G’Anna Moore Rothacker
13 June 2008
Domestic Violence: A Life Threatening Issue That Should Be Taken Seriously or Just an Exaggerated Problem?
Every girl growing up, including me, dreamed of the day when she would be married. My fantasies of marriage would include financial stability, a big house with a garden, and at least two children that I would raise along with my image of a perfect husband. Realistically, of course, nothing is perfect, especially marriage. There will be times when arguing may occur or both partners may have financial problems. Even arguments about the children within the home may become apparent; however, these problems can be worked out just like in any other marriage. But what happens when the one you care about, the very one that you vowed to love forever and spend the rest of your life with, turns violent and dangerous? Domestic violence is not just a private matter between a husband and wife anymore, but a serious crime that needs to be corrected. Domestic violence is a crime that is often unreported to the police. Maria Hong states that “[d]ue to the embarrassment associated with being a victim, pressures from family and society, and fear of retaliation [from their abusers], many victims do not report acts of domestic violence” (47). What makes it worse is that many officials do not consider domestic violence as a crime. There are no solid based statistics on domestic violence because of this, but plenty of “figures based on police and hospital reports, surveys, and studies indicat[ing] the persuasiveness of the problem” (47). According to a 1998 study by the U.S. Department of Justice that was conducted Moore 2 for the Family Violence Prevention Fund, there are approximately 960,000 acts of violence against their former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year (1), while another survey by The Common Wealth Fund conducted that same year stated that three million women are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend each year (U.S. Department of Justice 1). The FBI also says that “a woman is battered by her husband or boyfriend every fifteen seconds in the United States” and “every year more three million children witness domestic violence” (Hong 47). Unfortunately, thousands of women are beaten to death by their abusers. So apparently, domestic violence is nothing to be taken lightly. As Senator Bill Bradley quotes in a 1994 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “[t]he truth is that violence comes closer to many families than we would like to admit. Domestic violence is America’s dark little secret” (qtd. in Hong 45). What is domestic violence? It is where spouses, intimate partners, or dates use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to keep their partners under their control. Usually with domestic violence, the man is the abuser and the woman is the victim. The abuse can consist of kicking, punching, slapping, name calling, burning, and even rape. Since this is the case, it is a wonder why so many women stay with their husbands or boyfriends, the very ones that hurt them. In many cases, the men do not start out as being an endangerment to their wives and children. Many of them are perceived as charming and kind when many of the victims first meet their spouses. They may get married and for a while, things may seem fine. Then, the relationship suddenly turns violent and the women are left wondering where it came from. Before further knowledge on the subject, my heart just would not understand why a man, who claims that they love their woman and would never put a finger on her, would hurt her anyway. Some of the signs for upcoming domestic violence are unemployment, different backgrounds...
Cited: Betancourt, Marian. What to Do When Love Turns Violent: A Practical Resource for Women in Abusive Relationships. New York: HarperPerennial, 1997.
Family Violence Prevention Fund. Domestic Violence is a Serious, Widespread Social Problem in America: The Facts. 2008. 3 Jun. 2008
Hong, Maria. Family Abuse: A National Epidemic. Springfield: Enslow, 1997.
Jacobson, Ph.D., Neil, and John Gottman, Ph.D. When Men Batter Women: New Insights into Ending Abusive Relationships. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Murphy-Milano, Susan. Defending Our Lives: Getting Away From Domestic Violence and Staying Safe. New York: Doubleday, 1996.
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