Domestic violence is mainly physical, but also psychological, sexual or financial violence that happens within a family or a family type relationship. The main pattern that occurs within domestic violence is gender. The most common form of domestic violence is the abuse of women by men. 1 in 4 women has been assaulted by a partner at some time in her life time, 1 in 8 repeatedly so.
Groups in society most at risk of domestic violence include children, people in lower social classes, those living in rented accommodation, low income families and those people who are alcohol and/or drug dependant. According to a British Crime Survey, the offender was under the influence of alcohol in 39% of cases.
Children exposed to or part of domestic violence in the household will become anxious and depressed, start to struggle at school and lose focus. Older children may start to use drugs or alcohol as a way to escape from the pain. These children often feel isolated and lonely and too ashamed to talk to anyone about their issues at home. In 80% of cases of domestic violence, children are in the same or next room.
Violent incidents are often set off when a woman questions her husband’s authority. Russell and Rebecca Dobash completed a study and found that female victims had been slapped, pushed, beaten, raped or killed by their husbands. They argue that in patriarchal societies, there’s still cultural support for the view that men have a ‘right’ to discipline their partners. They also argue that marriage legitimates violence against women by conferring power and authority on husbands and dependency on wives. Dobash and Dobash found in their research that a major factor involved in the rise in assaults was the husband’s opinion that his wife was not doing her domestic duties to his satisfaction. There’s still inequality in the division of domestic labour within the home, giving women the majority of housework. This makes them vulnerable to criticism with regards to...
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