Various types of relationships exist between men and women. The status of women has endured a constant change; thus changing the way they are perceived by others in relationships. Despite numerous healthy relationships experienced, there are those which have negative consequences to those involved; one such relationship is that regarding domestic violence. The term domestic violence according to Walker and Gavin refers to “an intimate relationship between two adults in which one partner uses a pattern of assault and intimidating acts to assert power and control over the other partner” (Walker & Gavin, 2011). Within the context of this paper, domestic violence will refer to violent relationships between men and women where it is the women who are victimized. The purpose of this paper is tri-fold: (1) to address the development of domestic violence; and (2) to examine various attitudes regarding domestic violence; and (3) to discuss ways in which society is dealing with the issue of domestic violence. Emergence and Development
According to feminists, strong patriarchal values held within a society are linked with increased risk of harm towards women (Watto, 2009, p. 561). Patriarchy exists in most societies worldwide (Watto, 2009, p. 563). The term patriarchy refers to the father having full authority of his family (Romito, 2008, p. 30). Within society’s retaining this belief system, the wife and children are the father’s property (Romito, 2008, p. 146). Many findings have developed according to Totten. He found: 1) labor divided by sexual division to be normal; 2) men are to conquer women as sexual objects; 3) abusive behavior is a justified means for resolving conflict and 4) women should respect, obey and depend on men (Totten, 2003, p. 7). Thus, one can conclude that family violence is linked to the ideology of patriarchy (Duffy & Momirov, 1997, p. 123). As well, it is important to note that we live in a society which religion is prevalent, the church agrees with patriarchy (L. Walker, personal communication, October 3rd, 2011). Duffy & Momiov (1997) state: Their histories are united in the longstanding moral obligation of men, as commanded by the Church, to ensure that their wives and children behave themselves properly. Male violence may be legitimately employed to ensure such behavior. It is the patriarch’s Christian duty to “save their souls” (p. 123). Furthermore, considering society and the church agreed with the ideology of patriarchy, one can conclude that domestic violence was a private issue and was unheard or spoken of.
The division of labor which has strong historical roots in society contributes to women being victimized. During the Industrial Revolution, men were seen as responsible for making the wage to support the family and the women was responsible for her role in the home as housekeeper and mother (Hutchings, 1992). Unfortunately, according to Hutchings (1992), a man may seek to have more power by abusing his wife if he feels as though he is lacking employment in his occupation. It is the male’s financial contributions into his home that gives him the opportunity to abuse his wife (Hutchings, 1992). Contributing Factors Leading to Domestic Violence as an Issue
Domestic violence against women would never have become an issue if it wasn’t for the development of feminism (Duffy & Momirov, 1997, p. 23). Feminism is divided into different waves. The two waves which had a connection to the development of an issue of violence against women were one and two. It was prior to the development of the second wave of feminism, that domestic violence against women was thought to be a private issue that did not warrant a concern from the public (Blanchfield, Margesson, & Seelke, 2009, pg 1). The first wave occurred in Britain during the years of 1870-1930, it was concerned with women’s citizen rights and the right to vote; this wave lead to women...