Examine the patterns of, and reasons for, domestic violence in society. Domestic violence whether its physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual, is used as a form of intimidation to gain control and power. Domestic violence can involve partners, ex-partners, household members or other relatives. Women statistically are more often the victims both men and women can be subject to domestic violence. Men may turn to violence due to the stresses and pressure to conform to the male conjugal role and need to be superior. Subtle but persistent social norms in the media, the workplace etc, have strong opinions on gender roles and an expectation which needs to be upheld. Whilst women are more likely to be psychologically abusive and threaten denial of abusive behaviour, or departure, both act on fear of loss. Children can often be a powerful weapon because most men know that divorce settlements are more likely to award custody to the women. Substance abuse is another factor which has a significant impact on domestic violence as it creates a hostile environment between family members aswell as altering the perception and judgement of the user. Dobash and Dobash (1979) believe that marriage encourages violence toward women as it initiates a lifestyle where by the men are authoritative and in control and the women are dependant and inferior. Their research found cases or women being physically abused by their husbands and generally where instigated by the husbands authority being challenged. Radical feminists agree with this view and see the family and marriage as key institutions in maintaining a patriarchal society, which in turn results in men asserting their dominance through domestic violence or the threat of it. They would also claim that the power men have within social institutions such as the law inadequacy to provide justice to those suffering from domestic violence. However radical feminists overlook the issue of female violence, failing...
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