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The Social Problem of Domestic Violence

Essay by   •  July 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  946 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,325 Views

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In class as well as in the Gosselin readings, we have covered several aspects on the social problem of domestic violence. However, theories on family violence caught my main attention of how the dynamics of intimate partner violence (Cycle of Violence Theory) has resulted in several ways of understanding the interaction between the batter and the victim (Gosselin, 4th Edition). This course had provided a greater outlook in piecing the idea of the cause and effect of domestic violence. In such, I understand that the cause of domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior, better known as the "Social Learning Theory", in which abusers are not born with violent tendencies but, they are learned through their environment and life experience (Gosselin, 4th Edition). Learning the effect of domestic violence I have discovered that it robs the victims of their essential right to maintain control over their own lives. In connection I began to understand and evaluate how closely the cycle of violence theory derived from the social learning theory. However, the importance of what I learned in this course will focus on how the cycle of violence theory covers the foundation of domestic violence as a whole.

Lenore Walker the developer of the cycle of violence theory, explains how why the behavior of a person who commits domestic and family violence may change so dramatically over time (Walker, 1980). What I took from this concept is how domestic violence explains the surrounding question, "Why do men abuse", and the causes and variables that contributes to domestic violence. In order to address that question, I had to revisit the three phases of the cycle of violence theory in order to better understand the foundation of abuse. Phase one; the "Normal Behavior". This phase is seen as the set up of how the abuser will initiate his abuse. The abuse intention is to set up his victim in order to gain control of her and the relationship. It primarily begins with the tension building within the abuser who might see minor incidents or misinterpret of the victims actions. For instance, the victim might jokingly say something about the abuser or maybe the victim was too polite with the waiter. However, the victim doesn't see the anger that is controlling the abuser; instead the abuser acts as if it's not bothering him. When the minor incidents become noticeable to the victim, she takes on the role of attempting to minimize the problem within the relationship. Although, she tries her best to solve and reconcile the problem, the tension increase and she become less successful at managing the problem. This then gives the abuser the opportunity to become more violent, aggressive and protracted. In which the victim detaches herself psychologically from the abusive situation and began to accept it. "In the initial stage, an abuser fantasizes or has a mental picture of the next time he will abuse the victim. During the fantasy and planning stage, the abuser is the actor, producer,



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