Domestic Violence Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

Domestic violence is defined as the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior. I chose this population, being that of victims of domestic violence and abuse, because while I’ve never dealt with it personally, even though I know many women that have been victims of domestic violence and abuse. I know enough of the statistics on domestic violence to worry about my female friends, but I don’t know enough information to know how victims feel, or why they stay with the abuser. I feel that I should inform myself on the topic so that one day, I will know how to approach the situation should I ever have to ...view middle of the document...

(Nelson, Adrine, Alpert, Buell & Graffunder, 2005) This population of predominantly women, is often marginalized, for being women and being the weaker sex physically, so it’s easier to overpower a woman than it would be to overpower a man, which is why more often women are the victims of domestic violence. If a man is a victim of abuse, it’s typically because the abuser is also male, or it’s a female using some sort of weapon like a bat that is easier to use to inflict pain. Most often in situations of battery, the male inflicting the abuse is doing so to feel power over his victim, many say it’s based off of seeing abuse in their youth, but many argue that it’s actually sexism to blame because of gender prejudice and need for power over the victim. (Matthews 2004)
Before starting this paper I had known of women and friends that had been in abusive relationships, and they would tell me about the abuse, and all I could wonder to myself was “Why stay with someone that verbally degrades you and beats up on you?”. I still wonder it to myself from time to time, but as I’ve read more about domestic violence I’ve become aware of the reasons why women and men stay with their abusers. Often times, it’s because they are financially dependent on their abuser, or they are afraid to leave in case the abuser decides to retaliate, or even learned helplessness which is when the victim becomes conditioned to believed that a situation is unchangeable or inescapable.
In situations where abuse and domestic violence goes on without intervention, it can escalate to the victims death, or in other cases, the victims retaliation in a crime of passion, that with abuse is categorized as battered person syndrome. Battered person syndrome is usually evident after a victim of domestic violence, after often years of repetitive abuse, reaches a point where they break and attack their abuser in some manner or another. It is similar to post traumatic stress disorder and the two are often linked because battered people, often suffer from PTSD, and that’s what leads to their acts of violence and retaliation. Sadly, battered person is one of the only reasons that domestic violence has seemed to gain media coverage. One of the first cases to famously bring attention to battered woman syndrome was the Francine Hughes case where her husband abused her for thirteen years, she eventually had enough and decided to set his bed on fire as he slept, she then went and turned herself into the police. In the case of Francine Hughes, it was well documented that she was being abused, and nothing was being done to stop it, so she was acquitted for her husband’s murder on the grounds of temporary insanity. Until the 1970s it was unheard of for a woman to speak out about her husband hitting her. It wasn't of the norm, but more just accepted that whatever happened behind closed doors stayed there. Until this point, hitting your children and wife, wasn't okay but if you did it within the confines...

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