Example Case Study on Domestic Violence
Case Study on Domestic Violence
Domestic violence represents a serious and long-standing problem in the United States as well as many other parts of the world. Domestic violence can take place between partners of the same sex and at times men are also victims of female partner abuse. However, in the vast of cases, the victims are women who were battered by their male partners.
In fact, each day the statistics on domestic violence against women get more and more horrifying. A woman is beat every fifteen seconds, thirty five percent of emergency room visits from women are because of ongoing partner abuse, and approximately four million incidents are reported each year.(Texas, 1) Many questions come up in regards to this issue. For example, what are the warning signals, why don’t women leave and carry on with their lives, what happens if they stay? These are only few of the questions I asked myself as I tried looking from the outside in.
Unfortunately, women are plagued with many different problems, and this sadly is the major one, which occur in different forms. Domestic violence is serious wherever and whenever it happens and in order to conquer this problem one must be educated and know that there is hope and help, but one must not stay quiet and stand up for herself before the worst occurs: death.
To begin with, there are many warning signals and signs that can be detected, this may take time but could also be observed from the get go. The warning flags should not be ignored because abuse may be just down the road. For example, he speaks disrespectfully about his formal partners. A certain amount of anger and resentment toward and ex-partner is normal, but beware of the man who is very focused on his bitterness or who tells you about it inappropriately early on in your dating. (Bancroft, 114) It is key to be aware if he says his previous wife or girlfriend falsely accused him of abusive behavior. Another signal would be if he is a controlling and possessive man. In the short story, A Jury of Her Peers, Mrs. Hale says, “No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird, a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too.” (Glaspell, 423) This is a clear example of what happens when men begin to control their partners and start changing them to their likings and “getting rid” of what they don‘t like. Jealousy behavior is on of the surest signs that abuse is the next step for the relationship. He begins calling five or six times a day checking up on her and asking where she is at, who she is with, and why she is there. Control usually begins in subtle ways, far from anything you would expect to call abuse. When a man intimidates his partner when his is mad is a serious sign. Intimidation, even if it appears unintentional, is a sign that emotional abuse is on its way, and only means that physical violence may eventually follow. It is always very important to take precautions in the “getting to know the partner” stage and watch for any red flags, but unfortunately love is greater than any sign, and women don’t know they are in an abusive situation until it is too late.
Many women that have been part of an abusive relationship did not realize that what her partner was doing to her thoughts and her mind consisted of abuse, without him ever touching her. The term abuse is about power imbalance to exploit or control someone else. (Bancroft, 123) Usually when a female complains of the behavior or the way he treats her, the partner will retaliate. Anytime he yelling back at the woman louder than she is and blaming her for everything, and especially disrespecting her is a form of verbal abuse. This could be anything from name calling to put downs. When the yelling is finished, he gives apologies that sound insincere or angry, and he demands that she accept them. Another form of defining domestic violence is when he denies what he did. He will not admit to the fact that he punch a wall and nearly missed you or told you something that brought you down. This form of abuse is mental or psychological abuse. The scars from the mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but often not as obvious. Even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.(Texas, 4) Last, but certainly not least is when he finally performs physical abuse, which is very obvious. He touches his partner in anger or puts her in fear in other ways. Physical aggression by a man toward the woman is abuse, even if it happens only once. If he raises a fist at her, grabs, pushes or pokes her and threatens to hurt her are all physical abuse.
The most important thing a women living in abusive situations need to know, is she needs to tell someone what is going on, there is help, and she is not alone. Many women live almost all of their lives abused and will never tell anyone for several reasons. One, she bragged so much about him early on in the relationship. For example, about the way he smothered her with gifts, he was a prince charming, and on and on. They feel it would he so embarrassing and the family would make fun of her and laugh. Two, the men have manipulated friends and family on his side and hers so well into thinking he is the perfect man. Women are scared they will also loose their family if she confesses to them the situations because they might blame and point the finger at her. Every family has tensions within it, and abusers use the manipulative skills to take advantage of those problems. For example, the women will not go to church after her parents have begged her to, and the man acts like a hero when he forces her or even manipulates her to go, he now has more trust from the parents. The more people he can get on his side the better the probability is that the women will never tell any one and continue to live with him. The short story, Municipal Report, Azalea on the other hand had many friends she confided in and they stood by her all the way. Many women stay because they have no where to go and are to embarrassed to go to a shelter or ask for public help. There are so many non-profitable organizations that are willing and base their foundation on helping abused women. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a great example of confidential help a hotline can offer. They have a website that has many various facts, questions and answers and people ready and waiting to answer your real life questions. The web page can be found at http://www.ndvh.org/ and the best part is that it has several links to other help in you state and it is very confidential, no one would ever find out you where at that site. This hotline received over 700,000 calls for assistance since February 1998. (Texas, 1) Also, the nation contributes a great deal of money to assistant domestic violence victims. In 1994, violence cost the nation $5 to $10 million for medical expenses, shelter, foster care, police, and court costs. (Texas, 2) “One need remain in hell no longer that he himself chooses to: and the moment he chooses not to remain longer, not all powers in the universe can prevent his leaving it.” – Ralph Waldo. This quote is very powerful in the sense that if the women are determined to leave, nothing and anything should stand in her way. Women may wait to long and become one of the 31,260 women murdered by their abuser. There is also another side to murder, and this is when the victim can take no more and kills the abuser. Brenda, a woman from California served 10 years for killing her husband and became the first to be granted clemency based on the battered women syndrome. (Anderson, 1) There are many cases where women are not set free and continue to serve time for murdering the man that one time battered her.
It is very important to council women who have killed their partners because the probability of her returning to the same situation is big. The reason for this is because during the time she lived with the abuser she was probably forced to quit her job or many children where born that she had to stop working. Therefore she has no skills in any sort of job and the abusive men are the ones that promise everything and begin to control her and her weaknesses and the cycle begins again. Women who were part of and abusive relationship account for a big percentage of people who are on welfare and receive food stamps. The saddest side to the whole ordeal is if children were witnesses of the horrible situation. Children who were introduced to violence in their childhood are more likely to be an abuser or a victim when they get older. The theory that violence is learned behavior and is cyclical is a popular one and has tended to perpetuate by folk wisdom and personal impressions. It is a psychological state a child goes through and in part he/she is the only one that can break the cycle. Children grow up with a serious resentment and it is hard for them to forget the horrifying picture of their mother in a corner bleeding and moaning. Many times, after the separation has occurred mothers take their child with them and start to build anger against them. For example, if the child never was abused or after the child was born the problems started, mothers begin to blame the child and abandon their children. Children who had an abusive father and a mother who abandon them are double at risk of becoming abusive. They begin to disrespect women and then they can’t stand the world or people for being happy.
Life is certainly not a fair tale and in these kinds of situations, “happily ever after” is not very common. Although I knew a lot of common knowledge on this topic, after researching it I was still surprised by the number and stories I read. The fact that the calls to hotline are getting greater in volume is a sign that people are becoming much more educated about the subject and they are stepping out of the hell they live in. Through out my short life time, I have only met two women who have been part of domestic violence. It was not a pretty sight and after knowing about their situation, it inspired me to begin job shadowing to become a social service worker. When I started job shadowing I felt that I could help so many people and free them from the horrible life they were living, but as I started to get deeper into the job, it was too much. I was introduced to many material and situations I just could not handle. I was shown pictures of women who were battered to death and children who were also part of the process. It was just too much; I couldn’t image how people could live through this for years. After awhile I just started to become sick to my stomach just hearing about a certain family situation around the valley, and I was shocked to hear about acquaintances I know. I have to admit it was a wonderful experience, but it was too much for me to handle. As citizens we need to help those who we know are in these situations and help them get out. This issue is so broad that it could literally take books and books to truly understand the whole view of the situations. It is obvious that domestic violence cuts across lines of race, nationality, language, culture, economics, sexual orientation, physical ability, and religion to affect people from all walks of life. Racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression can impact how people experience violence in their lives and how they are able to get help. People have developed specific resources to make sure that all individuals in any circumstance can get the help and support they need to end domestic violence in their lives.