Susan A. Jones
Hannibal LaGrange University
For: David Terrell
This paper is prepared for introductory to social work for Hannibal Lagrange University.
This paper explores the subject of Domestic Violence, its definitions and affects on society. The research conducted is from online sources of published materials and articles.
Keywords: IPV- Intimate Partner Violence
Domestic violence involves the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse between an intimate partner, such as a spouse or any person you live with to gain control of that partner in a relationship. Abuse can be a single act or a repeated pattern of behavior. There is no discrimination in domestic violence. It occurs within all ages, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels.
Understanding the perception of domestic violence in our history provides us with a better comprehension of the root of the issue. Early settlers in America (early 1500’s) based their laws on the English Common laws that allows wife beating for correctional purposes. The termed “the rule of thumb” has been said to derive from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick as long as it was no thicker than his thumb. It was the first sign of early prevention. In 1882, Maryland was the first state to pass a law that makes wife beating a crime punishable by law and in the early 1900’s the first family court was created in Buffalo New York with the decision that it was better to solve family problems in a setting of discussion and reconciliation with social intervention. Many efforts ranging from community to federal levels have been enforced since then. However, today domestic violence still plagues our society ranging from the victims and their families to having major economic impact.
Why do we need to be concerned about domestic violence? It is a pandemic that needs to be address because it affects all of us in some form or another. It is a serious social problem and a national health concern with negative impacts on individuals and our communities. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death. Its consequences can travel across generations. According to CDC (Disease control and Prevention), It estimates that one in three women (36%) and One in four men (29%) has been victimized by domestic violence. It has resulted in 1.3 million injuries each year and has caused 2,340 deaths in 2007. The estimated health care cost has been close to six million dollars a year and has cost 1.8 billion in lost productivity in our workforce. According to NCADV (national coalition against domestic violence), almost one third of female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners. What is horrifying is that only one fifth of the victims report injury from domestic abuse and sought medical treatment. This makes it one of the most chronically underreported crimes.
Who are the victims?
Domestic violence occurs among all ethnic groups and all cultures. Chances are we have all encountered domestic violence in some form or have known someone who has been victimized. Historically, domestic violence has been more common among women accounting for 85% of the domestic violence ranging from assault of some form to homicide.
Recognizing the problem is the first step to getting the help that the victim needs. Most abusers want to have and maintain control over the person. Usually it escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. When talking about domestic violence, society often refers to the physical abuse of the spouse or the partner or IPV (intimate partner violence), but it also affects the victims emotionally and psychologically. It can destroy a person self esteem which can lead to depression, anxiety and sometimes suicide. Physical violence, the most reported of all domestic violence, is