Violence in the home is a subject of increasingly public concern. According to Davis in the Encyclopedia of Social Work, "The most affected victims, physically and psychologically, are women, including single and married women and women separated or divorced from their partners" (Davis, 1995, p.789). For years violence against women has been excluded from everyday conversations for many reasons. Women of all races and social levels are victims of violence in the home. There are many theories as to why this problem has been ignored for centuries with no focused attention. Violence is clearly a problem. Most agree that the solution to violence against women is to prevent it completely from ever occurring through measures which include harsher laws such as policies and procedures. Domestic Violence against women reaches all socioeconomic levels. Domestic Violence is not prejudice. However, most women whom suffer from domestic violence have come from a life of poverty and little or no education. There are many factors that play in part for a woman to become a victim of domestic violence. The question of why a woman would stay in an abusive relationship is of concern too. There are many factors as to why a woman would choose to stay in an abusive relationship or marriage. Most stay due to lack of finances, living stables, lack of education and for their children. For the most part, women whom do leave an abusive home must resort to government assistance as a means of support: Which often fails and many times forcing them to return. From half to two thirds of women receiving public assistance are victims of domestic violence (Barusch, 2002). Some women may stay in an abusive marriage due to the lack of laws to protect them from harm or in the event that another person will threaten harm. In recent years, laws have been improved on to assist women in this area. Policies and procedure by the courts and law enforcement have been making improvements as well. For some, the belief of harsher and stricter laws and punishment will be the only way to put an end to domestic violence against women.
Women who are abused in the home by their spouses should understand that it is not the couple's problem. Marriage counseling will not fix "his" problem. Women need not blame themselves. It is a problem which "he" needs to fix. Violence against any woman, no matter who the deliverer of the violence, is a form of crime (The National Women's Health Information Center, 2002). There are many factors to be considered in determining why batterers batter and will be discussed later in this paper.
Awareness of the problem is leading to more and more research on the matter. Women, to begin with, need equal rights in order to rid society of this problem. Beginning in the late 1970's, women who were concerned and many of whom were once victims of domestic violence themselves have developed services in assistance to help other victims of violence. They have been active in bringing the public's attention to this problem and also have been active in the effort of receiving funds (Davis, 1995).
In the Encyclopedia of Social Work: Domestic Violence, Davis states that "Federal policy, thus far has been restricted to providing support for the emergency and short-term needs of victims and their dependants. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984 have provided funds for states to allocate primarily to support temporary shelter for battered women. The Victims of Crime Act (1984) has given priority to victims of spouse abuse for compensation for crime related costs. The Violence Against Women Act, introduced in 1991 but not yet out of committee, is designed, among other things, to increase substantially the amount of federal funds available for states to support domestic violence programs and to allow federal dollars to support statewide coalitions of organizations for battered women"(1995, p.786...