Domestic Violence

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What is domestic violence?

  • It is physical, psychological, sexual or finacial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. It may include partners, expartners, household members or other relatives
  • A coomon view is that it is the behaviour of "sick" individuals and it causes more psychological harm than social harm, but this is not entirely true
  • Domestic violence is far too widespread to be simply the work of a few disturbed individuals. It actual accounts for a 6th of all violent crimes, so it is relatively common, with 2 in 5 women experiencing it once in their lives
  • It can across all four types of abuse - partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault or stalking
  • It was found by Mirrlees-Black that most victims are women, 99% of cases on women are committed by men and 1 in 4 of all women have been domestically abused by their partners
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The radical feminist explanation

  • They see the family and marriage as the key institutions in patriarchal society and the main source of women's oppression - men dominate women through domestic violence or the threat of it
  • Dometic violence is used to preserve men's both in the private sphere of the home and in the society they are based
  • Due to the police and courts being "men" insitituions, they have a certain reluctance to investigating domestic disputes
  • Radical feminists struggle to argue why 1 in 7 males are assaulted by females and 1 in 20 repetitively assaulted
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Wilkinson: domestic violence inequality or stress

  • He sees domestic violence mostly stems from the stress on family members caused by social inequality 
  • Inequality means some people have more than others (wealth, housing, oppotunities, etc) meaning people in small houses have higher level of stress increasing the chances of domestic violence
  • Worries over money, jobs, relationships may spill over into domestic violence as tempers become frayed
  • Lack of money and time restricts people's social circle and reduces social support for those under stress
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