another definition: a pattern of “abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. ” It is a range of violent behavior that causes abuse and trauma to the victims. Most cases suggest that domestic violence usually happens when men uses power, control and dominance over women.
Selfishness triggers a person to perform domestic abuse. In a romantic relationship, couples tend to become overprotective to each other. The result of too much love may lead to obsession and may result in violence. Paranoia will always be there since one may think that people will take their partner away from them. Such fear of losing the partner can turn a person into a violent individual. One this is obvious, abuse of power makes a person commit domestic violence (Domestic Violence Policy, 2008). Forms of Domestic Violence There are many forms of domestic violence.
It can be through physical means, which is the most common form of domestic violence. Other forms of physical violence include sexual abuse, slapping, hair pulling, biting, spanking, slapping, grabbing, pinching, and many others. Other forms include emotional violence, verbal abuse, and psychological abuse such as threatening, humiliating, and manipulating the victim. It can also go as far as criminal acts like stalking, terrorizing, isolating, coercing, wounding and killing. Physical abuse also includes neglecting the sick family member to go under medication and receive the right medicine.
Forcing family members to use drugs and drink alcohol is also another form of physical abuse (Domestic Violence, 2006). Marital abuse is also present among married couples. “Marital rape is one example of domestic violence wherein either the husband or wife forces the other to engage in a sexual activity that is against their will” (Domestic Violence, 2006). Any sexual contact or behavior without the consent of any parties is considered as a criminal act. The said forced sexual activity is highly penalized by law. Verbal and emotional abuse may not be visible but this can also be a ground for a case of domestic violence.
Undermining the self-worth and self-esteem of an individual causes emotional abuse. Degrading the individuality of a person is one way of damaging the person’s image to other people. The verbal and emotional abuse may also lead to psychological violence and make the victim insane. Too much intimidation causes fear. Psychological harm may also cause the victim to physically harm him- or herself (Domestic Violence, 2006). Another form of domestic violence is through economic abuse. This occurs when the perpetrator tries to manipulate the family resources.
Total control over the financial accounts of the family, selling out land titles and consuming the family owned properties are ways to show economic abuse (Domestic Violence, 2006). Family is the basic unit of society. This is supposed to be the foundation of love, care and harmony for every individual. However, the aforementioned forms of domestic violence show the opposing meaning of what a true family is. The effect of domestic violence is not limited to family members. It also affects peers, co-employees and the society as a whole. Violence against men, women and children
Cases of domestic violence involves all people of all ages. Incest is also one form of of sexual abuse. This is a sexual activity between people who have blood relationship. Women are more likely to be abuse during their pregnancy. Some delicate cases of pregnancy do not require sexual contact to their partners. This is where forced sexual activity takes place. Violence during pregnancy involves the neglect of husband to give proper medication to their wives, verbal abuse, absence of care and concern to the wife, continuous wife beating, infidelity and miscarriage.
In cases of successful pregnancy the effect of domestic violence will be passed on to the new born child. It results in prematurity, long term illnesses, and some cases of abnormalities. Domestic violence among female is really prevalent in most countries. This is because women are always attributed with personality of weakness and powerlessness. They are always victimized by domestic violence because many of them do not fight back. The strength that most of them have is also not enough to counter the dominance and power of the perpetrator.
It is not amusing to know that women become a victim of this case as many of them are always afraid of fighting back. In some cases, hospitality girls are only forced to do such immoral job because it is rooted from their childhood when they experience domestic violence from their fathers. Domestic violence in men may seem impossible for most people. This is because of the preconceived notion that men have a domineering and powerful by nature. Mostly, men who experience domestic violence belong to the lower social classes and suffer from sickness. They are violently treated female family members.
Men who live with the same male partner are those who are victims of domestic violence. Cohabitation of male to male partners is those who experience cases of domestic violence. Those who don’t live with female intimate partners do not always involve cases of domestic violence. Most men who experience domestic violence go through forced sex, physical assault and stalking by their male cohabitant. Male victims of domestic violence are ashamed to come out and shout for justice. This is because they wanted to preserve their image of being strong and never be defeated by anyone.
“They do not want to be viewed as weak or less of a man” (James, 2003). There are also chances that reports from male victims are often neglected and rejected by the authorities because of doubts and disbeliefs. Police and other authorities will not take the allegations seriously because males are always tagged as the abusers. In a homosexual relationship, they are also afraid to file cases of domestic violence because of fear of being criticized and humiliated in the society. Violence against children is also a big issue. It involves physical abuse for most cases.
Unwanted pregnancy results to birth of an unwanted child which carries out all the disappointments and frustrations of the parent. Most cases of husband-wife abuse passes on the curse to their children who suffers double the pain of domestic violence. “Men who batter their wives are more likely to sexually abuse their children” (James, 2003). Adopted child are also abused by their adopted parents and siblings. They are the one who carries the burden of the whole family. Adopted children do the household chores and other activities at home. II. Causes, Effects and Signs of Domestic Violence. Causes of Domestic Violence
There are many underlying causes of domestic violence. When a person starts to use power to dominate over the victim, chances are higher that domestic violence will occur. The need of an abuser to control and dominate family members causes domestic violence. This is because they have low self-esteem, selfish motives, jealousy, difficulties in controlling anger and other related strong emotions. Inferiority complex is also one cause of domestic violence. Insecurity takes place and the abuser feels that he/she needs to fight back in order to gain the same level of power to the successful family member (James, 2003).
The traditional beliefs that men are always superior to women primarily cause domestic violence. This is still visible in the present times. Such domination will reach up to the extent of committing verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Violent behavior is also caused by situational and individual factors. This means that when an abuser has a history of domestic violence, they may inherit the violent behavior and carry it over to the present generation (James, 2003). For younger individuals whose parents fight, domestic violence can be viewed as a reasonable way to solve conflict.
This is base on their observation of their parents. Children who were raised in an environment full of angst and abuse are more likely to adopt the same method once they settle for a family of their own. A young boy who always sees his father beating up his mother is more likely to batter his wife in the future. On the other hand, female children who came to witness domestic violence inside the house are more inclined to believe that being abused by their partner is acceptable (James, 2003). Lack of confidence and self-esteem causes domestic violence.
This is because a child who grows up in a violent oriented home are inclined to have lesser self-worth. As he becomes the extension of anger by his parents, he may develop a negative reflection of his own self. This can make him feel frustrated and cause him to isolate himself. It produces a controlled hidden anger which he may unleash towards his own family or partner when he grows up (James, 2003). Being addicted to alcohol and certain drugs is also one of the prevailing causes of domestic violence. Abuse of substances influences a person’s behavior and may cause him to become violent.
Poor emotional health is caused by alcohol driven mind and drug influenced system. (Domestic Violence, 2006). Domestic violence is also caused by great loss of properties or death of a loved one. This is a secondary anger which is passed through family members. Frustration and feelings of helplessness also drive one to abuse family members in order to release stress (Domestic Violence, 2006). Signs of Domestic Violence There are signs and symptoms of domestic violence. When a perpetrator manifests the following signs, the victim should share his or her observation to people who can help him or her and the family.
One of the major signs of domestic violence is domination. When one of the family members continuously asks the place where one is going, the people he or she will be with, and what he or she will do, he or she should consider thinking twice if such questioning is due to concern, overprotection, or an attempt to dominate. Isolation is another sign of domestic violence. This occurs when the perpetrator tries to confine the victim within the walls of their home by not permitting the latter to go outside and meet other people.
Cutting away communication with other friends and relative justifies may be a sign of being isolated and being domestically abused (Domestic Violence, 2008).. Jealousy is also another sign of domestic violence. This leads to possessiveness and insecurity, as the perpetrator constantly accuses the victim of cheating or having an extra-marital affair. This often results in physical abuse and isolation (Domestic Violence, 2008). More warning signs of domestic violence are presented below which were retrieved from turning point services website (2008): (1) The person was abused by his/her parents in the past.
(2) Was raised in a home where adults constantly fight and abuse each other. (3) Gets very serious with relationship easily and pressures partner for a serious commitment. (4) The person converses with smooth talking strategy, extremely charming and has a strong personality which in the end is really the opposite of these. (5) Extremely jealous every now and then. (6) Isolates family members from having contact with other people. (7) Takes control of everything, even the attire of family members and the activities to perform. (8) Abusive towards other people. (9) Constantly blames other people for their own mistakes.
(10) Very unrealistic when it comes to expectations and wants perfection all the time. (11) Sensitive (12) Demonstrates cruelty to animals. (13) Has history of child abuse. (14) Hits a boyfriend or a girlfriend in the past. (15) Has ever threatened violence. (16) Curses family members. (17) Extremely moody as he or she switches emotions easily from being happy to being angry. (18)Demands obedience (19) Intimidating and uses threatening body languages like throwing and breaking objects. (20) Holds partner tightly as if anyone will take the partner away from him or her (Domestic Violence, 2008).
The signs and symptoms mentioned above are considerably important in identifying a perpetrator of domestic violence. It is better to prevent the event rather than act when it is already done. Effects of Domestic Violence Short and long term effects of domestic violence is expected for victims depending on the length of time that they were abused. Long term effect on women includes anxiety, chronic depression, death, drug and alcohol dependence, eating disorders, malnutrition, panic attacks, self neglect, sleeping disorders and suicide attempts.
Anyone has a chance of being victimized by domestic violence. This is really visible to almost all countries and culture in the world. It can affect any person in society regardless of his or her economic standing. Effects of Domestic Violence on Women and their Children According to Ellsberg and Gottemoeler (1999), “around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. ” The abuser is oftentimes a member of the victim’s own family” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999).
Newton (2001) added that “battered women take necessary actions to protect their children, even if they do not leave their batterer” (Newton, 2001) Mothers who were once abused suffer from depression and are preoccupied by the violent experience. This makes them emotionally withdrawn or numb and causes them to develop irritability and hopelessness. As a result, she may neglect to fulfill her duties as a mother. Newton further stated that “battered women may use more punitive child-rearing strategies or exhibit aggression toward their children” (Newton, 2001).
Children who lack the necessary care and attention from their parents have delayed growth. “Their emotional and physical development can be seriously delayed or can be permanently distorted” (Newton, 2001). “Parents who have been traumatized by violence must cope with their own trauma before they are able to help their children” (Newton, 2001). Once domestic violence is experienced over time, the effect of it to the victim becomes more severe. Victims may also suffer from emotional and psychological long term effects. These include anxiety, insecurity, self neglect, chronic depression, and state of dissociation (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999).
The victims may also develop substance (drug and alcohol) dependence which can help them sleep and forget their misfortune (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). They may also develop “eating disorders, emotional overreaction to stimuli, general emotional numbing, panic attacks, and poor adherence to medical recommendations” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). It may also result in “poverty, repeated self-injury, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, strained family relationships, suicidal attempts, and sudden death [of the victim]” (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999).
According to Ellsberg and Gottemoeler (1999), “the children of abused women [are] more likely to be malnourished. ” In addition, they are “more likely to have had a recent untreated case of diarrhea and less likely to have been immunized against childhood diseases” (Ellsberg, Gottemoeler, 1999). The case of domestic violence which involves children carries the trauma upon their adulthood. Even though an end has been put into the abuse made to younger children, the nightmare will haunt them and the effect may manifest in their abusive behavior as they become the perpetrator in the future.
Some children might think that domestic violence is a form of disciplinary measure made by their parents, which may cause them to apply the idea of domestic violence to their own children. During the growing up stage, children also show misbehavior towards their peers because of domestic violence. They end up having argument with them and demonstrate behaviors that are not fit for their age. Effects of Domestic Violence on Men Male domestic violence is also visible in every society.
Tjaden and Thoennes (2000) conducted a research about male domestic violence and discovered that “men who are involved in intimate same sex relationship are more likely to experience violence than men who have women intimate partners”. Their study also shows that [a]pproximately 23 percent of the men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7. 4 percent of the men who had married or lived with a woman as a couple reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Physical Effects of Domestic Violence
According to Meyer (2008), “at least 42% of women and 20% of men sustain minor injuries such as scratches, bruises and swelling” (Meyer, 2008). Injuries worsen as the abuse becomes harsher and recurrent (Meyer, 2008). Meyer’s (2008) study enumerates the common injuries caused by domestic violence: “bruises, lesions and cuts, pelvic pain, headaches, back pain, broken bones, gynecological injuries, pregnancy complications where even the fetus is affected and may result in miscarriage, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and heart or circulatory conditions. ” Psychological Effects of Domestic Violence
Another traumatizing effect is the psychological impact of domestic violence for both men and women. “The emotional abuse causes severe psychological harm for the victim” (Meyer, 2008). “Depression and loss of hope in the future is one” (Meyer, 2008). Victims may also nurture the desire to end their lives as they feel unloved and unworthy. The occurrence of nightmare and sleep disturbances is also experienced by victims. They may also recall against their will the times when they were being abused through sudden flashbacks. This may cause their personality to deteriorate (Meyer, 2008).
Social Effects of Domestic Violence “Domestic violence may also affect the social life of the victims as they develop feelings of isolation from family, friends and other supportive individuals” (Meyer, 2008). They may also refuse to interact with other people. This might be due to their fear that they would become the talk of the town and the center of attention. Trusting people is never easy for the victims. Because it is hard for them to trust, they may avoid having an intimate relationship as they fear that they will be abused again (Fee, Brown, Lazarus, & Theerman, 2002).
III. Intervention strategies of the Police, Social Service Agencies and the Courts in Recovering from the Effects of Domestic Violence It may take time for the victims of domestic abuse to heal their emotional and psychological wounds. After being abused, recovery might be too far from the victim’s sight. For them to recuperate from the devastating effects of domestic violence, they would need a lot of care, love, and attention. Thus, constant communication with loved ones may help them recover from their traumatic experiences of being abused (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999).
Another way to ease the recovery of domestic abuse victims is to encourage them to undergo psychological therapy. Sessions with a psychologists or counselors would surely aid them in letting go of their emotional pains, in accepting and loving themselves, and in moving on with their lives (Ellsberg & Gottemoeler, 1999). During instances of domestic violence, there are always means and ways of getting help to put an end to it. The victims can reach out for other family member’s help during abusive situations by establishing codes and signals.
At the same time, victims should also try to separate themselves from the abusers until the rescuers come and the situation has been diffused. There are 24-hour hotlines accessible for anyone being abused. In the said hotlines, the reports are received by people who can prevent the abusers from doing their misdeeds. They will also call the police to get the perpetrators imprisoned. The National Coalition against Domestic Violence (2005) website suggests the following in order to be followed by victims of abusive relationship: (1) Go to areas of your house which is much safer whenever you experience threats of abuse.
Avoid rooms without possible ways of exits like bathrooms and rooms with weapons such as the kitchen. (2) Have a ready list of people to call in case of emergency. Keep your cell phone with you all the time. (3) Always keep money in your pocket (at least $20). (4) Memorize all important numbers, such as the hospital, police, and even neighbors. (5) “Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help”. (6) “Thinks of words to say to your partner if heshe becomes violent” (National Coalition against Domestic Violence, 2005).
The NCDV also gives out lists of things to do once the victim separates from the abuser. These tips will surely help the victim to minimize the negative influence of the abuser. (1) Change your contact number. Give it to people whom you only absolutely trust. (2) Do not try to communicate with your abusers. (3) Save necessary evidences like all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents about the domestic violence that occur. (4) Change your house locks especially if you suspect that your batterer has duplicate keys. (5) Avoid staying alone.
Stay with family or other trusted individuals. (6) Plan immediate escape when confrontation with the abusive partner happens. (7) If you really need to meet your abuser, do it in a public place. (8) Vary your routine, so that you will not become predictable. (9) Call hotline numbers and shelter for battered people for additional tips (National Coalition against Domestic Violence, 2005). Domestic violence can be obstructed immediately. This is if everyone is properly educated about the signs of being domestically abused and how to stop it.
No one wants to be a victim of this and to suffer abuse of any kind. Domestic violence is a mere result of too much control and fear. Family members should support both the abusers and the victims to recover from this traumatic event. Policing Domestic Violence in the Community Policing domestic violence refers to a scientifically developed application that aims at solving the domestic violence problem. In the past, it has involved testing of hypothesis in relation to the classification, prediction and the domestic violence prevention.
Policing domestic violence policing as a tool of solving domestic violence also experiences several challenges as a crime prevention strategy (Hoctor, 2007. p. 53). In order to identify more effective policing strategies for domestic violence prevention and control, a culture of science is very necessary where the strategy integrates trial and error as a norm in crime prevention. The domestic violence policing programs aim at offering support to victims of domestic violence while at the same time preventing domestic violence.
However, the public has raised concern about the domestic violence public policy. Lawrence et al states that in the past, the public has been concerned about the domestic violence policy. This is because it is sometimes based on ideology and it lacks evidence based on science. The public advocates for an effective domestic violence policing which should be practical and also be implemented appropriately. This would be a very good measure in preventing domestic violence (Lawrence S. et al, 24).
In the last decade, police response to domestic violence has been criticized with a claim that the police did not take violence incidents seriously. However, effective measures to curb domestic violence are being developed and implemented through better policing. In this paper, the domestic violence policing issue will be discussed. The ethical stance of domestic violence in policing will be looked at, as well as the police departments’ responsibility of policing. The past system and current issues arising due to violence will be evaluated. Discussion
For effective policing in domestic violence, a cultural evolution in policing needs to be developed in order to support the scientific revolution in order to solve the domestic violence problem. The cultural evolution rapid movement requires a growing partnership between the police and criminologists, public health community officers and professional scientists. Coherence of approach by the different police units to domestic violence is promoted by policy statements or documents where the Police officers introduce the policy documents with varying extent and content.
With the increasing reports of domestic violence to the police, the police service has been required to utilize their limited resources to improve domestic violence service delivery to the people. “Domestic violence is a great concern for the community where the police intervene in many cases”(Lawrence, 1992, 126). Whenever the police receive an initial call for assistance, it is their responsibility to provide immediate protection to the victim due to the fact that the “police have certain powers which allow them to respond to domestic violence incidents” (Lawrence, 1992, 126).
“Whether the victims feel confident in contacting the police departments later in future will depend on how the police perform their tasks when the victim makes the initial contact” (Lawrence, 1992, 126). The police have a major role in arresting criminals or offenders with the perpetrators of domestic violence considered as criminals because they undermine the human rights of the victims. The suspects are usually arrested and charged if there is enough evidence of violence against the victim.
However, “law enforcement officers should ensure that the suspect’s rights are not violated” (Lawrence, 1992, 126) until the truth is established much later as one of the requirement in the police departmental policy. The police forces have domestic violence policy documents which contain written aims and priorities that are expected to assist them either solve, prevent or reduce domestic violence incidents. The policy documents normally contain the domestic violence definition, its implications, as well as guidance about the various police response components.
The responsibility to implement domestic violence policies is something that is shared across a range of the police roles. The policies are very vital in protecting domestic violence victims against actions of exploitation such as domestic violence involving withholding of economic resources from a victim. Some children are even denied education through this form of abuse, as well partners who do not work. This denies the victims their basic needs, which is considered unethical and unacceptable. Domestic violence policing prevents this form of exploitation and instead promotes ethical practices in the society.
Through policing, public safety problems are defined, analyzed and effective solutions to the problems addressed. Though the society is responsible for propagating ethics, it sometimes undermines the ethics if it allows domestic violence to occur without taking any action. For instance, in patriarchal societies, men are sometimes allowed to completely dominate over women. This had led to lack of knowledge and empowerment in women to speak out against violence, whereby the victims lack the ability to express their views and opinions with those who do not adhere to this being severely punished through domestic violence.
Domestic violence policies have been developed to address such cultural practices with the police ensuring that law enforcement in relation to such policies is carried out. The police department should have the responsibility of policing domestic violence in the community because they are law enforcers who are responsible for ensuring law and order is maintained in the society and the human rights are well protected. Preventing and reducing domestic violence is one of the ways in which the human rights of everyone in the community are protected. For instance in Australia, “police powers and procedures are well set out in the Cr