Intimate Partner Violence
Look around. Can you spot them? She’s sitting next to you in class; she’s the lady that cashes your paycheck on Friday at the bank; she’s the nurse who gave you a tetanus shot; he’s the car salesman who sold you your car; he’s the guy your brother takes guitar lessons from; she’s the lesbian you met last week at the flower shop; he’s the gay guy who serves you pizza at the local pizzeria; maybe it’s your best friend, mother or father. Unfortunately there are no distinctive characteristics to identify an abuser or the abused. Women are victims of intimate partner violence at a rate about 5 times that of a male. Black females experience domestic violence at a rate of 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Domestic violence is most prominent among women between the ages of 16 and 24. Poorer women experience significantly more domestic violence than higher income women. For both men and women, divorced or separated persons were subjected to the highest rates of intimate partner victimization, followed by never-married persons. (Newton) Hundreds of years ago domestic violence was a socially and legally accepted tradition. In other countries, physical violence was legal and promoted to keep women from acting out; they could not legally withhold sex from their husbands and were often raped. Today violence occurs between spouses, dating couples, former spouses, gay and lesbian partners. Now when violence occurs between intimate partners and law enforcement is contacted, one, sometimes both, will be incarcerated.
In years past, back to the beginning of time, violence has been a socially and legally accepted tradition. For example, in Islamic culture, the men justify beatings of the wife with a verse from the Qu’ran. Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (Islam) If a Muslim husband fears rebellion or disloyalty from his wife, he is to separate from her, in turn leaving her in the bed by herself. If that separation does not work, there is to be a second separation, and only after the second separation being unsuccessful, is hitting then permitted in order to receive her understanding of obedience. The manipulation of the Islamic law is used to make followers believe that the men have the right to beat the women (Islam). Although in the United States domestic violence has always been prohibited, it did not become a public matter dealt with until the women’s movement in the 1970s. For example, rape was not considered within a marriage because of legal bondage and any domestic problems were considered “a private behind closed door issue” (Domestic Violence).
Domestic violence varies in types and causes. The stereotypical thought of domestic violence is physical abuse, but one can be abused through many different outlets. Physical abuse is the use of physical force in a way that endangers or injures the abused; and includes, but is not limited to, hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing things, and even assault with the use of a weapon (Davies et al.). Emotional or psychological abuse is used to lower the self esteem of the person being abused, and lead them to think that they have no self worth. Emotional abuse includes name calling, blaming, isolation, intimidation, and yelling (Davies et al.). Emotional abuse can be just as detrimental as physical abuse, though most think of physical abuse being the worst, or only, because it is in fact the type of abuse that can result in a hospital visit or leave physical marks. Sexual abuse can...