Domestic Violence: The Silent Killer
About 25% of women have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some point in their lives (Weiten, Llyod, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). This means that one out of every four women is abused by someone that is supposed to be a loving source in their life. This figure only represents the number of women that report the violence to the police. Domestic violence may include slapping, hitting, shoving, verbal abuse like name calling or threats, or even sexual abuse. The abuse can be so severe that it sometimes requires hospitalization. Most cases of domestic violence are not physically threatening, rather they are emotionally threatening. This also affects children that are living in the homes where this is taking place. The laws that have been implemented are not effective in decreasing the amount of domestic cases that are taking place.
Domestic violence not only affects women, it also affects men and children. Wives attack their husbands more than people realize, but much of wives’ aggression appears to be retaliation for abuse and women tend to inflict less physical damage than men (Weiten, Llyod, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). It is common to see an abusive partner that is also an abusive parent. Protective agencies in the United States have reported that as many as thirty-one children per 1,000 are either neglected or physically, sexually or emotionally abused annually by families where domestic violence has been reported in the household (Glick & Miller, 2008).
There are many reasons that a woman does not just leave the situation and move on. Rana Sampson (2007), writer and researcher for the New York Police Department, states that there are a variety of factors suggesting why women are reluctant to end abusive relationships.
Cycle of violence: The first cycle is a tension building phase that generally includes minor physical and/or mental abuse.
Battered Woman syndrome: This is where the victim has so much fear towards the abuser that they do not believe that an escape is possible.
Stockholm syndrome: Basically this theory states that the victim is more or less a hostage of her abuser, perhaps because they can no longer define what a normal relationship should consist of.
Traumatic bonding theory: A battered woman experienced unhealthy or anxious attachments to her parents who abused or neglected her.
Psychological entrapment theory: This is where a victim feels that so much time and energy has been invested into a relationship that she is willing to tolerate the abuse to save it.
Multifactor ecological theory: This theory suggests that staying in abusive relationships is the result of a combination of factors, including family history, personal relationships, societal norms, and social and cultural factors. Several theories offer possibilities as to why some men and women are abusive towards loved ones. The theories below are geared towards men being the abusers.
The psychological theory: this theory states that battering is not the result of childhood abuse, a personality trait (such as the need to control), a personality disturbance(such as borderline personality), psychopathology(such as anti-social disorder), or a psychological disorder or problem(such as post traumatic stress, poor impulse control, self-esteem issues, or a substance abuse issue).
The sociological theory: this theory suggests that intimate violence is the outcome of a learned behavior.
The societal-structural theory: this theory suggests that men use violence to control their female partners. Societal traditions of male dominance support and sustain inequalities in relationships.
The violent individuals’ theory: this theory supports the idea that individuals that are violent with their partners are just violent people; their abuse does not just start and end in their homes, they may also have criminal…