Introduction: Domestic violence is a widely discussed topic in society with its effects far-reaching and destructive. However, since it is a crime that generally goes underreported in crime statistics various means of research have allowed us an understanding of this crime and its effects on the individual as well as society. (Hayes & Prenzler, 2012) In order to obtain a greater understanding of domestic violence and the ways in which we can deal with it we will compare the effects of domestic abuse on women who have suffered domestic abuse to the children of these women, allowing us to come to an understanding as to whether restorative justice should be used to punish offenders and help rehabilitate victims.
The International Violence Against Women Survey (Mouzos & Makkai, 2004) conducted between December 2002 and June 2003 involved telephone interviews with a total of 6677 Australian women between the ages of 18 and 69 years regarding their experiences of violence by a male. The results indicate that 34% of women who had a current or former intimate partner had experienced at least one form of violence during their lifetime from a partner. While this is disturbing, the children of battered women are also severely affected. Mouzos and Makkai (2004) conclude that physically abusive behavior is transmitted across generations, thus violence learnt through witnessing domestic abuse as a child increases the risk that this behavior will be reproduced as an adult, and that the child may suffer behavioral difficulties
The process of punishing domestic violence offenders has often been criticized and many theorists and researchers have attempted to determine how to punish these perpetrators in an efficient manner. In recent
References: Marshall, T. (1999) Restorative justice: An overview, Home Office: London Mouzos, J. & Makkai, T. (2004) Womens experiences of male violence: Findings from the Australian component of the international violence against women survey, Research and Public policy series no.56, Australian Institute of Criminology: Canberra.