Domestic Violence is defined by the department of justice as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. When intimate partners are involved in domestic violence, it is difficult to see or understand specific behaviors as being abusive when looking from the inside rather than the outside. To understand these behaviors, we are going to take a deeper look into identifying the abusive behaviors pertaining to each time of abuse. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Physical abuse can be actions such as hitting, slapping, and shoving, pinching, biting, or any other type of physical contact done by one intimate partner to another. It can also include denying your intimate partner medical care or forcing alcohol or drug use upon him or her. Sexual abuse is attempting any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Actions such as marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, or forcing sex after physical violence has occurred. Emotional abuse consists of actions such as name calling, damaging one’s relationship with their friends, or anything that decreases an individual’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Economic abuse is making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by taking control over all financial resources. In this situation, the person taking control might withhold the others access to money and not allowing the other person to work. Psychological abuse when the abuser threatens physical harm to themselves, their partner, their children, or their family. They also may become destructive toward property and force isolation from family, friends, school and work (domestic violence, 2015). Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers. Statistics on domestic violence show that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults. Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner. Children who live in home where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families (Domestic violence: stats, 2014). So my question is, with all of this information available why are courts not implementing harsher penalties on domestic violence cases? Currently within the North Carolina Court System, the harshest penalty for repeat offenders for misdemeanor for domestic violence is 150 days in jail (North, 2015). I understand that overcrowding and cost to house people in jail are quite expensive and they are trying to reduce the number of inmates of lower level crimes. With the statistics I have presented above, this is an obvious serious and ongoing problem that needs the judicial systems for...
Cited: Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence
Domestic Violence: Statistics & Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics--facts-52.html
North Carolina Domestic Violence Laws | Criminal Law. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/domestic-violence/north-carolina-domestic-violence-laws-charges-
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