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Introduction to the Issue
Domestic violence is now regarded as a dangerous epidemic deteriorating the development of communities and can have a negative effect on the progress of US society. It has been estimated that one in four American women has experienced domestic violence (Ragavan et al., 2018). At that, women are not the only victims of domestic violence as men, children, adolescents, and the elderly are often victimized (Costa et al., 2015). The predictors of domestic violence include unemployment, immigrant status, ethnicity, as well as family history (Ragavan et al., 2018). Although some programs and policies have been introduced, the issue is still rather burning, and effective solutions are yet to be developed.
The outcomes of domestic violence are manifold and have adverse effects on the development of society. Children exposed to domestic violence often develop certain behavioral patterns and become victims or perpetrators (Fantuzzo, Mohr, & Noone, 2018). Domestic violence is related to some of the most serious public health concerns as people are injured or even killed, and they also develop various mental health conditions that have a negative impact on their social and personal life. One of the most significant issues related to domestic violence is the level of under-reporting, as many victims remain invisible (Fantuzzo et al., 2018). Cultural norms and psychological peculiarities of victims often make them conceal their victimization.
Therefore, it is essential to pay sufficient attention to the problem and implement continuous research exploring various aspects of the problem. It is necessary to address such spheres as economic, social, health-related, and educational among others. The prevalence of domestic violence in different states, cities, and neighborhoods should be continuously monitored. It is critical to make sure that the voices of all victims are heard (Fantuzzo et al., 2018). Although there is a substantial bulk of literature on factors contributing to the incidence of domestic violence, it is important to research the matter in terms of specific contexts and populations. Research is also instrumental in developing and evaluating programs and interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence, helping victims, and preventing this public concern.
Notably, the scientific method should guide the research as it will ensure the reliability of data and the development of effective preventive measures. Apart from the exploration of the problem, the development of correcting measures, the scientific method is applied to evaluate the effectiveness of created interventions. Every policy and program should be evaluated carefully to make sure that taxpayers’ money is allocated properly (Vedung, 2017). The implementation of sound research can help in addressing the problem and decreasing the incidence of domestic violence, which will contribute to the development of American society.
Overview of the Scientific Method
When implementing research, it is important to adhere to the principles of the scientific method. Wolf (2019) identified three primary characteristics of the scientific method that include critical discrimination, generality and system, and empirical verification. Critical discrimination is concerned with the focus on facts rather than opinions, impressions, or bias. Researchers have to make sure that they remain objective and unbiased. This precision is specifically relevant in the public sector as the results of studies often translate into programs and policies that affect diverse populations (McNabb, 2015). If one of the groups will be favored or discriminated against, the program or intervention may result in undesirable outcomes.
Apart from the factual basis, the scientific method implies the search for trends, generalizable data, and common characteristics. Scientists should try to identify patterns to be able to develop interventions to address existing problems (Wolf, 2019). Finally, obtained data should be verified, and developed programs should be evaluated. The process of verification is everlasting since researchers have to make sure that the problem or trend exists, as well as the program is still effective. Society and individuals are changing at a high pace, and the scientific method helps in identifying the shifts and developing methods to minimize the negative effects of some of these changes.
Although the use of the scientific method in public administration may seem less relevant compared to science or economy, it is pivotal to adhere to the principles mentioned above when implementing research. Some of the consequences of the failure to use effective research methods include the development of ineffective interventions and policies, inappropriate allocation of funds, rising tension between different groups, degradation of communities, and so on (McNabb, 2015). For instance, if the prevention program is developed without thorough research of the affected groups, the most vulnerable populations may remain unaddressed. The failure to obtain facts and verify them when analyzing factors contributing to domestic violence prevalence can result in a distorted understanding of the problem. Developed interventions will not be effective, and the problem may have diverse negative effects on other spheres. For instance, victims of domestic violence who do not receive the necessary support may be left alone with abusers, which may result in childhood traumas, alienation from social life, low performance at school or work, and even injuries or suicides. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that policies are evidence-based.
Costa, B. M., Kaestle, C. E., Walker, A., Curtis, A., Day, A., Toumbourou, J., & Miller, P. (2015). Longitudinal predictors of domestic violence perpetration and victimization: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 24, 261-272. Web.
Fantuzzo, J. W., Mohr, W.K., & Noone, M. J. (2018). Making the invisible victims of violence against women visible through university/community partnerships. In P. Jaffe (Ed.), Children exposed to domestic violence: Current issues in research, intervention, prevention, and policy development (pp. 9-25). New York, NY: Routledge.
McNabb, D. E. (2015). Research methods in public administration and nonprofit management (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Ragavan, M. I., Thomas, K. A., Fulambarker, A., Zaricor, J., Goodman, L. A., & Bair-Merritt, M. H. (2018). Exploring the needs and lived experiences of racial and ethnic minority domestic violence survivors through community-based participatory research: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1-18. Web.
Vedung, E. (2017). Public policy and program evaluation. New York, NY: Routledge.
Wolf, A. (2019). Essentials of scientific method. New York, NY: Routledge.