Introduction people to abuse the people they claim


The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines
domestic violence as, “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery,
sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate
partner against another.”(NCADV 2015) While there have been studies of domestic
violence from a literary standpoint, domestic violence affects individuals in
every community, regardless of their age, race, religion, economic status, or
educational background. Domestic violence, which is often accompanied by
emotional abuse and/or controlling behavior, is part of an organized pattern of
dominance and control over the victim. There are many consequences associated
with domestic violence including physical injury, psychological trauma, and
sometimes, even death. It wasn’t only until recently that domestic violence was
finally considered a violation of the law. Men have been bettering and abusing
their wives or intimate partners for a long time, which historically was viewed
as a “normal” act in marriages or intimate relationships. It wasn’t really
until the end of the twentieth century, in the 1970’s, that domestic violence
was defined as a crime (Erez 2002). There are many different theories that can
be considered “the cause” of domestic violence, some of which include: Culture
of Violence Theory, Social Learning Theory and Patriarchal Theory. Along with
these specific theories there are other external factors in the offenders
environment that can contribute to the abuse such as: stress, society demands
and drug and alcohol dependency. Abusers who commit domestic violence do so to
control their victims, and to maintain that control they threaten the victim’s
safety. Although there is no justification for their behavior, there are
theories in which can help us to understand exactly why and what reasons drive
these people to abuse the people they claim to “love.”

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of Violence Theory

The Culture of Violence
Theory is the idea that in large societies, some subcultures have developed the
norm of physical violence. Meaning, family violence occurs more frequently in
families that have a prior history or acceptance over those who do not have any
experience with it. The normalness of violence in a culture or social group can
be encouraging to younger people. When a child gets beaten, or see their mother
get beaten for not obeying orders, then that child will have it engraved in
their brain that when you or someone acts out they need to be beaten, it
becomes apart of life and the way you run a home. When a father comes home from
a long day at work and wants his dinner and a cold beer handed to him and the
mother fails to comply, she gets beaten for her “disrespectful behavior.”
Abusers have made stress a justification of why they abuse. It could be stress
from work, money problems, or the children, they try to glamorize the abuse by
blaming it on stress and fail to take responsibility for hurting their victims.
People who grow up in households where violence was a norm, tend to also use
that as a “get out” card. They blame their family history, or genetics as the
reason for the abuse. The history of domestic violence stems from the idea that
men had to maintain order in the households. They were expected to govern their
homes, without remorse and uncontrolled force. This idea for some, continued
throughout history, and was passed down from generation to generation like
someone sort of trophy. Young boys who saw abuse, grew up to do the same to
their wives. Still today we have countries like Kenya and Pakistan that have no
laws against domestic violence. In Pakistan women still face abuse daily, not
only from their husbands but also their mother-in-laws. Here in the U.S. we
have an incredible amount of domestic violence issues among famous athletes and
stars. Even with out strict laws, and so called women’s rights, we still tend
turn the other cheek when we read story about a bettered women and her famous
abuser. Domestic violence has become so normal that it is cultural.

                                                Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory
states that people learn from modeling and observational learning. Modeling,
which basically means an individual learns by imitations of other individuals’
behaviors and actions, and observational learning is when an individual learns
by observing the behaviors of those around them. When a child grows up in a
home where violence is practiced day-to-day then more often than not that child
will grow up to also be violent themselves or allow violence around them, over
a child who grew up with little to no violence. If a family deals with the
stresses and frustrations of everyday life with anger and aggression then that
child who has grown up in that environment, is at a greater risk to grow up and
do the same as an adult. Constantly witnessing domestic violence, especially as
a child, can influence the child’s behavior and actions, along with increasing
their tolerance for violence. Children can adapt to violence and violent
behaviors, and can eventually start to feel as if it were a normal thing. As
they grow older, they more often than not will start to display signs of anger,
aggression and violence towards their partner. According to a 2013 UK Essay, fathers have the
greatest likelihood of perpetrating domestic violence. This occurs through
inflicting physical, sexual and psychological abuse to their children.
Consequently children create the mentality that confrontation and violence are
the modes of resolving conflict in their future relationships. Abuse and
witnessing parental violence augurs the possibility of not only the son’s violence
but also the daughters in their future relationships. (UK Essays 2013) The
father, who is normally the head of a household, tends to use his masculinity
and power to control and maintain order in the home. This behavior is often
times imitated by children, and when they reach adulthood they too abuse their
partner. We tend to focus on young boys but the focus should also be on young
girls who also witness this behavior and grow up to expect and accept the abuse
from their male partners.

                                                     Patriarchal Theory

Patriarchal Theory is a belief that violence in the home is acceptable; where a
more powerful individual controls other people through various forms of force
and abuse. From as long as we can remember, there has been a militaristic
mindset, where we handle all foreign and domestic affairs with violence. The
idea of using some sort of force to achieve an end-goal has been imbedded into
our society for decades. Whether it be soldiers investing foreign lands and/or
raping the women who inhabit it, or the senior on the football team, who uses
his power and prestige to do and get away with whatever. Violence
can be used as a means of control that occurs in patriarchal societies. Johnson
(1997) states that, “what drives patriarchy as a system is a dynamic
relationship between control and fear” (p.26). Men who are usually expected to
hold control and ensure violence, mainly over women, as a means to obtain and
maintain control.

On of the main branches of this theory is power. Power, which
plays a huge role, sets the main agenda for patriarchy. The desire for power
and control over a victim is a common denominator in most, if not all, domestic
abuse intimate relationships. There are many common behaviors that an abuser
will exercise onto their victims to assure that they maintain power and control
over them. Some of which include: threats, emotional abuse, blaming the victim
for their problems, and financial abuse. These, along with many others are
common behaviors the abuser will demonstrate to control their partner. Physical
violence which eventually, is often associated with “domestic terrorism:” which
is basically the emotional, psychological and financial abuse that occurs as a
sort of total package in controlling and making sure that the victim cannot and
will not leave them. It is a sort of insecure move on the abusers part, because
the fact that they need to control their partner this much to ensure that they
do not leave them shows how they really are not happy with themselves, and he
idea of the victim leaving them drives them nuts. After sometimes of the
physical abuse and domestic terrorism, the victim begins to feel helpless, has
lost their independence and has a broken self-esteem. This becomes more in
favor of the abuser, because at this point the victim has no where to go
because all outside ties have been cut off, they have no source of financial
income, aside from whatever the abuser allows them to have and they have no
confidence or strength to do anything about it.


Domestic violence is so common among women, and the battery
due to it is the single most common injury to women. It beats: rapes, muggings
and automobile accidents combined. When someone is taken into the hospital for
injuries, they of course are not released until they are fully recovered.
However, when it comes to domestic violence victims, a lot of times they are
released without any arrangements made for their safety from the abuse and
their abuser, that cause their injuries in the first place. We need to be
better about safe housing these women who have been beaten and abused, rather
than treating them and sending them back into the home that has been their own
personal torture chamber. Hundreds of women come through ER’s everyday, some
are even brought in by their abusers, but I think health professionals need to
be educated more on the tell tale signs of domestic abuse so they can better
assist the victims and help to get out of a potentially deadly situation. We
need to extend the treatment for domestic violence past just bandages and ice
packs, there needs to be more of a safety net for those women who have the
courage to leave and rather than stitching them up and sending them back, we
need to develop a program that ensures safety of the victims for as long as
they may need.

Another way I think we can help to lessen the cause of
domestic violence is by taking children who are in abusive homes out and
keeping them in a safe place. When a child grows up in a home where domestic
violence or any physical violence is present, then he/she has the potential to
grow up with severe mental and emotional issues. There have been studies after
studies that have proven the negative affects of abuse on a child’s mind, and
how it can be a huge risk in the way they develop emotional feelings. Children
who grow up in homes where there isn’t constants abuse, not just physical but
emotional and verbal abuse, that child often times than not grows up to also
abuse their partner. Young girls who grow up around violence, often grow up to
believe that it is normal behavior and when a man puts their hands on them it
is normal, its apart of the relationship, which is very sad. Long-term effects
are also huge factors that come into play with domestic abuse. Depression,
anger, aggression, poor school performance, anxiety and low self-esteem are all
effects of the presence of abuse in homes. As a community we need to be able to
come together and help the children who are in abusive homes, create plans and
programs to help them possibly grow up in a safe place and help them to avoid
the exposure of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a topic that affects
everyone; it doesn’t see race, gender, religion or educational background.
Young or old, everyone is prone to be a victim and some even the abuser. We
must continue to have this discussion, and encourage women suffering in these
tormented relationships to come forward and speak up; know that their voices
are important and will be heard.