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Domestic Violence: A Deviant Behavior Essay

Domestic violence is a repetitive assault and intimidating behavior that one uses against a spouse, a child, or intimate partner. Domestic violence can affect everyone and anyone can be the abuser as well as anyone can be a victim. It does not matter what race you are, what your profession may be or if you are educated or uneducated. Domestic violence is usually committed in the household by a husband against his wife or other family members and they may commit other deviant acts. If a child is a part of domestic violence it is child abuse and if a married couple is a part of domestic violence it is spousal abuse.

Domestic violence is also known as intimate violence usually because it can be physically and emotionally harmful between the heterosexual couple living together as well as in gay or lesbian relationships. Both domestic violence and intimate violence are also deviant behaviors.

They are labeled as abuse in a variety of ways such as, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, denial of access to resources or money, restrains of normal activities or freedom, including isolation from friends or family members, threats to kill or harm, and physical intimidation or attacks. In extreme cases, domestic violence can result in a death or other serious injuries and there may also be other deviant behavior association.

The history of domestic violence has been around the world before the birth of Christ and the perpetrators of domestic abuse has been said to have started in Rome. A husband was allowed to beat and whip his wife with a switch if she did not do what he asked her to do. For much of domestic violence history and throughout the world, social and legal traditions have tolerated or even promoted the physical assault of women by men.

In the United States, domestic violence has also been around for centuries. However, in the United States, the women’s movement brought it out to the public in the early 1970s. Programs offered hotlines for battered women to call and they also offered shelters for women providing them with counseling, food and education. It was not until the 1990s, that the police began to view domestic violence as the serious problem that it really is. In many states, the police was informed not to threaten the abuser with arrest, but to arrest them. Also, if the police officer did not arrest the domestic abuser, they were fined. Other penalties were given to the domestic abuser by putting a restraining other on them and if they attempted to go around the victim they were put back in jail and held without bail.

During the 1970s, there were many coalitions and groups that evolved. One group, the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), a statewide coalition made up of the 22 domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs in South Carolina provided information that showed in ancient Rome a husband could legally divorce, physically punish, or even kill his wife for behaviors that were permitted for men. During this era, punishment of wives was called chastisement, a term that emphasized the corrective purpose of the action and minimized the violent nature of the behavior.

Under medieval English common law, a husband could not be prosecuted for raping his wife because the law provided that a wife could not refuse consent for sex to her husband. Because much of laws in the United States were modeled on English common law, this definition of rape remained in effect in the United States until the 1970s, when many states modified their rape statutes. These studies showed that domestic violence can be very harmful to a relationship. Not only can it be harmful to a relationship, but literally can physically harm individuals such as children, husbands, wives and other family members. Domestic violence can be physically and emotionally straining for any woman or child to overcome and it is something no human should have to go through.

The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to 3 million women who are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year. Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data. Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.

According to social learning theory, people engage in crime because of their association with others who engage in crime. Their criminal behavior is reinforced and they learn beliefs that are favorable to crime. They essentially have criminal models that they associate with. As a consequence, these individuals come to view crime as something that is desirable, or at least justifiable in certain situations. Learning criminal or deviant behavior is the same as learning to engage in conforming behavior: it is done through association with or exposure to others. In fact, association with delinquent friends is the best predictor of delinquent behavior other than prior delinquency.

Every type of behavior is learned more so understood primarily by observation and imitation. This theory can be associated with the CNN news recently reporting of a 52 year old Cleveland, Ohio man named Ariel Castro, who is charged with kidnapping and raping three females. He allegedly abused these young women over a period of 10 years and telling the investigators he did it because he had been abused as a child. He is accused of beating them and raping them for almost a decade. Researchers say that most batterers have had a violent father growing up in a bad lifestyle causing unintentional harm to a young child’s brain into thinking that what is going on is the right thing to do, therefore, damaging the mindset making it easy for domestic violence to increase in our society today.

The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics Report showed that 95% of all documented domestic assault crimes are committed by men against women; in 1996 there were 15,000 calls to law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County for domestic violence response (FBI). It is very difficult to know the exact number of victims of domestic violence, especially sexual assault and other incidents committed by the intimate offenders, due to the many occurrences not reported to the police.

There are many factors that victims consider in their decision not to report it to the police, but the greatest reason is the fear that threats to kill you or your family will become reality. Other reasons include embarrassment, shame and hopes that his promises to change will come true this time. There is an assumption in our society that there is a clear relationship between anger and physical violent behavior. However, anger is a human emotion and studies have shown that physical violence or abuse is a learnt behavior and the perpetrator is more often than not, going to repeat this behavior.

All human beings experience anger at one time or another. People get angry with their supervisors, co-workers, neighbors and friends. Yet people don’t ordinarily kill or physically hurt others in order to get their way, and when they do, society holds them accountable. Physical violence as well as other forms of domestic abuse are measures that are taken by one person in order to force another person into compliance. The Bureau’s definition of domestic violence states a pattern of assault and coercive behavior. This includes physical, sexual, psychological and verbal attacks as well as coercion used against an intimate partner.

In abusive relationships, there is a victim and a perpetrator and typically it is that of a married couple or a couple living together and there may even be children living with the couple. During these times, researchers and activists believe that the term spousal abuse is inappropriate, because the term is gender-neutral in that the abuse can be that of either a husband or wife. Some activists say that men are just as likely as women to be victims of abuse. However, in many of the hospital and police records, it shows women as the victims of domestic violence in intimate relationships. In intimidate relationships, the problem tends to be intimidation control of women by their man.

According to CDC, intimate partner violence is defined as actual or threatened physical or sexual violence or psychological and emotional abuse directed toward a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or current or former dating partner. Intimate partners may be heterosexual or of the same sex. As stated above, there are a few other terms used to describe intimate partner violence, such as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, and domestic violence.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported on intimate partner violence, which also included rape and sexual assault, and stalking. The report includes an estimate of the extent of crimes against females and the characteristics of crimes and victims. In 2008, females age 12 or older were five times more likely than males age 12 or older to be victims of intimate partner violence. In 2007, intimate partners committed 14% of all homicides in the U.S. The total estimated number of intimate partner homicide victims in 2007 was 2,340, including 1,640 females and 700 males. Females made up 70% of victims killed by an intimate partner in 2007, a proportion that has changed very little since 1993.

Many offenders and victims range between the ages 18 to 30 years old, sex literally focuses more on women being affected by the physical abuse or verbal abuse that is being taken in from the violence. Due to low income, raised in a violent family, alcohol or drug abuse, unemployment, sexual difficulties, and low job satisfaction. These are just a few ways domestic violence can be triggered. As domestic violence affects women and children of every culture and all ages, in 2012 the White House made a public service announcement that “1 is 2 Many” on dating violence that young women still face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, it was also noted that one in 10 teens were reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Along with the physical violence, one in five young women have been sexually assaulted while they are in college.

In our society, we tend to want to look the other way to this deviant behavior that affects everyone (Norwood, et.al.). Most people will not get involved if they see a man hitting on a woman or a child’s parent slapping or hitting them upside the head. We tend to give many excuses such as we don’t want to get involved or it is none of our business. Some people just stand around and take video on their cell phones to post on the internet instead of calling the police emergency.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 26% of all female homicides in 1995 were attributable to domestic violence. During 1996, there were 25 domestic violence related homicides in Sacramento County, accounting for 29% of all homicides. These killings usually take place when the female partner wants to leave the relationship. Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay. If she succeeds in leaving without being killed, she usually finds herself in a maze of legal and financial problems. If there are children involved in the relationship, custody problems are sure to follow.

Domestic violence also affects the children and it creates an environment where children will live in persistent fear. Children who live in this environment are unable to bond with either parent. These children will most likely be abused and neglected living under these conditions. Statistics show that over three million children witness violence in their home each year. Those who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally. (USDJ)

Developmental researchers’ show that children from violent households may restore normal development process, such as empathy and self-control and that would minimize the risk of further harm caused by exposure to abusive adult models. Studies also show that men are mostly the dominate human when it comes to what sex is causing the most pain and hardship to this situation, its women dealing with crazy husbands that were raised in a dysfunctional household as a child, and now they are being watched by their children and their children are imitating their every move thinking it is the right way to go and its not.

On legal interventions about domestic violence, some researchers say is that social and public awareness about the domestic violence has increased, and the public wants to know why the justice system has not stepped up to stop the violence, rather than treating it as a private matter between consenting adults. Now that the public knows what causes domestic violence and what the future might bring from domestic violence society wants it silenced.

Some young couples may begin cohabitating at a very young age and also begin having children before they are married and the abuse begins. For a child can be harmful mentally and somewhat physically. A couple that is not married, but live together with kids, and they both have children that are not each others can also be the cause of domestic violence towards one or the other child. In that child’s environment, he or she thinks that everything in their family is going smooth and all of a sudden the girlfriend gets into a heated argument with the boyfriend or visa-versa and the boyfriend moves out of the house.

This unhealthy environment for a child can lead to months or years in cases of domestic violence. A variety of mental illnesses can also cause a case of domestic violence, such as a background of family adversity, leaving school early, juvenile aggression and tendencies. Conviction of other crimes, especially violent crimes, drug abuse and long term unemployment can be traits and paths to finding a dysfunctional, domestic household.

Past research shows that self esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger, and also strong emotion, when a dominant man feels inferior from their partner from an educational socioeconomic standpoint, some of these men with very strong and traditional beliefs may think that they have the right to control the women, and that women are not equal to men. That dominate behavior takes the form of emotional, sexual and physical abuse, studies show that violent behavior often is caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors, meaning that abusers learn abusive behaviors from their family members people they trust people they love, more so whom they look up to.

Domestic violence is a series of violence, this cycle of violence exists because as the social learning theory states, children observe and learn these behaviors during their young childhood, the home is the first place where children are taught what is expectable and normal. For example, when a child is born into a cohabitant household, from age 2 to the age of 8, the child has adapted to that environment meaning the child is comfortable and will imitate or copy most of what their so called parents do around the house. Mimicking these behaviors such as getting in trouble in school at a young age, later dropping out of high school, getting in trouble with the law, or dying on our dangerous streets. This is what children see as normal and it is what leads to the continuing cycle of domestic violence. No one should want to subject these young children to this type of behavior.

There are many physical, psychological, social consequences and health behaviors in domestic violence and many victims experience serious health problems. The CDC reports associates a number of physical adverse health outcomes. These health conditions may be a direct result of the physical violence (for example, bruises, knife wounds, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, back or pelvic pain, headaches). Other conditions are the result of the impact of intimate partner violence on the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine and immune systems through chronic stress or other mechanisms.

Psychological consequences for the victims include anxiety, depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, antisocial behavior, and suicidal behavior in females. Many victims also experience social consequences, i.e., restricted access to services, strained relationships with health providers and employers, isolation from social networks and even homelessness. Women may display behaviors that present further health risks such as, substance abuse, alcoholism, and suicide attempts. These studies show that the more severe the violence, the stronger its relationship to negative health behaviors by victims as they may engage in high-risk sexual behavior, have unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, use harmful substances, drink alcohol or take drugs, and experience eating disorders (CDC).

In conclusion, many studies show that domestic violence affects women and children of every culture, race, occupation, income levels and age groups. Although our society has shown progress through education and awareness of domestic violence, it still remains a crisis and our society need to continue in working to improve it. Domestic violence continues to be the number one public health issue facing women and children today, but it is also a violation of their human right, which should never be tolerated. Families in today’s society need to focus more on taking care of their family and not cause stress and emotional instability. It is hard enough for one parent to take care of family needs in a society where both parents need to work. Domestic violence should never be in a home subjecting this deviant behavior in front of children It has no place in our society and every human being has a right to live without fear and violence.

Works Cited

Thio, Alex, Jim D. Taylor, and Martin D. Schwartz. 2013 (11th edition). Deviant Behavior. Boston, MA: Pearson. Shaw, Victor. 2002. Substance Use and Abuse: Sociological Perspectives. Westport, CT: Praeger. Norwood, William D., Jouriles, Ernest N., McDonald, Renee and Swank, Paul R. Domestic
Violence and Deviant Behavior. Swank 2004 NCJ 199713. http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html. Internet: 17 April 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_learning_theory. Internet: 17 April 2013.

www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/199713.pdf Internet: 17 April 2013. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/what-causes-domestic-violence/ Copyright © 1995-2013 Psych Central. All rights reserved. Site last updated: 17 April 2013. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/171666.pdf U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Legal Interventions in Family Violence: Research Findings and Policy Implications. Internet: 17 April 2013. http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Social-Learning-Theory.htm. Site last updated: 17 April 2013. http://www.sccadvasa.org/domestic-violence-facts-and-stats/overview-of-domestic-violence.html. Internet: 17 April 2013. http://www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many. Internet: 17 April 2013.

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