What Are the Perceptions of Domestic Violence Amongst Individuals Who Live in Western Sydney?

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UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY

RESEARCH REPORT:
What are the perceptions of domestic violence amongst individuals who live in western Sydney? -------------------------------------------------

101041 – Communication Research
Spring 2012

Student Name: Ferah Arslan
Student Number: 17530620

RESEARCH REPORT

SUBJECT: WHAT ARE THE PERCEPTIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AMONGST INDIVIDUALS WHO LIVE IN WESTERN SYDNEY?

ABSTRACT:

What are the perceptions of domestic violence amongst individuals who live in western Sydney? When the term “domestic violence” is heard, it is most likely that acts of physical abuse would enter the individual’s mind. It is essential to affirm that domestic violence refers to many forms of abusive behaviour, including emotional, sexual and economic abuse. Many individuals today, especially of female gender, are likely to have suffered from a form of domestic violence. A survey was conducted of 20 people who live in the western suburbs of Sydney, and results demonstrated both significant trends and variations. Certain trends included that many individuals believe the term “domestic violence” to refer only to physical abuse, that experiences of domestic violence had serious post-traumatic impacts, such as mental disorders and addictions to unhealthy substances, that post-traumatic impacts could be conquered through the individual’s own strength and with the assistance of others around them, that carrying out acts of domestic violence are unacceptable despite any circumstance and that females represented the majority of victims of domestic violence. The latter was also proven through results which indicated that a huge portion of female participants had experienced some form of domestic violence. Additionally, there were variations when results demonstrated that participants had varying opinions in regards to the increase or decrease of cases of domestic violence today, and how comfortable individuals may feel when discussing cases of domestic violence openly with other individuals, respectively. Potentially, this research could lead to better understanding of the broad topic of domestic violence and could also help individuals to lead happier and healthier lifestyles if they are experiencing domestic violence and how they can overcome it.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Domestic violence is a term that refers to a pattern of abusive behaviours conducted by one partner against another in an intimate relationship that may include marriage, dating or family, and the term domestic violence typically refers to physical abuse conducted in a relationship. However, other forms of abuse that are considered to be forms of domestic violence are often disregarded. These include sexual abuse (the use of force or threat to obtain participation in sexual activity which is against the other individual’s will), emotion abuse (acts of making another individual feel humiliated, controlling aspects of their life, isolating the victim from other individuals and denying the victim certain resources) and economic abuse (acts of controlling an individual financially) (Kenney, 2011). The awareness, definition and perception of domestic violence would differ amongst countries, cultures, certain periods of time and amongst every single individual human being.

The concept of domestic violence has a long history. Most notably, prior to the mid 1800s, most legal systems acknowledged the beating of one’s wife as an acceptable exercise of a husband’s authority over his wife (Daniels and Brooks, 1997). Modern attention to domestic violence began in the women’s movement of the 1970s, especially within the contexts of feminism and women’s rights. Concern about wives being beaten by their husbands began to gain attention and, in 1974, the world’s first domestic violence services federation, Women’s Aid, was created, its purpose being to provide practical and emotional support to women and children experiencing violence.

The...
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