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1. Suggest two reasons for why domestic violence is not simply the behaviour of a few
psychologically disturbed individuals.
Mirrels Black (1999) conducted a survey of 16000 people estimating that there are 6.6 million
domestic assaults every year, half of them involving physical violence. In addition to this the British
Crime Survey (2007) also conducted a survey on the extent of domestic violence, resulting in finding
that violence is accountable in almost a sixth of all domestic incidents. Therefore this show that
domestic violence is too advanced to be the doings of a few disturbed individuals.
Secondly, domestic violence does not occur randomly, but follows particular social patterns and
these have social causes. The most striking of these patterns being that the usual course of domestic
violence patterns is abuse against women by men.
These are the two reasons why domestic violence is not the behaviour of psychologically disturbed
2. Identify two groups, apart from women who suffer from domestic violence.
Children are also subject to abuse by women and violence against men, Mirreles Black found that
about one in seven men had been assaulted and one in twenty repeatedly by female partners.
3. What are the criticisms and strengths of the radical feminist explanation of domestic
One of the strengths of the radical feminist approach to domestic violence is that they see the key
division in society being the division between men and women, and also examine that patriarchy is
found in almost every society. Secondly they explain that because there is an existence of
patriarchy, men use this to exploit women and preserve their power over women, through the
threat of domestic violence men tend to be powerful within the institution of marriage and family
life. Furthermore in their view male domination of state institutions help to explain the reluctance of
the police and courts, to effectively deal with cases of domestic violence. These views directly link
to dominant social norms about marriage of men being more powerful and dominant; the
perspective is more sociological rather than being psychological.
On the other hand one of the criticisms of the radical feminist approach is they they fail to identify
that male partners are also at risk of domestic violence through their female partners. For example,
Mirreles Black found that one in seven men had been violently assaulted by their partners and one in
twenty of these men were repeatedly assaulted. Child abuse is also a area of domestic violence
committed by women which the radical feminist ignored in their theory of domestic violence. Faith
Robertsons Elliot (1996) reject the claim that radical feminists make of all men being violent and
aggressive claiming that most men oppose to domestic violence and do not benefit from violence
Overall these are the strengths and criticisms of the radical feminist approach to domestic violence.
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Examine the patterns of, and reasons for, domestic violence in society. (24 marks)
Domestic violence is the view of violence directed towards your spouse or domestic partner usually
violence by men against women. Occurring, within a family, including wife beating, child abuse and
violence against men by women in some cases. In the common view domestic violence is said to be
the behaviour of disturbed individuals and the causes being more likely to be psychologically rather
than socially constructed.…read more
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The radical feminist approach to domestic violence suggests that the institution of marriage and
family is the main source of a women's oppression due to the dominance of patriarchy. Radical
feminists also argue that men threaten women with domestic violence to uphold their authority over
the women.…read more
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Although there is high levels of domestic abuse in households many females tend to ignore this and
remain with their partners as they feel too ashamed to admit they had been assaulted by a partner.…read more