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McClennen (2013) argues that acts of domestic violence are rarely random. It can, thus, be argued that violence is caused. Arguments on intention, state of mind and socialization all point towards the fact that domestic violence is premeditated action. Different countries and governments have come up with punishments to regulate domestic violence. It is important to point out that women have received the short end of the stick in regards to domestic violence.
Bellack, Hersen, Morrison and Van Hasselt (2013) explain that one out of every four women has experienced some form of domestic violence at least once in her lifetime. Despite this revelation, the paper will focus on why people commit domestic violence, regardless of gender. The essay will argue that people become violence based on upbringing, and other similar social elements that affect them as they grow up. Towards this end, the paper will use the Family Violence Theory to put viable arguments supporting the stated premise across.
Family Violence Theory
According to Kindschi (2013), Family Violence Theory is based on psychological or individualist premises. Regarding psychological assumptions, it is arguable that family members become violent towards one another based on subjective beliefs or torture. A classic example that has been used over the decades to explain this argument is that of children who grow up in violent homes.
Bellack, Hersen, Morrison and Van Hasselt (2013) argue that children who grow up in violent homes tend to be more violent than children who grow up in more peaceful homes due to the psychological element of Family Violence Theory. On the same note, Kindschi (2013) is also of the opinion that some people portray an individualistic trait concerning domestic violence. In such a scenario, the individual does not have any history of domestic violence.
Reasons Why People Commit Domestic Violence
Using the Family Violence Theory, it can be argued, therefore, that people commit domestic violence because they have been socialized to accept domestic violence. As stated, a majority of children who have lived in homes prune to violence, have grown up to commit domestic violence. Kindschi (2013) goes further and explains that predictability plays a significant role in the said premise. For example, a boy who grows up watching his father beat his mother every time she gets home late, will most likely also hit his wife whenever she comes home late.
According to McClennen (2013), family related domestic violence is very predictable and can be tied to behavior. Therefore, a particular kind of behavior is associated with violence. It can be argued that it is for the stated reason that victims of domestic give excuses for the abuse. A majority of such victims will blame themselves, and their behavior, which they believe warranted the abuse.
A second reason why people commit domestic violence, based on the Family Violence Theory, is distorted discipline. McClennen (2013) argues that many perpetrators of domestic violence believe they are doing the victim a favor. An example can be used to expound on the stated argument further. Many husbands in Saudi Arabia beat their wives as a form of discipline (Ross, 2014). Within the stated culture, men are much wiser than women and are tasked to discipline women whenever they deem necessary. It is important to note that family is the custodian of culture.
A third reason why people commit domestic violence according to the Family Violence Theory is the influence of the society. Society defines family. Thus, society defines domestic violence. In cultures where domestic violence is acceptable or ignored, many victims suffer in silence (Ross, 2014). An example that can be used is that of domestic violence in India. Ross (2014) asserts that India has one of the highest domestic violence rates in the world.
Much of the violence is directed towards women, especially women of lower castes. According to Hindu, people are born into different ranks. Those of higher castes are treated better than those of lower castes. The caste system does not change, regardless of the level of education or even wealth. In such a society, and culture, abusing people from the lower castes is not condemned. Due to this, many families not only experience domestic violence, but they also accept it, blaming the act on the ‘bad luck’ of being born in a lower caste.
It suffices to mention that individual characteristics can also lead to domestic violence. As said, some perpetrators have no history of domestic violence but still commit it. Through the Family Violence Theory, it can be argued that socialization is not a random act. From the time a baby is born, to the time the same baby becomes an adult, several forces socialize his or her behavior. Towards this end, therefore, children can acquire individual characteristics that have nothing to do with their home/ family background, but with their exposure.
In conclusion, numerous domestic violence theories have been discussed over the decades. Family Violence Theory is one such theory. The theory states that there are two main aspects of domestic violence. One such element is the psychological premise while the second component is the individualistic premise. It can, thus, be argued that people commit domestic violence for several reasons. One such reason is that they have been socialized to accept and commit domestic violence. Secondly, they have a feeling of superiority and believe that they must instill discipline to their family members. A third reason why people commit domestic violence is that they are influenced by the definition of family and domestic violence by the society.
Bellack, S. A., Hersen, M., Morrison, L. R. & Van Hasselt, B. V. (2013). Handbook of family violence. New York, NY: Springer.
Kindschi, D. (2013). Heavy hands: An introduction to the crimes of intimate and family violence. New York, NY: Kaplan.
McClennen, J. (2013). Social work and family violence: Theories, assessment, and intervention. New York, NY: Springer.
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Ross, E. L. (2014). Continuing the war against domestic violence. Orlando, FL: CRC Publishers.