Psychological and Sociological Theories of Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is a crime that occurs regularly within the United States. It claims millions of victims each year. There is not a specific cause to establish why domestic violence occurs. However, it has been documented that domestic violence is a product of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, and any other forms of torture or torment that the particular abuser wishes to employ to gain control or power over their victims (Gosselin, 2005). Due to the complexity of this crime, many criminologists and socialologists have studied its causes and the effects in order to determine social policies and additional theories to better understand the causation of domestic violence. The social policies and theories that are developed from this research can better explain, educate, and assist the victims of domestic abuse, the judicial system, and law enforcement on how to gain a clearer understanding regarding the relationship between crime causation, criminal behavior, and domestic abuse (Greene, Heilburn, Fortune and Nietzel, 2007). Most importantly, the much needed research and data will empower law enforcement with the much needed knowledge to respond and combat the growing epidemic of domestic violence. Crime theories can be grouped into four categories: biological, sociological, psychological, and social-psychological. Each of these theories have assisted the criminal justice system by providing specific knowledge and data that has been helpful with the establishment of laws (specific laws that fit the crime of domestic violence such as the stalking law), sentencing practices (different punishment guidelines for acts of domestic abuse that differ from non-domestic situations), and social policies (aid and education for abuse victims) (Greene, Heilburn, Fortune and Nietzel, 2007). In addition to existing theories, new theories are developed based on the research concluded from studies involving crime victim statistics and punishment of offenders. These...
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