Domestic Violence Sociology

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Sociology 1A06

The effects of social differences on domestic violence.

Anum Nasir
Student number: 1072040

Instructor: Professor Colavecchia
Tutorial # 6, Wednesday 18:00
T.A : Alexandra Mark Miller

Thesis Statement
Domestic violence against women is prevalent in almost all the societies in the world. It is an issue which was not even recognised as a crime 40 years ago and is still not recognized as a crime by many societies. Women suffer from violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological violence by strangers and their partners all over the world (Kaya, 2010). Even though it is a worldwide occurrence, there are some women who face more intense and frequent violence depending on their culture, country, religion, economic status, ethnicity, age and education. This essay will examine how and why these factors play a role in violence against women and what can be done to reduce this abuse.

Empowerment of women and socio-economic status
Research shows that there are many factors that affect domestic violence against women. One of them is empowerment of women. “Empowerment of women refers to the process of women’s participation in modern societies as independent individuals through employment, education, and acquirement of equal status with men”(Kaya, 2010). He finds that in most countries, employed women suffer the least violence and those women who are financially dependent on their husbands suffer from violence and are ‘trapped’ in these marriages because their husbands financially support them and their children. Kaya also explores that there has been a link between education of both male and female with domestic violence, with higher education of both partners decreases domestic violence. This could be because education makes them less ignorant. It is agreed upon that formal learning improves moral values and character and in many cases teaches respect and importance of women which reduces the event of domestic violence. Also higher levels of education may secure a respectful position for males and they would be deeply embarrassed if their peers found out they were wife beaters. Educated women also know their rights and would more likely know where to turn for assistance and support and are more likely to support themselves financially if they leave the relationship. Therefore a shift from patriarchy to an egalitarian state can be achieved through education. Socio-economic status of women plays a major role in determining if she will experience domestic violence. According to B.R.Sharma(2005) it is shown that the more financially dependent a woman is on her husband, the more violence she would face. However, there is an interesting find which states that violence and dowry related crimes are more widespread in richer belts of India. However it could be because of women in these areas having greater access to justice than women living in poorer conditions. There is more media coverage in richer areas which can expose more of these crimes giving an impression that it is more widespread. Also, richer areas do not always mean that people living here are wealthier. Many people immigrate to these areas as they have more jobs and industries but these people are poor and less educated, and lower education and fewer resources have been linked to higher incidences of domestic violence. In the study by Neil Andersson et al. (2010) it has been found that in Pakistan the situation is same when it comes to socio-economic status of women and its link to domestic violence. Almost all women interviewed were victims of some sort of violence and 30% of them suffered from severe beatings. This was closely related to them not been employed or access to any resources. Women who were financially dependent on their husbands suffered the most intense abuse. They were not able to exit these marriages because they had no family or government support. Having some formal education was related to...
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