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Domestic Violence in Adults

Essay by   •  November 13, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,244 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,064 Views

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An in Depth Look at Men Who Batter Women and Domestic Violence as a Whole

"Domestic violence constitutes the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one family member, household member, or intimate partner against another. In most state laws addressing domestic violence, the relationship necessary for a charge of domestic assault or abuse generally includes a spouse, former spouse, persons currently residing together or those that have within the previous year, or persons who share a common child (Domestic Violence)." Domestic violence is a large-scale and complex social problem around the world. The family is perhaps the most violent group, with the home being the most violent setting today. It is alarming to realize that the majority of people who are murdered are not likely killed by a stranger during a robbery or other similar crime; they are killed by someone they know intimately. In this paper I will discuss a few questions that are asked about the topic of domestic violence, specifically men who batter women. Why do men batter women? Why do women put up with this abuse? How are children of women who experience domestic violence affected? According to Goode, "Deviance is behaviors, beliefs, or characteristics that are likely to generate a negative reaction in others (Goode 3)." The purpose of this paper is to answer these questions and discuss how men who batter women are seen as deviant in our society.

Why do men batter women? "A patriarchal society can influence some men to feel uncomfortable experiencing and expressing emotions such as dependency, fear, and uncertainty... and this can result in a hesitancy to seek help from others and be open and honest with their feelings (Peterman 67)." This helps explains why men batter women, because in our society showing emotions is seen as weak or a feminine trait and men are not supposed to posses any feminine traits if they want to be seen as a "manly" man. This article also discusses how sometimes when being treated for the abuse men are stereotyped by race, gender, and socio-economic status by counselors, which often bias their assessment affecting their treatment in the long run. Men who batter women usually have low self-esteem and see women as objects, and they are usually very charming. Domestic Violence: Why Men Batter and Abuse Women lists a few things that cause men to abuse women: chemical dependency, economic hardship, family dysfunction, lack of spirituality, poor communication skills, provocation by women, and stress. These are all factors that can contribute to men abusing women.

Why do women put up with domestic abuse from men? Women put up with the abuse for many reasons. One reason is the fear they have for the man, usually being their husband. Women may be afraid their partner will kill them if they try to leave the relationship. According to Domestic Violence PBS, about 1,500 women are killed every year by husbands or boyfriends, and it is usually after the women attempt to leave the relationship. This means there is a very good reason for this fear, because murder is always a possible outcome of leaving the relationship. Another reason women put up with abusive relationships is the cultured norms that exist in our society. In English common law a man's wife is his property and he could physically keep her in line if she stepped out. While these laws no longer exist, the ideas are still here and although the laws have changed, the tradition continues to be practiced by many men. Women also stay in physically abusive relationships because of love and hopes for change. A woman may think she can change her husband's behavior if she loves him enough. Another, and possibly the strongest reason women stay with abusive partners is economic dependence. I think this because all of the other reasons involve a mental aspect that can be overcome



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