Examine the patterns of and reasons for domestic violence in society (24 marks)
Domestic violence is defined as physical, sexual or financial violence taking place within an intimate or family type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. There are many patterns and reasons for domestic violence which each sociologist has a different view upon.
Domestic violence affects certain people more than others as they are more vulnerable or stress is caused. These people include children, people living in rented accommodation, lower social classes or people with a family member who has a problem with drinking or illegal drugs. Richard Williamson sees domestic violence as a result of stress caused by these factors. Homes with overcrowding or worries about money tend to be more affected from domestic violence because it causes stress and arguments between family members and also reduces the social support a family needs.
Dobash & Dobash’s research in Scotland based on police and court records and interviews with women reveal many patterns of domestic violence in society. They found that nearly 1 in 4 women have been assaulted but a partner and 1 in 5 it was repeatedly; they also found that most victims are women and 99% of the incidents are committed by men. These patterns are not biased as the research was carried out by a member of each sex; however this data is not accurate as it is found from Scottish police and court records and not all domestic violence cases are reported to the police.
The Feminist view of domestic violence is that families shouldn’t be patriarchal where the male is dominant because it leads to wives being abused. Kate Millett and Shulamith Firestone argue that all societies have been founded on patriarchy and see the division between men and women in society as a division where men are the exploiters of women. Although they see marriage and family as key institutions they say that they are the...
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