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Problem of Domestic Violence

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This review of literature is on the problem of domestic violence (DV). Domestic violence is nothing new to humans. It has gone on for hundreds of years. In earlier years of recorded history, beliefs that helped form the subordination of women also helped the course of action of Domestic Violence. Even though domestic violence dates back to the 1700's, it did not become a recognized social problem until the 1970's. The review of literature focuses on material from 2006 - 2011. The focus of this review is on the scope of the problem, defining the problem, the cause and contributing factors to the problem, and solutions to the problem.

Scope of the problem

According to Murrel, Christoff & Henning (2007), domestic violence is a learned behavior rather than genetics or biological factor. When a man grows up in a home where he witness domestic violence through father or step-father, he is likely to become an abuser. This action reinforces violence in families and society. Domestic violence against women is a social problem that is condoned and supported by some societies by way of customs and traditions. Women who marry men in these societies are viewed as property, and the men have the right to do with her as he wishes. Evidence shows that adults who witness violence in the home, but were not themselves abused, are more likely to perpetrate domestic violence than those who were abused but did not witness violence as children (Murrel et al., 2007).

Katz, Hessler, & Annest (2007), found that women who have a history of sexual or physical abuse as children have a greater risk of being victimized by their partners as adults. Clinical studies have shown that women learn the victim role when they watch parents engage in physical fighting.

Trachtenberg, Anderson, & Sabatelli (2009), assert that research performed by Psychological Adjustment indicates that males who abuse women suffer more from low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety than non-abusive males. Additionally, abusers have low empathy for others, and are known to show aggressive behaviors, are easy to anger, and highly connected with violence. These men also have poor communication skills. The lack of communication during unresolved conflict leads to escalation and violence as the solution to end an interaction.

Violent relationships tend to follow a cyclical pattern, containing "honeymoon," tension building and serious battering phases, and then repeating. The tendency of many abused partners to remain in or return to the abusive relationship might be economic dependency. Other reasons have been the presence of children, threats made upon leaving or upon approaching the subject of leaving, and a lack of resources to turn to, such as shelters, counseling, or legal services (Sullivan, 2008).

Definition of the Problem

Anderson and Aviles (2006) point out that historically; domestic violence has been portrayed and perceived by society as a minority issue. That is, domestic violence victims are routinely portrayed as poor women of color. African-American women are aware of this stereotype, and this influences their willingness to report or disclose their abusive or violent relationships. The fear is that reporting the abuse would give authorities information to reinforce negative stereotypes of the Africa-American community. However, the stereotypes that surrounds domestic violence as a minority issue loses it strength when compared with experimental data. Data has shown that there is little difference among the incidence of domestic violence among African-American and Caucasian women.

By controlling and limiting the victim's access to financial resources, an abuser assures that the victim will be financially limited if she chooses to leave the relationship. As a result, victims of domestic violence are often forced to choose between staying in the relationship and facing economic hardship (Trachtenbert et al., 2009).

Perpetrators seek control of the thoughts, beliefs, and conduct of their partner, and punish them for resisting their control. They minimize the seriousness of their violence with denial and blame. A perpetrator often convinces his partner that the abuse is less serious than it is, or that it is her fault. He may tell her that "if only" she had acted differently, he would not have abused her (Lee, Park, and Lightfoot, 2009).

Victims with less than a high school education have a higher rate of living in a domestic violence situations. Goodlin & Dunn, (2009), found that these victims live in both multiple occurrence and co-occurrence households.

Cause and Contributing Factors to the Problem

Several statistical variables performed in the same way, have shown that substance abuse by male partners were a strong risk factor for domestic violence, while women's substance abuse were not. (Bassuk, Dawson, and Huntington, 2006).

Poole, Greaves, Jategaonkar, McCullough and Chabot (2008), found that violence and women's use of alcohol and other drugs were interconnected in complex ways, and had to do with a range of other influences on their health and identity. They did not see women's use of substances as their cause of domestic violence. Poole, et al., believed that the daily stressors of legal issues, financial concerns, employment, etc. were the cause of women's substance use. Therefore, it is not useful to seek to establish a cause relationship between substance use and the experience of domestic violence.

Anderson & Aviles, (2006), cite that economic instability is a key factor in the decision of whether or not a woman feels she is able to leave her abusive situation. Due to limited financial resources a woman may feel she is unable to create a stable home. Therefore, she will delay leaving her abuser, not leave the abusive situation at all, or return to her abuser for financial support.

Socioeconomic status, and in particular low income, has been associated with increases in domestic violence. Families facing these stresses have been found to be especially vulnerable to family problems. Domestic violence can create serious obstacles that prevent victims from achieving economic security and self-sufficiency. Brown (2008) examined the way employment helps victims of domestic violence. Using a qualitative interview, they found that employed victims have an advantage over unemployed victims. However, the violent relationship has an impact on the victims work performance. The frequent absences can lead to lost work opportunities and concentration.

Agarwal and Panda (2007), found that employment status did not protect a woman from violence. Women who work seasonal, part-time, or not at



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